Quitting is not Failing

So often quitting is put in such a negative context. We hear things like "Quitters never win!" and somehow think that quitting and failure are synonymous. So this note, titled "I Believe in Quitting", from a reader of the Beyond Blue blog got my attention. Here are a few excerpts:
The perfectionism in my personality eats away my strength from the inside out. It insists on showing me all the rules I’ve broken, and all the people I’ve failed to help. It focuses on the distance between who I am and who I “should” be. I’ve been given every advantage – a stable childhood, natural intellect and talents, a college education, a wonderful husband and son. And yet I’m still not good enough.

But I have learned how to battle this enemy.
I have learned how to quit.
My life had been built on assumptions gleaned from the world around me. My goal had always been to do everything “right”. Unfortunately, there are many definitions of “right”. I chose the ones that fit into my upbringing. I allowed the world around me to tell me the “right” way to live.
Quitting has brought me peace. I make commitments very carefully, and I fulfill them to the best of my ability. But I am no longer bound to the universal guilt of needing to do every good thing.

I do what I do. And it is good. And the world is left to fill the rest of its need for good through others. When I’m done, I quit. And I stay whole.
I so resonate with knowing when it is time to quit. In the past I have been too loyal and hung on too long in places I no longer belonged. I have also hung on too long to ideologies that hindered my spiritual growth. Quitting is not as easy as the clichés make it to be - especially for folks who highly esteem commitment and loyalty. Even so, I think that the heart of life is knowing when to quit. It is also knowing that quitting does not necessarily mean failing.


  1. Yes, knowing when to quit is a good thing.

    I posted a link to your post, on this post: Clergy Guy - Sore Loser, as an encouragement.

  2. Bob, really good stuff and timely for me. Thanks.

  3. thank you so much for the well-written and well-thought post. :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Bob I deleted my comment as I realized it should be sent to you in an email, as I was discussing a pretty personal issue.

  6. Great topic....quitting is not always a negative thing, sometimes its the most positive thing you can do.

  7. Gulp...I must read this over and over again. I feel like I have been taken back by these words. Deep down in my heart of hearts I so agree with the whole thing. I just need to step back and quit what needs to be quit and refine what I still will do. Thanks and I must read this again.

  8. This is so true... quitting is simply realizing when something is no longer working in your life and you need to let it go.

    1. Thanks for stopping by julz! I sometimes think that a part of living a wise life is all about knowing when to let go and move on.


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