Is Quitting Always a Bad Thing?

personal development professional development Jun 21, 2021

You’ve probably been taught your whole life to never give up, to always follow through and to keep going even when the going gets tough. While you know perseverance is a great thing, is quitting always bad? 

Quitting can sometimes be the easy way out. If things get too hard, just quit and you won’t have to worry about it anymore. While this can’t be the mindset to adopt, what about those times when quitting is the hard choice?

When you quit, you may feel guilt and shame for not sticking it out, for not continuing to persevere. But for some situations, sticking it out is really the easy way forward and not the healthy solution.

Maybe you need to quit a bad habit. Or maybe you’ve been struggling in a bad work environment or a dead end relationship, and it would be easier to just stay put and deal with it. Quitting can sometimes be the hard choice. And there are certainly going to be times when quitting is the right choice for you. 

It’s not so much you giving up as knowing when you’ve had enough and the situation is no longer serving you. So the question is, how can you tell if quitting is the right decision?

Go back to your “why”.

The first thing to do is remember why you started in the first place. Think back to why you began this journey. Does that “why” still hold true? If it does and you can still relate to that why, then you may just be having a bad day, which will happen even in the best of situations. You should never quit on a bad day. If you don’t know what your “why” is, or you no longer feel tied to the “why” that made you start in the first place, it may be time to reevaluate and see if it’s time to move on. 

Ask yourself if you’ve tried everything.

This is an important question because many times we quit before we’ve considered other solutions. Have you done the hard work to make changes that could help improve the situation? Do you feel like there are still things you could do to work on making it better? If so, try those things, then go back and reevaluate whether you should continue. 

If you feel frustrated by lack of results from your efforts, or if you feel like you’ve done everything you can and nothing changed, then quitting may be the right solution. 

Focus on you, not others.

Just like your “why” above, you should make sure that this decision is about you, not about others. Are you staying in this situation because you’d be embarrassed to quit or you don’t want to hurt another person’s feelings? These are bad reasons to stay in a situation that is potentially damaging to your well being and mental health.

The decision to quit (or not) should be about you. What can you gain from moving on? What can you gain from staying put and making it work? Don’t make this decision based on what other people think or what society may expect of you. Sometimes quitting is the harder choice, but in the end it’s the better choice for your well being and your future.

The next time you are wondering whether or not you should quit, don’t let the guilt or external pressures guide your decisions. Think back to your “why”, ask yourself what you can improve and make sure the decision at the end of the day is about you and your well being. 


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