QUITTERS CAN BE WINNERS

Are you holding on to something that it would be healthier for you to let go? Quitters can be winners and don't let anyone tell you differently. #quitters #winners

WHEN QUITTING TAKES ON NEW MEANING

We've all heard the old saying from Vince Lombardi that "winners never quit, and quitters never win". It's something I've believed to be true and I've used it to motivate myself to push through the rough times - you know....onwards and upwards!, Tally Ho!, stiff upper lip etc, etc. But what if that isn't the case at all? Maybe it's not always the best thing to keep ploughing through and making ourselves miserable. What if quitting something makes you a winner?

I saw this fantastic quote from Steven Bartlett a few weeks ago:

Contrary to popular opinion, quitting is for winners.  Knowing when to quit, change direction, leave a toxic situation, demand more from life, give up on something that wasn't working and move on, is a very important skill that people who win at life all seem to have. Steven Bartlett #lifequotes

It really spoke to my heart and lodged in my head; and made me think back over the last 12 months. It's been just over a year since I threw up my hands in defeat and quit my horrible job, running as fast as possible in the opposite direction. I quit because I couldn't keep turning up week after week to the drama and upsets that were a constant presence in every work day. I quit because I'd reached the end of my tether and there was no other option left for me to pursue. I quit because there was no other choice that didn't end up with me having a nervous breakdown.

WHEN THERE'S NO RESOLUTION

Before I quit my job I tried everything I possibly could to make it work - I pushed through because, after all, it was the "Perfect Job" that was going to see me through the next ten years until retirement. So, I kept telling myself that quitting wasn't an option, and I tried all manner of coping mechanisms to try to make it work. I listened, I counselled, I stepped back, I stepped forward, I ignored my own needs, I created boundaries, I watched my boundaries being stepped on, I cut back my hours, I talked to trusted friends..... and the list goes on. Nothing worked - the situation just seemed to get worse and I was trapped in it because I was too scared to quit.

For some of us, it's not until you're up against a wall with no other options available to you, that you realize you can make a move that seems wrong but ultimately might end up being right. For me that was to take myself out of the picture, to put my own needs ahead of everything else and to take a leap of faith that life wouldn't come crashing down if I quit my job with no other prospects on the horizon.

WHEN QUITTERS WIN

The quote above says you're winning when you know when to quit - I knew that my time was up and I needed to walk out the door. It says you're winning if you leave a toxic situation - I did exactly that, the drama, misery, upset, and upheaval that I'd been trying unsuccessfully to fix, was beyond me and I chose to demand more from life, give up what wasn't working and move on. Basically that quote could have been written for me and my situation.

Twelve months later I'm living my dream. I'm happy, mentally healthy, physically healthy, busy (but not too busy), discovering new interests, chilling out, and enjoying every single day of my life. I don't waste my Sundays dreading the arrival of Monday, I don't need days to recover from the mental pounding I'd endured on my work days; every day is a delight. And the added bonus is that I was prepared for all that lockdown and self-isolation brought with it - Coronavirus barely impacted me at all

These days I may not have as much ready cash as I did when I was working, but to be absolutely honest, I haven't missed the extra dollars once. We're doing fine thank you very much, and I now wonder why I didn't quit earlier.

WHEN TO CHANGE OUR ASSUMPTIONS

Sometimes we can believe something to be a truth that actually isn't. We can be told that "quitters never win" and we don't question such an all encompassing statement. But, when the rubber hits the road, quitting can sometimes be the best choice - one that you shouldn't be ashamed of, or apologize for - one that you can be proud that you were brave enough to pursue. It's not easy to walk away from the accepted norm, people question your reasons and make their own judgements. But, ultimately it's about choosing what's right for you.

It's so empowering to say "this isn't serving me" and to walk away in peace.

I've learned that we need to do what's best for our own health and needs. It might not be what someone else would choose to do, but if we need to quit, then sometimes we just need to "woman up" and do it - damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead! Quitting can be the beginning of a whole new chapter in our life, it certainly has been for me. I feel like I won the lottery when I quit - maybe you will too.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Have you ever quit a toxic situation? Have you quit and moved on from a relationship that was draining you dry? Are you holding on to something that it would be healthier for you to let go? Quitters can be winners and don't let anyone tell you differently.

