I’m not a quitter. Well, I’ve not been one for most of my life.
It’s like my relationship with bread. I have a loyalty to bread and an addiction to its pleasure. I keep going back for more. More bread with loads and loads of real butter. I keep thinking that I’ll conquer the negative side effects of bread on my body. I’ll sacrifice bready delights for a spell but will eventually return to the challenge of proving I’m greater than the bread and abler than the bread.
I want to have my bread and eat it too.
No. I’ve not been trying to quit the butter. That is just too lip-smackingly delicious to sacrifice.
In the past decade though I have been quitting things.
I quit the real estate licensure course I signed up for (twice) because I’m really not interested in selling real estate.
I quit a job I hated because I was in continual moral and ethical conflict with my immediate boss. Actually, due to personal reasons, I was already scheduled to depart. But I moved the date up five months due to the constant clashing of value systems and an inability to lie to support what I saw as inhumane treatment of and criminal behavior towards others.
I quit the New York City marathon (twice, again) because auto accident injuries made running — or walking — the marathon an unwise 10-hour or longer prospect. So said the doctors and therapists.
I quit doctoral studies because I was going through major life changes and recognized that in moving to a new state and starting life anew, I needed to take a different course of action. One that would make me more immediately marketable. Secretly, there was some fear in my ability to run the course but that’s another story.
I quit New York City living because I believed the health and wellbeing of my sons and myself depended on it.
I quit coffee on December 27, 2017. I hated the taste of it, my dependence on it, and how much it blackened my gums (drinking coffee through a straw is so not true to coffee). A medical procedure forced me to give it up for 24 hours. I stretched 24 hours to 48, to a few days, then a week, a month, and to today.
Looking further back, I did not even quit a ten-year-long abusive marriage. After trying that length of time and recognizing it was a one-sided effort that was slowly killing me, I scheduled a legal vacation from it. I would still be married today had my then husband not filed for divorce. When I received the summons, I instantly realized that I had been given a gift. I smiled broadly at the server and thanked him heartily. He left with a look of shock that showed itself even through the back of his head, as he walked away and tried to silently shut the gate behind him.
So why does the Not a Quitter quit?
I’ve given away some of the answers already but will explain further.
The Not a Quitter is determined and does not become hijacked or kidnapped by self-defeating thoughts. Not usually anyway and generally not for long periods of time.
The Not a Quitter tries again and again and again. If failure follows, the Not a Quitter recognizes that strength and perseverance are the keys to victory and overcoming.
The Not a Quitter sees stumbling blocks, not as Kilamanjaros and Everests, but as hurdles to leap over. He finds the challenges, the punishing(s) and the labor as moments on the obstacle course. And he gives those obstacles his full attention when they are before him. The obstacles are his turn-ons.
The Not a Quitter quits:
1. When he stops growing, stops learning and is bored. In this situation, the Not a Quitter is stifled and suffocating. He must break free to breathe and live and create and evolve again.
2. When he recognizes that remaining or continuing along the same path will not bring about needed results. Perhaps he needs to be removed to effect change or take some other approach that being there will not permit. This holds true for relationships, work, and addictions.
3. When he says no to hypocrisy, deceit, and all forms of unethical practices. This no makes a statement and gives an avenue for articulation and testifying against crimes being done to others.
4. When it takes more courage to go than to remain. The Not a Quitter does not want to view anything in his life as a personal failure. To lack courage is to fail. To be afraid of the challenge, of changing direction, of hopping aboard a different ship, or of resigning oneself to sameness is to deny one’s creativity, purpose, and value.
5. When it grants others the room they need to fall into the well so that they can then find a way to climb out themselves.
When setbacks, restrictions, and doubt come calling, the Not a Quitter continues evaluations that were already in the works and at some point, he may decide to quit. In those moments, quitting might be the only option. In those moments, the Not a Quitter sees quitting as critical to firing up the engines and generating forward momentum. It’s the only way to get back to the climb.
Sometimes in order to win and to help others win one must quit.
Sometimes you are defeated when you don’t quit.
Sometimes we must give up because enduring is a prison sentence followed by the guillotine or gunshot.
If you’ve already died emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and physically, you must quit to find your resurrection.
When it comes to abusive relationships, criticizing and judging yourself and others, procrastination, fear of failure, anger, resentment and bitterness, people pleasing, people hating, addictions, ignoring your own needs and the needs of others, negative thinking and self-doubt, and not pursuing your dreams and aspirations, by all means please QUIT.
Originally published at medium.com