When speaking of confidence and doing your best, we are always encouraged to try our best and not to give up.
That’s great advice, but sometimes it backfires. If we get ourselves into an uncomfortable situation, it can be a sign to move on. You’re not being a quitter, you’re simply recognizing what you do and do not want to spend your time on.
Can we talk about when it’s time to stick with it, and time to pass it on? I’ll add a few of my ideas here, but I’d love to see where you think the limits are.
Stick With It
- If it’s necessary
If you’re doing something you must do – earning money for your family, finishing something you are contractually bound to finish, helping someone in distress – then you need to stick it out even if it gets tough.
- Be careful not to fall in to the trap that just because you’ve always done it, or your buddies/family has always done it, that makes it “necessary”. Not always so.
- If it advances your career
If there’s something you can learn, or participate in, that will have an impact on your career or main hobby, make that commitment. Don’t forget that many “time investments” don’t provide benefits immediately, but you need to think if it will serve you in the long run.
- If it’s “good” for your health, significantly
Either you “have” to do this or you’ll get sick, or it gives such a significant benefit that it greatly outweighs the efforts, then it’s time to buckle down.
- If you love it, but don’t think you can do it
If it doesn’t directly damage you and your family (you still have enough money to eat, and you still can have quality family moments), don’t throw it away just because you’re new at it.
- DO NOT make my mistake and get all worked up because (example) “statistics show that only 1% of new authors can land an agent and get published by the big 5” [not an exact quote]. The problem is, “statistics” usually don’t tell you the whole story. For the example I’m using, after I read that quote-ish somewhere about debut authors, I learned that most of the ones that failed didn’t know the very, very basics about writing (neither did I), editing (neither did I), querying (neither did I), or marketing (neither did I). These skills can be learned. You will not learn those skills, however, if you give up because “someone” tells you that you can’t do it: using a blanket statement, without working directly with you. If they do work directly with you and still say that – well – please see my post on constructive criticism.
Give it Up
- If it’s affecting your mood so bad that your entire health is affected
We know we have to go to that job we hate (not me!!) but sometimes it’s just time to look for something else. If you’re driving yourself into the hospital, it doesn’t matter how badly you need the money, you need to find another way.
- If it hurts the ones you love
Almost identical to the above point, but in reference to you being nasty to your loved ones. It’s not worth it.
- If you feel significantly out of place
It’s okay to be the new kid on the block, and it’s okay to be diverse. But if you are being treated poorly because of your diversity or experience level, personally I suggest to get yourself out of that situation. If you then want to fight the good fight and complain about/pursue the unfairness, great – but I think that you sticking around will only make you feel worse.
- If you have more Important things to do
Be careful with this one. ‘More important things’ should truly be important. For example, cutting out that nightly TV date with the pro-wrestling show *** so you can tuck your kids in bed and read them a story.
Moving on is NOT Giving Up
If you decide to move on, that does not mean you are weak, a loser, or lazy. Do not be made to feel bad by those that would guilt or pressure you into sticking around by taking a swing at your confidence.
Here’s a tip: if someone tries to guilt you into staying in a truly bad situation by telling you you’re giving up, it’s because they are worried that you will no longer be around to do their job for them.
Please, can you share with us what is the golden cue that tells you it’s time to stop putting effort into something, and just to move on?
And please, I have no problems with pro-wrestling shows. I used to watch The Rock, Randy Savage, the Undertaker, and Chyna, thank you very much. Now I follow Dwayne’s movies.
Copyright: stanciuc / 123RF Stock Photo