The best feeling in the world is when you wake up one day, and you say to yourself "Damn, that was hard, but I got through it. I'm wiser, happier, and more grateful because of what I learned from it.

Contrary to popular opinion, quitting is for winners.  Knowing when to quit, change direction, leave a toxic situation, demand more from life, give up on something that wasn't working and move on, is a very important skill that people who win at life all seem to have. Steven Bartlett #lifequotes

RELATED POSTS


Are you holding on to something that it would be healthier for you to let go? Quitters can be winners and don't let anyone tell you differently. #quitters #winners
Are you holding on to something that it would be healthier for you to let go? Quitters can be winners and don't let anyone tell you differently. #quitters #winners

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50 comments

  1. This is so true, and such an insightful post. I've had the 'get on with it and don't quit' lesson imbued from an early age and although in some instances it's served me well, in others it hasn't. I totally agree that although we should give things our best shot, if they don't work out (and it's not for lack of trying) then it's much better to stop, take stock, and pivot to something else. Winning at all costs is not the way to go because there is likely to be too much fallout and quitting doesn't mean losing. Quitters are very often long term winners because they've figured out how to live, work and play in a better way, and have used their past experiences to empower them to take new more positive directions. (Pinned)

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    1. Hi Jo - you said it perfectly - I think if we get caught up in a refusal to quit mentality then we can dig ourselves deeper into a place that may not be good for us. To take stock and re-think a decision can mean making choices that seem to be quitting, but are actually a redirection to something that's far better for us than what we walk away from. A lesson our generation has taken a while to learn!

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  2. As Kenny Rogers most famously (and accurately) said, you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away... xxx

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    1. Love that Jo! And yes, Kenny was on point when he sang that - it's not about quitting at the first hurdle, but knowing when you're done with something that's not good and walking away without regrets.

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  3. It's so great to see how many lessons you are taking from this situation Leanne, and sharing them with us is so generous of you! These quotes perfectly sum up the issues and how you've managed to move on from things. I agree quitters can be winners :)

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    1. Hi Deb - I love coming across stuff that reinforces the fact that I made a healthy choice and that it's not the end of the road if we change direction. We've been brought up to see things through to the bitter end - but I've come to see that isn't the only choice - and sometimes it's not even the right choice. Living and learning every day!

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    2. Well said Leanne! Back for #mlstl and have pinned your post :)

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  4. I am so glad that after a year to reflect, you feel as though you made the right decision to leave a toxic situation. I think you are right - we only have a limited amount of time here on earth. Life is too short to spend it in a situation that causes anguish if we have the means to escape and obviously, you DID have a way to get out of that situation. So glad quitting had a positive outcome.

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    1. Hi Laurie - I think that we "soldier on" because we think it's the noble thing to do and we often don't want to let other people down. Self-sacrifice is a wonderful thing - but not if we end up beaten down and miserable. I'm coming to realize that we need to recognize our own value and honour what we bring to the table - or get up and leave gracefully before there's no options left to us.

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  5. A good point here, Leanne. There is absolutely nothing wrong in changing direction and taking a new track, if the one you are on is leading you nowhere. The wiser thing is to quit rather than stick with something that yields you no result.

    I have taken similar decisions. But I have always ensured that the quitting is not on the spur of the moment, and I have quit only after giving myself a lot of time and I have convinced myself of the need to quit.

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    1. Spot on Pradeep - I think quitting at the first hurdle does us a disservice. We need to push through for a while to see if we can turn things around. If we run away at every challenge we miss the chance for growth, but if we never have the courage to redirect ourselves, then we can run the risk of drowning in someone else's drama and mess.

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  6. Leanne, Great post. I had to do this with a toxic friendship. Some relationships just aren't meant to be long term. Thanks!

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    1. Yes, it applies to a lot of life areas doesn't it Rita? Toxic friendships are definitely not worth holding onto desperately in the hope things will change. If they are degenerating before our eyes it's best to walk away before we end up reacting in the same ways!

