Learning to Quit
Congratulations, we made it one week into this new year. Honestly, it seemed long for me. Why? It is hard changing mindsets, implementing new habits, and being disciplined day after day. I looked at the last seven days and realized the difficulty of change and the slowness of progress. Then, I looked forward to how far I had left in the year to accomplish what I set out to do. It can be overwhelming knowing how difficult it is for the changes in my thinking to take root.
Typically, at the end of the year, individuals reflect on the past year while looking forward to new opportunities. The new year signals a chance for a fresh start and new beginnings. I try to look at where I am spiritually, personally (physical and mental health), relationally, and professionally. What did I learn about myself this last year? What did I learn about others? What could I have done differently? What do I need to change going forward? What areas do I need development?
I love a goal and a plan. There are always new adventures, fears to conquer, new things to learn, areas for personal improvement, and intentional opportunities to develop relationships. Unfortunately, insecurities, fears of failure, and lack of discipline can contribute to my inability to establish or consistently apply the needed changes in my life.
Discipline, commitment, and not giving up are essential in our lives. However, over the past year, I also realized the importance of quitting. The process of quitting can reveal a lot about our hearts and minds. We can stay too long in places that destroy us because we are afraid to quit or lose control of our circumstances. We accept where we are because it is seen and predictable instead of trusting there is a better way in the unseen. Also, sometimes pride prevents us from quitting because we believe the lie that it won't get done or we do it better.
In learning what to quit, here are some things to consider.
Is it all-consuming, preventing the freedom to enjoy good things? For example, we recently made an offer on a house. Within two weeks, I realized that the worry that came along with it would outweigh the good of me enjoying it in the stage of life we are in with all the changes. I knew that it would put me in a position of wanting to control my circumstances instead of trusting God where we are in the season. Thankfully, the house didn't work out, and we decided to enjoy the season of less responsibility by renting.
Is it the end of a season? Sometimes we need to quit to allow others to experience new opportunities, learn and grow, take ownership of their lives, or rest and refocus.
Do you settle for less of who you are meant to be to accommodate who others want you to be instead? It is okay to consider your value and worth in decisions. We all have God-given gifts, talents, and abilities. Don't let others minimize your worth, define your worth, or manipulate and attempt to control the outcome of becoming who God created you to be. Don't let others deter you from doing what you know is best. Others don't know you as well as you know you.
Is there something else better? Trying gives direction and helps us learn who we are. It's okay to admit that something isn't a good fit.
Is my focus solely on pleasing others to my detriment? When we fail to please others or meet their expectations, they typically experience short-term discomfort. However, when we try to please others instead of making the right or wisest decision, the decision for us can result in long-term consequences. Therefore, it is okay to establish boundaries.
Is it adding or taking away value in my life?
Am I allowing God to work, or am I trying to change or control the outcome?
Quitting doesn't have to mean you're a "quitter" or have given up because you aren't tough or good enough. On the contrary, it can provide healing, forgiveness, love, acceptance, knowledge, freedom, and comfort in our unfilled spaces.
My natural personality is to go down fighting. That may be how we have been taught, but I also believe it is why we stay too long in places that aren't the best. So last year was a transition year for me. I QUIT A LOT!
Life and time are gifts. How do you want to use them this year?
In the process of learning to quit, I wanted to replace the negative hype surrounding quitting with something positive. So, here is what quitting meant to me!
Quantifiable - I am able to be measured or counted
Unafraid - brave and fearless
Initiative - taking the first step
Thrive - to prosper and flourish.
Is there anything you need to quit this year?