I am a quitter, and I am proud of it. If I am able nowadays accept it, it’s mostly because I stick with the first definition of the verb : to put an end to a state or an activity. No judgement here. I am neither giving up nor admitting defeat, I am simply moving on.
I used to never surrender. I would go all in and never look back. Quitting was for losers. I was loyal and didn’t want to let anyone down. Who leaves her partner in the trenches? Who wants to be friend with or hire that kind of person? I was totally against the idea of letting someone down.
The thing is with that belief is that it leaves little room for mistakes. Whatever you start, you have to finish, so you better make the right decision right away, otherwise you’ll be stuck. It puts you in a weird place where fear rules. I guess that’s what we call the comfort zone. You don’t try anything anymore and stick with what works, what you know you will be able to accomplish, or only try new stuff so similar to what you are used to that there is very little chance you will feel any discomfort.
Quitting is liberating. Once you give yourself permission to not finish something, the world becomes your playground. Think about it for a second. When you have the possibility to put an end to whatever you try, of course you’ll be more willing to test new things.
The more I quit, the more I expand. My soul is never done growing. The Universe is expanding, and so am I if I get to listen more and more to my intuition. My soul is eager to play, run, jump, try. Deep down, I just want to see how far I can go, discover what else I can do. Some things will work, others won’t, but it really doesn’t matter. What matters most is having the possibility to try anything until something sticks.
I still don’t want to let anybody down. I am still very conscious of avoiding as much as possible any collateral damage, or at least minimizing the impact of me quitting. That’s why I don’t believe we have to go so big with the “I quit”. No need to make a big drama out of it. We don’t have to save the “I quit” only for the big changes in our lives, such as leaving our partner or quitting a job. Learning slowly to quit on the little things, such as deciding to end a podcast when we are not tuned in or stop reading a book when our heart is not into it, is the best way to build that quitting muscle so that we are ready to leave with happiness and dignity when we have to make a bigger move.
In fact, it’s very similar to learning to accept the small deaths in our lives so to be ready when the time comes. Whenever you quit, a small part of yourself dies, or that’s how I guess the ego sees it. We all tend to do it: whatever we do becomes a part of our identity, a way to describe ourselves. The action itself of quitting or not is part of our identity. When we quit, we have to let go of first the identity related to the activity or person we leave behind, and second of the idea we have in our head of someone who is loyal, someone you can count on no matter what.
However, just like death, it is often necessary to start a new cycle, to welcome something new. Quitting is mandatory if we want to evolve. Quitting is a must to make enough space to grow into something new, someone we never thought we could be. But for all that to happen we have to stop dreaming and start trying.
One last thing before I leave you with that: never quit because you are afraid, or mad, or sad. Quit with your head up, and your heart strong as Ben Howard would tell you. Quit with confidence. Quit because something better is waiting for you, even if you don’t know what it is yet. Quit because you are happy, excited about new adventures. Quit because you know you are following your heart, and that it is the only way.
Quit because you love.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears – Nelson Mandela