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  7. Hi, Leanne - I completey agree with the concept that 'winning means learning when to quit'. Along with this idea goes one of my favourite saying 'if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got'. That's just a fancy way of saying, "when somethings not working, do something else".
    I'm so glad that you took yourself out of that misery and found joy and peace on the other side. :D

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    1. Hi Donna - the idea of quitters winning went against everything I'd been brought up to believe - you know the idea of "chin up, push through, take one for the team, rah rah" etc. But when we have the courage to take an honest look at our situation and make the changes, then quitting suddenly becomes an option - and it can definitely lead to happier places when it's done with the right motivation. Joy and peace are lovely!

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  8. Hi Leanne, I've quit many jobs and friends (and family) over the years. I guess nobody ever told me that winners never quit! I remember I quit a job once that I'd had for just under 3 months - my probation period was almost over. I hated the job and my immediate supervisor. When I told them I was leaving, I got 'You can't leave! Do you have another job? What will you do?'. No, I didn't have another job to go to, I just knew I had to quit, or I was going to be even more unhappy. It takes strength to quit a job, a bad relationship, or anything else that causes us harm. I'm so happy that you found the strength to quit your toxic job, you really did yourself a favour! Have a great week! :-) x

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    1. Hi Cheryl, looking back I can see that I've quit a few things earlier in life too - a job that was getting mundane and boring, a friend who had no loyalty, a church that had lost its way.... Sometimes we just have to shake the dust off our feet and move on to better things - trying to stay and change a situation is a great idea, but when something isn't changeable, then we need to have the courage to let it go. I'm actually amazed at how good quitting can feel!

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  9. Leanne, thanks for reminding us that it doesn't always mean failure when we quit something. I've had to learn that in even something simple like giving up on a craft project that I'm not totally happy with. Have a great week!

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. It applies to all manner of life's little challenges doesn't it Janet? I think we have enough commitment and integrity to give things our best shot, but when there is no positive future for something, it's good to know that it's actually okay to let it go and to move onto something that feels more satisfying.

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  10. I can't remember if I already said this to you or someone else, but in Dispatches from Elsewhere there's this really wonderful bit where a chracter says to another, 'You're allowed to change your mind' - basically it's alright to start something and decide you want to do something else instead. As someone in the throws of getting kids through the HSC, this is not a topic that comes up much at all the talks (it did once at Macquarie Uni but that's it). I think we are fed a lot of false ideas in life. I suspect it's to do with our need to constantly gloss over negative emotions with false optimism (I've noticed in COVID a LOT of people do that - I've since listened to a pyschiatrist talk that said that pretending everything is okay actually prevents you from truly being happy. Dealing with the negative emotion actually makes the path easier to attain happiness - but that's for another post). So being baraged with Winners never Quit requires a definition of WHAT IS A WINNER? And none of us think to ask what that is for US personally. Winning for you is not winning for me (or it might be) so how can I tell you how to be a winner? Good post. I like this one a lot.

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    1. It also requires a definition of what is quitting? Is doing something else quitting? Is starting another enterprise quitting? (see, you've got me thinking...;)

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    2. Hi Lydia - the original quote opened a lot of questions for me too - and the idea that we push and keep on pushing through - regardless of whether we're slowly dying - was what I'd been brought up with. Don't let the team down, take one for the team, be a team player, suck it up and get on with it - all those platitudes that are basically bulldust when I stop and think about them clearly.
      Allowing ourselves the grace to admit something is a bad fit, or a bad choice, or that we've just outgrown it, or we got into it for the wrong reason - those are the things we should be focusing on and stepping away and starting again. I think being a quitter might actually be a much better thing that we give it credit for...

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  11. Hi Leanne, I'm glad you left the toxic job and found contentment on the other side. Letting go of something that is causing emotional or physical harm or changing directions when we've tried and things didn't work out are some of the options always available to us. #MLSTL

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    1. Isn't it interesting that it's so hard to do though? I have always been someone who sticks it out til the bitter end - now I'm wondering if that's been a good choice for me over the years - and maybe there was so much I missed out on because I was being loyal for the wrong reasons? It took a near nervous breakdown for me to actually quit that last job - so what does that say about me?

