Today’s culture presents plenty of opportunities to give up. It’s common for people to quit their marriages, drop out of school, change jobs 20 times, take on a new hobby for a week, switch churches, alter worldviews, and back out of routine commitments.
Many factors play into the temptation to give up: unmet expectations, boredom, discouragement, failure, loss of vision, etc. But whatever the reason beckoning you to abandon your post, you should first consider a few points:
1. Some things are worth fighting for.
Though it may be hard (fights usually are), make your end goal worth the sacrifice. Sarah Dessen, author of Along for the Ride, said, “Maybe the truth is, it shouldn’t be so easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder—if not impossible—to lose.”
2. Many influential people overcame failure before reaching success.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, Jack London had his first book rejected 600 times, and Steven Speilberg was turned away from USC’s film school three times. Failure is not a good enough reason to quit—because often it is the very catalyst you need for success.
3. Quitting doesn’t affect only you.
What is best for the rest of your company? How will quitting affect your family? Will the entire vision be lost if you’re not there to fight for it? Don’t forget to look at the bigger picture before letting discouragement determine your next steps.
4. What do the facts tell you?
Is it really the job that is the problem? Or could it be the way you are doing it? Maybe you are overworking yourself or need a better process. Or could it be that you need a new perspective instead of a different project? Your feelings of emptiness probably won’t be filled by simply changing locations. Look inside to analyze the real issue.
Still, sometimes it is a good idea to let go of something. Don’t make a habit of it! But don’t keep beating a dead horse. If something isn’t working, if you are miserable, if your company simply can’t get off the ground—it might be time to let go and try something else.
So you didn’t build the greatest start-up company since Apple—no biggie. Maybe you should try your hand at taking over a management position at an already-existing small business. Perhaps you could pursue something entirely different, like joining the Army Reserves or going back to school to learn to weave baskets. Discovering that one area isn’t your forte doesn’t mean you have no talent or future. It might simply indicate an undiscovered talent that could make you a very successful future. You will only find it by trying new things.
Have you ever quit something and later wished you had stuck with it? Tell us about it!