No one likes to be called a quitter. It has a decidedly negative connotation. It’s a word used to try to cajole others into continuing to persevere through a course of action. People continue on in an endeavor or commitment even when they might not think it the best decision for them because they fear being labeled a quitter. Why is quitting such a shameful thing?
Sometimes quitting means realizing the futility of a specific task or path and choosing to go a different route. It’s admitting that there is nothing good to be had in continuing. There are a number of things that are good to quit: toxic relationships, unhealthy eating habits, lying, stealing, addiction, a job you hate that sucks the life out of you. In this context, quitting is a good, brave thing.
There are some habits and thought patterns in my own life that I would be better off without. In these instances I believe quitting would be healthy and brave and beneficial. Today I want to share with you five things I’m going to work on quitting.
1) Allowing fear to dictate my actions.
I tend to overanalyze situations and decisions. I think about possible outcomes and the reaction that might come from them. I allow what someone might think or say about me to keep me from doing what I believe to be what is needed. What I need to do is be true to what I believe is right and not worry about how it might be received by others. I can’t control what others think or do and I shouldn’t allow a perceived reaction to hold me back.
I also allow fear to keep me from taking steps toward accomplishing my goals and dreams. Part of the fear is criticism and rejection from others. The other part is negative self-talk that I am not qualified or smart enough or influential enough to write and publish an article or book. Who am I to think someone would pay for my thoughts and advice? If I never step out of my comfort zone and push through the fear, I won’t get to the satisfaction of trying and, perhaps, even succeeding. Fear wants to keep me ineffective. It wants to keep me from reaching out to others and perhaps encourage them with my words and experiences. What a shame if I allow fear to keep me immobilized.
2) Trying to control everything about my life.
I am a planner and scheduler. I like to know what’s going on in my daily/weekly schedule. I have tended to take the initiative to reach out to anyone I was interested in getting to know to set up a meeting or play date (depending on whether they have children). I have gotten overwhelmed, overscheduled, and burned out on a number of occasions. God has been working in me to learn to rest and to trust him with my life (schedules, relationships, etc). It’s still very much a work in progress but I have enjoyed a less structured, more leisurely schedule the past few months.
3) Self-condemnation/negative self-talk.
I’m sure many of us have that unkind voice inside of us that tells us that we are not enough. It likes to remind us of our flaws and failures. It tries to undermine our self-confidence. I believe it is related to perfectionistic tendencies. Something inside of us wants to be perfect and above reproach and we chastise ourselves when we show our humanness. I have struggled for years with my perfectionism. I am slowly accepting that it is not possible and I am only asked to show up and give what I have, whether that is much or little. If I approach each day open and willing to work diligently and with my whole heart, that’s the best I can do and it is enough.
4) Pretending I have it all together.
I think this kind of ties in with all of the above. I am afraid that if I show my flaws that I might be ridiculed or judged or rejected. Pretending I have no issues or needs is like a cocoon of protection. But just as it keeps hurt out, it also keeps love and acceptance from getting in as well. We all know no one is perfect but we like to act like we’re the only ones who have made mistakes or have scars from past experiences. I have learned that being open allows others to do the same and am working on putting down my self-protection front of pretending to be okay all of the time.
5) Judging other people.
I know that this is addressed in the Bible and is not a desirable trait but I still fall into this trap and it affects my attitude and words. I have read and know personally that we often judge others about things we know we struggle with as well. We tend to judge others to make ourselves feel better or more superior. However, judging doesn’t benefit anyone. It doesn’t improve my relationships with others. What I would prefer to do is to trust that everyone is doing the best they can. Everyone has a bad day and that might be the day I cross their path. I am not always observant of what’s around me and not considering those around me which may cause me to inconvenience or annoy someone else. If I can give myself grace, I ought to give others grace as well.
So these are five things I would like to work on quitting. Is there anything you would like to quit? If you’d like to read what other people are saying, head over to mrsdisciple.com.