Commitment is Overrated
your permission slip to quit
When you make a promise, you keep it and when you commit to a great idea, you see it through, even when it’s not great anymore. Sound familiar?
It’s easier than ever before to share your ideas, work and life with the world. That can make things more complicated when you change your mind or realize that your something new and wonderful isn’t working.
When you know that people are paying attention, it’s even harder to walk away.
You may worry that by walking away people will think …
- you are a failure
- you demonstrate lack of commitment
- you don’t know what you want
- you let them down
- you can’t be trusted
When quitting means you want to find your place in the world and make something that will really help people instead of demonstrating your amazing ability to stick with something until it’s completely obsolete, overdone, and run into the ground, it doesn’t matter what they think.
Before you quit the big things, practice with small things.
The value in ending something is creating time and space for something new, better or more meaningful. Knowing when to dig in your heels or walk away takes practice. Develop that skill and learn to trust yourself by quitting small things like …
Reading. If you are an avid reader, you probably read a book from front to back, even when the book is not very good. What if you quit reading before chapter 5? If you don’t like what you are reading, save time and start a new book.
Watching. How many bad movies have you sat through in your life? Why? Because you thought it would get better? Because you spent money? Because you still had a box of Junior Mints to get through? Spend your time more thoughtfully. If the movie is bad, excuse yourself and do something else, or nothing at all.
Saying yes. If you are pleasing everyone but yourself, it might be time to start saying no. A simple “No thank you.” works almost every time.
With a little practice, you’ll begin to trust yourself. You will start to listen to that voice that tells you enough is enough. Then you can quit the big stuff like …
Being comfortable. It’s easy to get comfortable and commit to that warm, safe place, but often the answers are in discomfort. When you get uncomfortable, stay there for a bit instead of retreating to comfort.
Fixing people. You may want to change the world, but it is not your job to save or fix the people in your life. You can’t love someone enough to make them want to change.
Your job. Just because you are really good at what you do doesn’t mean that is what you are supposed to do or what you have to do. Quitting a job takes more planning than quitting a book, but it’s just as possible. I walked away from a 15+ year career and now I do work I love. I sleep better and wake up happy.
I’ve never met a blogger, writer, artist, entrepreneur, or business owner who experienced overwhelming success on their first try. Worry less about what people will think and experiment more to discover what you love.
Consider this your permission slip to quit. When you learn to let go of your grip and your misplaced guilt, you are free to change your mind, change your work and change your life.
Commitment is overrated.
Creating space to start over is sublime.