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  12. Hi Leanne, I used to be someone who thought I was a failure if I quit or didn't finish something. Now that I've completed Life Coaching certification and other life experiences, I realise that we need to be able to be flexible with our goals and other areas of our life. There is no shame in saying 'I'm not proceeding, this does not serve me well' to anything in life. We may start on a path and then realise that it isn't good for us. There are times when I will push through if it is something I really want to achieve or do, like my Fitness Certification. It was hard at times but I pushed through and achieved my goal. It is a matter of learning to know ourselves and to realise that we have one life so we had better make it one we are happy with. Thanks for inspiring us at #MLSTL and I've shared in the FB Group. xx

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    1. Hi Sue - that's a great way to look at it - whether it's serving us and getting us to a more productive place - even if it's just treading water that can be enough. But if we're drowning, or dying of boredom, or being bullied, or just hating something and wishing our life away, then being brave enough to step away and try something new should be encouraged. I wish I'd known it was okay a lot earlier in life - there are a lot of things I'd have wasted less time on! Still, it's never too late and a lesson learned is never wasted :)

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  13. Another great lesson from a bad experience Deb. It’s amazing what becomes clear when you make the decision to step away. I’m in the middle of that now with decisions to be made soon.

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    1. Hi Jen - yes, there's always decisions to be made, but viewing them from the correct perspective can make all the difference. Quitting was always so frowned upon and such a negative concept - I'm thinking it's been given a bad rap and maybe it's a lot more positive to quit something for our own health or growth than to keep doing it for the sake of the "I should" mentality? Good luck with your decisions.

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  14. Hi Leanne, this really resonated with me. I hate change and I cling to situations long after they become toxic and make me physically and mentally ill. My first marriage lasted 22yrs despite him neing abusive, alcoholic and a liar. When I finally ended it, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I had tried everything to keep that marriage together and now I often wonder why, when life has been so much better for me and my sons since. My second husband is the opposite to my first in many ways and is incredibly kind and caring. My advice to anyone in the same situation is to take a leap of faith, trust that you have the inner strength to do it and then take the first steps to a brighter future. Regards Christina Henry

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    1. Hi Christina - there are so many life circumstances this applies to aren't there? Unhealthy relationships, toxic friendships, awful jobs, wrong choices etc etc. I think our generation (and those before us) were told to stick it out and that was seen as being noble and loyal - BUT now we're realizing that there are choices open to us and having the courage to go against what we've been indoctrinated with can be the beginning of a much better life - it certainly seems to have been a wonderful outcome for you (and I'm pretty happy with where quitting my job has led me!)

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  15. So true, Leanne. When I got divorced more than 20 years ago, it was a big "quit," but it was definitely the right move, which I do not regret. Quitting that relationship allowed me to begin a new one that was a better fit for me. I cannot believe it has been more than a year since you quit your job. Where did that time go? I am happy for you. Cheers! #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Christie - I think quitting a marriage is a really big deal for anyone, and not done lightly - but it can definitely be the right choice if staying would just drag things down further. I'm so glad you got a better second chance and that you had the courage to take it.
      I can't believe it's been more than a year since I left work either - and I'm very reluctant now to even think of taking anything on that would put me back into a similar situation - I'm ready for things to be on my terms for a change - and it's a very nice place to be!

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  16. This was so meaningful and full of insight for me. Like when I got divorced from a toxic situation I thought I had failed and have lived with that for like almost 20 years. I was taught that quitting was a sign of weakness and so try not to quit anything no matter how bad it is for me. Thanks for giving me a new view on things #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Patrick - I think that view of quitting was very entrenched in our generation (and those who came before us). We were taught that it didn't matter if you were miserable or hating the situation, it was the "done thing" to stick it out regardless. Quitters were failures and nobody wanted to be a failure. Reading the quote that I referred to in my post was such a great affirmation that it's okay to be brave enough to leave an awful situation and to start again - in fact it can be a healthy choice and lead to a much better situation. Life's short and I'm not wasting it on toxic people or jobs or anything else ever again! I'm glad you found the post helpful. :)

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  17. Hi, Leanne - I'm dropping back in from #MLSTL. I have shared this post on my social media. It is a thought-provoking read. #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks Donna - I've really appreciated the comments that have come through - it's definitely something a lot of us have had to deal with in one situation or another x

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  18. Hi Leanne, I am from Green Bay Packer land, and Vince Lombardi is like a local saint around here! I think that it is fine to quit- or step away, or let it go, and even give up if something or someone no longer serves you. The reasons you choose to walk away are the difference- just because something is challenging at first might not be enough reason, but if you have worked through it and it isn't working then yes, quit!

