Our culture frowns on people quitting things. There is a “stick-to-it”attitude that pervades our society, and that can be a good thing. But sometimes backing out of a project or a relationship–in other words, quitting–is the best course of actions.
How do you know when it’s time to quite? When something isn’t working. When you’ve tried your hardest, done your best, done all you can do, and nothing else will work. When to go on is futile or counterproductive or detrimental. When you know that to continue would guess be wrong. Then it’s time to quit. There is no shame in quitting under these circumstances, in my opinion. When you’ve done all you can do and can do no more, then quitting is acceptable. No one should have to continue in an untenable situation forever.
I know. I’ve been there and tried to continue, and was finally forced into quitting. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. It took me a look time to get over it, but it was for the best. The relationship could not be salvaged and for me to try to continue it was futile and frustrating. Quitting was the only reasonable option.
I also tried to hold onto a job when I was clearly in no position to continue the job due to a disability. I wanted so badly to keep going, but my supervisor finally convinced me to take the disability. It was such a relief not to struggle to put on a face of bravery any more and admit that I had a weakness, to admit to reality. I lived through it and am living a real life now. Life did not go away when my job did. I found other things to do.
Quitting doesn’t mean life is over or that you have failed. Things just happen in life sometimes when you can’t continue the way you have been going and it is time to change course, or quit what you have been doing and do something different. There is no shame in doing so.