Reader Quit: Quitting (by Lauren Tharp)

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A lot of the people who have written a Quit for Cordelia are new to quitting something. Not me! Quitting is old hat for this gal.

As soon as things would get difficult, I’d quit. I’d quit relationships, friendships, jobs, video games… you name it!

And quitting when things are rough can almost be excused. Almost. But, the weird thing is, most of my quits happened when I was supposed to be happy — when I was at my most successful.


Quitting and the Art of Self-Sabotage

I never want to do better than the people I care about.

My father, an artist who desperately wanted to be a writer, tried for years to get a movie script sold. When I, as an older teen, nearly succeeded at doing that myself… I quit. I had interest in the screenplay I’d written, and I could have gone all the way with it, but I quit. I didn’t want to be more successful than my father.

And while I’ve always tried to surround myself with successful people so I would never have to limit myself, I still would. There’d always be something I’d find myself excelling at… and I’d feel terrible about it.

It was easier — more comfortable — to quit than it was to acknowledge what was making me feel terrible. Or to have to admit to someone I loved that I didn’t want to try because they weren’t. I didn’t want to make them feel bad.

It always felt “right” to take the burden of failure on myself — even if it was by my own doing — than it was to succeed.


The Biggest Quit of All

Last summer, I attempted suicide.

By all rights, I should have been extremely happy.

I had just landed one of the biggest jobs of my career. My blog was already starting to win awards.

I was well-respected in my field. I had family, friends and cats who loved me.

But I was freaking out.

So I tried to quit.

Yeah. I tried to quit life. That’s how big of a quitter I was.

At that point in my life, it felt like it would be more comfortable to be dead than to risk being happy and successful. (I know. I’m a bit of a crazypants sometimes.)

Fortunately, I didn’t die. (Nope. This post isn’t coming to you from the beyond!) I was able to get help for my mental issues. I’m now healthy and — dare I say it? — happy.


“I Quit! I Quit! I Quit!”

I’m taking a cue from my favorite band, The Click Five, and quitting. But the “you” I’m not giving up on is myself. (Tweet!)

I’ve owned my own business for over five years — the very first of the things I didn’t quit.

I’ve been the Associate Editor and Community Manager for Be A Freelance Blogger for over two years.

I’ve quit self-harming myself and have been “clean” from cutting for over a year.

I’ve Quit quitting.

Starting now.

Do YOU need to quit quitting?


LaurenTharp_RoundFaceLauren Tharp is the owner of LittleZotz Writing, a multiple award-winning blog. Lauren works as a freelance writer, helping small businesses bring their brands to life through written content. She also helps fellow writers get started as freelancers through blog posts, bi-monthly newsletters, free ebooks and one-on-one mentoring. Follow her on Twitter @littlezotzwrite.



Image:  Johnny Hughes / Flickr

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  • Lauren R. Tharp

    Thanks for letting me share my “Quit” with your readers! 😀

    • My pleasure! Honored to have you. (And SO happy about your awesome brave moves to conquer this.)

  • Pinar Tarhan

    Great post, guys. I’m actually good at quitting where it matters (aka bad relationships) and horrible at quitting things when I shouldn’t, like writing projects I love, which is generally a good thing. The problem is though, sometimes I find it hard not quitting methods and strategies that don’t work. There I do need the occasional reminders.:)

    • Lauren R. Tharp

      I think we all get stuck in habits/strategies that are comfortable but not necessarily the most efficient. But life isn’t over ’til it’s over — there’s always time/room to change! 🙂

  • r-evolve

    Great article and post Lauren and Kelly!
    Some very close to home thoughts in this article. I never thought much about it but have a similar aversion to greater success than family and friends; until I read this and it is true. A part of my holding back is I don’t want to rub it in or it to appear that way. Totally crazy, but deep down it is there.
    Thanks for making me think about this and possibly even try to remedy!

    • Lauren R. Tharp

      Kiwis call that “tall poppy syndrome.” We hold ourselves back from growing as people because we don’t want to appear “taller” or “more beautiful” than those around us.

  • Ivy Cadwell

    Lauren, i’m a little late on commenting so I hope you see this! Thanks for being open about your struggle. For writing a post about “quitting,” you’re not all that much of a quitter (successful business, award winning blog, etc). Its funny how, in our “crazypants-ness,” we see ourselves as failures while others view us in a totally different light. I remember when I saw your linked-in profile (you recommended me for guest blogging at BAFB) I thought man, I hope I can be that successful someday. Glad to know you’re still with us because the world needs your words! 🙂

    • Lauren R. Tharp

      Well, it took me a year to see this, but I’m glad I did. lol. Thank you for your kind words, Ivy. 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing this deeply personal part of you, Lauren!

    I really needed to see this take on ‘quitting’ today: I’ve been ‘not trying’ to climb the ladder – looking for the handholds on the wall, instead (yikes!)

    • Lauren R. Tharp

      You’re welcome, Karen. I’m glad this post was here when you needed it. 🙂

      • And finding this ‘yet again’ another month later, after you responded
        (thanks, disqus) – I’m more ready to look into “Why” I’ve been quitting
        on myself.

        “Little K” got a lot of “uneven parenting”, which I can remedy now and into the future. Reading “Growing Up Again” by Clarke and Dawson (2nd Ed.,1998) is proving incredibly helpful!
        Hugs ~

        • Lauren R. Tharp

          Will I Ever Be Good Enough? by Dr. Karyl McBride was helpful for me in dealing with parental issues.