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    1. Hi Michele - small world when a quoted person is your local hero :) I think you're right about looking at the reasons for quitting - it's weak to quit because you can't be bothered making an effort, but also weak if you don't choose to be brave and step away if it's causing you to be miserable. Maybe wisdom and experience come into play with this one, but I'm certainly a lot more willing to quit these days than I was when I was younger and more naive.

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  19. I think that old quote is definitely worthy of being challenged. In my case, as in yours, quitting was the best choice and a brave choice and we are winners in the end. We only get one life and perservering and having a stiff upper lip can only be sustained for so long. We have a right to be happy in our lives and to live without 'surviving' but instead 'thriving'. Sometimes quitting frees up our lives to achieve that! xo

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    1. You're so right Min - I think sometimes we try so desperately to cling to the person or job or situation when it's well past its use by date. Having the courage to admit it's not working and to move on to the next chapter is a reallybig deal and something we should give ourselves credit for - rather than feeling like we failed or didn't try hard enough. I'm so glad we both survived and are now thriving again x

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  20. You've made quite an impact with this post, Leanne. Good on you. I love the saying 'when the student is ready, the teacher appears" and from the memes and quotes you are finding, they all confirm what your gut and heart eventually told you once your "mind" could shut up. It's a great way to look at like now, via that lens of hindsight and it sure has taught you a powerful life lesson. Thank you for sharing. Denyse. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Denyse - yes I've really appreciated the comments that have come through - to know others have also dealt with the pain of walking away and the inbuilt guilt that comes with the concept of "quitting" is so affirming. I'm grateful for quotes like the one I shared that can turn our thinking on its head and open our eyes to the fact that we made the right decision - one that worked for us and saved our sanity - as you could attest to too! x

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  21. Your post makes me think of a lovely post I read a while back, Leanne, by Yvette, who blogs under Weave The Future Magical. Her premise was that nothing you want is upstream: essentially if you have to strain too hard for something, it is not right for you, ie you should quit. It inspired a post of my own. An interesting, and freeing thought. #MLSTL

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    1. Hi Enda - I'm going to have to go and check out Yvette's blog (the title of it is enough to intrigue me) and I like that upstream concept - I'm soooo tired of the struggle of clinging to something that isn't doing me any good - and it's my new mantra to not set myself up to do that ever again - older and wiser is definitely working for me these days (it took a long time to kick in though!)

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  22. You learn so much when you give up -- good and bad lessons.

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    1. Hi Fatima - you're right - we're always living and learning, but I'm also no longer going to beat myself up for leaving awful people and situations behind me - I'm happy to be a quitter if it's good for my health. :)

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  23. Oh I absolutely agree, Leanne. I've quit a few jobs on the way - from banking, to social work, to teaching....to land where I am right now. If I hadn't quit, I wouldn't be in this happy space. Sadly, not everyone gets this at times.

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    1. I think it's taken me a long time to be able to see that moving on can be the best thing in the world Corinne - it's not that we failed, but that we made a choice to follow our heart, or to take on a new challenge - both lead to bigger and better things!

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  24. I completely agree. I am not sure about you, but when I was younger I really didn't realize that it was an option. Opting out of toxic relationships, even with family members is a very healthy choice. As far as work, I think it is the fear of the unknown that sometimes keeps us hanging on too long. I love the quote from Martin Luther King... "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step".

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    1. I certainly didn't know you were allowed to choose who you kept in your life and that letting toxic people go was a really healthy option. I've always played safe and tried to keep all my ducks in a row - now after throwing all the ducks in the air and letting them land where they like, I'm really content - so I guess Midlife teaches me yet another lesson!

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