How Quitting Moves Us Forward

Alexandra Hughes, Coach

In his podcast episode “Quit the Wrong Thing Now” Brendon Burchard explores how quitting – a job, relationship, or otherwise – can be a courageous step towards living a bold and rewarding life. He states that the world’s highest performers are actually habitual quitters. And quitting, he clarifies, doesn’t always mean giving up, but rather knowing when something is not the right fit. Burchard argues that while perseverance is crucial for short term success, long term success is determined by how you identify what works and what doesn’t. And in many cases, success is determined by choosing to be more okay with uncertainty than certainty that is miserable or boring. So, quitting in this sense is being able to let go of what is no longer right in exchange for the unknown and the possibilities therein.

It is important to note the difference between quitting when something is difficult, and quitting something that is wrong. As Burchard explains, it takes a high level of psychological courage to admit that what we’re doing is wrong, and high performers quit the “wrong thing” fast. They aren’t quitting to avoid the struggle, he says. In fact, high performers honor and embrace the struggle with the understanding that it yields growth. They are quitting because if they don’t, they forfeit living out their next level of contribution.

A friend who had recently quit her full-time job to pursue her passion recommended I listen to “Quit the Wrong Thing Now” when I had repeatedly expressed feeling stuck on my own professional path. My gripe was that the irregular hours and physical demand were gravely impacting the amount of time and energy I had left to spend on much of anything else, and I could feel myself running out of room to grow. My job was no longer the right fit for me. I had known this long before I acted on it – because let’s face it, admitting that we have outgrown what used to fit so well is scary – but when I did, the universe responded by shedding new light on a version of myself that had been clouded by “stuckness.”

Since making the decision to quit, I have welcomed opportunities to learn new skills, nurture important relationships, and invest my resources in professional endeavors that will amplify my next level of output. I have learned that no matter how uncertain the outcome, quitting what is too comfortable or predictable is not giving up. It is giving in to who we are meant to become.

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