The Positivity of Quitting

This is an excerpt from my ebook, Your Guide to Calling It Quits (because there are better things to do with your life).  To read more, get your free copy here.


“Quitters never prosper.” ~common saying

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” ~Vince Lombardi

“Homey don’t quit.” ~Chubby Checker

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“He that will enjoy the brightness of the sunshine must quit the coolness of the shade.” ~Samuel Johnson

“The first thing you ought to do when you find yourself in a hole is quit digging.”  ~Bill Clinton

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  Then quit.  There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.” ~W.C. Fields


Quitting sometimes gets a bad rap.  And sometimes it should.  So I want to make sure we’re on the same page as to what sort of quitting we’re talking about.

The first set of quotes refers to the bad variety of quitting: giving up on something because it’s too hard, because you don’t succeed right away, because you’re afraid.  When it comes to this kind of quitting, Homey shouldn’t play that.  Life takes a certain amount of perseverance and stick-to-it-ive-ness.  The important things aren’t always easy.


But There Are Some Things That Don’t Deserve Your Perseverance

Take a look at the second set of quotes.  They refer to quitting of a different kind. Getting rid of an attitude that isn’t working to make room for something healthier.  Stopping a bad habit or ending a relationship that’s only weighing you down.  Letting go of responsibilities that are no longer worth your time.  In these cases, quitting can be your best strategy.

We let our lives get all cluttered up with things that shouldn’t be in them.  Bad friendships that make us feel horrible.  Obligations we take on for the wrong reasons.  Negative habits and attitudes that wear us down.  It leaves us stressed out, burnt out, resentful, and with little time or energy left to focus on the things that really matter to us.

And it’s high time we got fed up enough to start doing something about that.


There Is Power in Saying “No” to the Things You Don’t Need in Your Life

It lets you clear out room for the things you do.  Quitting, of the kind we’re talking about, is empowering.

It’s about freeing yourself.

It’s about regaining control.

It’s about embracing what really makes you happy and saying to the universe, “This is how I want my life to be, and I won’t accept anything less.”

It’s about taking control of, and responsibility for, your life and your happiness.

You game for that?

Image:  Shanon Wise / Flickr

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  • Abby Heugel

    Amen, I completely agree. As odd as it sounds, I really admire people who were pretty “successful” but quit blogging, simply because it wasn’t something they enjoyed anymore. Blogging is just one example (I can relate to,) but you see it with so many things. I admire the fact they can let go of that attachment to results and simply just move with their lives, even if they aren’t certain what life can hold next.

    And yes, I mean “quit” in the definition you spell out, not quitting because things got tough. 😉

    • I agree. Just because you’re “successful” at something, that doesn’t mean you *have* to stick with it if you’re not in love with it. The same goes for 6-figure jobs, relationships, and anything else. If you don’t want it (like, WANT want it) in your life, then why should it be there?

  • gnomemito

    I’m game! I have a long list of things causing me stress and need to be out of my life. Quitting is hard, but it makes life just a little bit easier.

    • It so does. Stay tuned for future excerpts to get the blog back on the “how to be a quitter” track. 😉

  • Melissa

    I really need to borrow your idea of making a Quit list. I’ve started on a systematic “housecleaning” of my life because dear fishies did I get blown off course, and picked up a LOT of bad habits that I need to quit. The whole mess around the Boston Marathon bombing woke me up to how far away I’d gone from my original goals (and how some of the things I’d wanted even a year ago don’t fit the life I want to build anymore), how many people I didn’t need around anymore, and just generally reshuffled my priorities. (For reference, I live 10 miles up the road from the Marathon site, in one of the smaller cities. It hit close to home, as it were.)

    Here’s to taking back control and quitting the things that do not serve us!

    • Hear, hear! I admire your aha moment and the fact that you’re taking real action on it. (Something that most people fail to do with aha moments.)

      Godspeed and good luck! (And, I’m stealing the term “dear fishies,” because I love it.) 🙂