When is it Okay To Give Up?
While persistence is a great virtue and usually does pay off if applied in the right way, there are countless examples of misguided persistence that only led to despair, heartbreak and defeat for people.
I don’t like the word giving up, I prefer the term letting go. Giving up is what happens when you truly desire something and the reward is well worth the effort and you know you can do it if you were willing to give it your all, but then you realize you just don’t have what it takes to defeat the obstacles. Letting go is different. It means you realize that despite your best efforts, things are just not rewarding and you need move on to things that will reward you much more for your effort. Giving up is breaking down permanently. Letting go is changing direction and giving up on unrewarding paths.
Here are 4 situations where you should give up. (Which really means Let Go)
1) You don’t enjoy what you are doing and you don’t care much about the reward either. Really? Why are you still sticking on. Does it even make sense to keep plowing on when you don’t even like what you are doing. Don’t waste your time listening to dogmatic words like “a winner never quits and a quitter never wins.” Quit and move on to something you enjoy and a dream you actually want.
2) You are not simply not good at what you do. You can convert decent talent into becoming a master at what you do through sheer hard work, but you need some aptitude for it to begin with. Cristiano Ronaldo was considered a good talent in football, which he converted into greatness through intelligently directed hard work. Now what if Ronaldo wanted to be a chess player instead but absolutely lacked aptitude for it. Through sheer hard work, he could probably be a decent chess player who could beat average people, but could ever become great at it? No way. The world is filled with people who have Ronaldo like talent in one field or the other but they are in a field where they are average and are doomed for mediocrity no matter how hard they try. If this sounds like you then please stop wasting your time in the wrong field. Quit. Let go and apply the same effort to something you are actually good at.
3) You are dealing with the wrong people. Sometimes you have great talent for what you do and also a strong work ethic. You are not under the misguided belief that you are good, you actually are good! But for some reason you are just not being appreciated. You are just not getting what you know you are capable of. Other self help gurus might say, hey the problem is not the environment, the problem is you. Many times that is true. But sometimes, the problem really is the environment. If you are in an environment with people who are constantly not respecting your abilities, are selfish, egoistic, idiotic and keep playing politics to keep you down or maybe they just dislike you, you may do everything right but your time will never come!
I wish the world was fair but it is really not. It is not. If the environment is not right, your hard work will never be rewarded. This decision may not be easy to take, especially if you are getting a small, steady pay cheque to keep you complacent. But if you want to move on to do bigger things in life, you need to change places. You need to let go and seek out an environment that actually respects you and will give you something worthwhile in return. It’s not an easy job. Finding the right environment can be a hugely difficult task in itself, but staying in the wrong one will drain you completely.
4) You believe you have found out the right path to success and become so focused that that you can’t spot other opportunities or threats. Yes, focus can be a bad thing sometimes. Usually, focus is a great thing, but only with peripheral vision intact. While driving if all you can see is the road ahead you won’t spot the turn that is actually supposed to lead you to your destination and you simply won’t have enough time to react when a car is about to hit you from behind or the adjacent road.
Sometimes we are so focused on what we believe is our calling that we continue to believe that if we stick it out just long enough, our efforts will be rewarded. Such kind of single minded focus limits us from spotting better opportunities. On the other hand, sometimes we are actually getting rewards doing what we are doing and we assume it will last forever. This is dangerous. Countless people and businesses have found this out the hard way, when times changed and they just couldn’t see the threat approaching because they believed their honeymoon period of making money would last forever.
Life depends on the survival of the fittest. The fittest are not those who are the strongest but those who can adapt most quickly to threats and convert them into opportunities. Adapting means quitting one style and adopting another, even if the previous approach seems to be working at the moment. If what you are doing right now is working for you at the moment, hold on, but remember sooner or later you will have to either let go or be crushed.
Letting go does not mean you are weak. Quitting does not necessarily mean you have lost. Just keep in mind one thing. Treat quitting as a strategy to rise up once again and not as a reaction that buries you for good.
About the Author
The author of this article, Anubhav Srivastava is a trainer, author and director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields, who teach the viewers how they too can make all of their dreams come true. The movie itself has been seen on Youtube by almost 1.5 Million people. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.As a speaker, he has trained participants from various reputed companies and organizations
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