There’s nothing wrong with being a quitter, so long as you’re doing it for the right reasons. Giving up on a hobby, passion project, or career because it no longer speaks to you is fine, but before you give up on something you’ve dedicated time and energy to, make sure you’re not doing it for all the wrong reasons.
1. It’s Hard
I’ve got some issues with the beloved “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” quote. Being your own boss or landing your dream job is an amazing thing and something many people would kill to have. And yes, some days you may actually have to pinch yourself and ask, "Is this really my life?". But you still have to work. You could fulfill your lifelong dream of opening a bakery and making cupcakes so amazing that people wait in line for hours just to get one, but you’re still going to have to sit down once a week and manage payroll. If things are getting tough and you’re contemplating quitting, think of your best day on the job. Are the bad days worth it? If the answer is yes, then stick with it. Some days just suck; this is one of them, and better ones are ahead.
2. You’re Being Pressured
Your mom may be pushing you to drop your fine arts major for something more practical, but even if someone has your best interest at heart, you are the only person who can determine your path in life. If you talk to someone and they make you feel bad about your choices, go back to when you first started on that project. Why did you start, how did it make you feel, and do you still feel that way now? If you still love what you are doing and believe in it - and most importantly believe that you can succeed - then thank them for their advice and keep on hustling.
3. You’re Not Getting Along With Someone
To paraphrase something my dad once said, “If you love your job, don’t quit just because you work with idiots because there will be idiots no matter where you go.” Building great work relationships is so important, but there’s only so much you can do. If a coworker isn’t interested in being friendly, or even civil, you need to deal. If you truly love your job, find out a way to maneuver around a nasty coworker; don’t give up on what you love doing because you were bullied out of it.
So when should you quit? When you no longer love what you are doing. Think of it like dating. If you’re with someone for a year and it gets to a point where you cringe every time they walk into a room, would you marry them? Of course not. You’d move on with your life to find your one true love. Some of the things I’ve quit I still enjoy doing, but I had to prioritize which were hobbies and which were life ambitions. If you spend time on something and it turns out not to be your true passion, don’t dwell on the time you spent on it. Everything is a learning experience. One journey will bring you to the next, and as long as you are happy with where you are, nothing is ever wasted.
Stephanie was born in Texas but raised in Providence since the age of two. After graduating from Rhode Island College in 2008 she began working in human services as a vocational coach for special needs high school students. Wanting to pursue her love of writing as a career, Stephanie earned her Master's Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2016. She currently works as a freelance writer, editor, blogger, and social media consultant. In addition to writing, she is an expert in Providence restaurants, impractical trivia, and finding a parking spot downtown. Her dream is to write a script that gets made into a movie or Netflix show.
Photo from Death To The Stock Photo