Some relationships, markets, habits, whatever, are destined for failure. They are not worth your energy to succeed in. When the return is not worth the expense, do not invest in pursuing failures. Financial investors never make an investment knowing a return is less than the cost. They are the situations I want you to quit. The trick is being able to measure the required costs and expected returns.
Probably the best technique to identify when to quit is experience. I know you have experienced many highs-and-lows in life. Use them to your advantage. These experiences form your intuition, gut-feelings, second-nature, sixth-sense, or whatever you want to call it. You can sense when something is not going to work out. Unfortunately, with this technique you need to have experienced failures in a similar situation to your current circumstance.
Here’s another technique to identify a failure. Let’s say the problem is an argumentative co-worker. You wonder why a certain co-worker continually argues with you. After looking into yourself to see if you are doing something bad, such as poorly communicating, you can project this “bad” co-worker onto a co-worker that you get along with well. Identify what is different about this person. Visualize what characteristics make the situation a failure onto the successful situation, then see what similarities and differences exist.
Act on your new knowledge by adapting to what you learned. The adapting persons and animals survive and thrive while the stubborn persist and resist. The 1925 Nobel Prize winner in literature, known for his playwriting, George Bernard Shaw said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.”
One other technique you can use is to consult a mentor, talk to friends and family, or ask an expert in the problematic field. By talking to other people you overcome your perceptions and beliefs that filter reality. Other people can see what you cannot and potentially bring new knowledge to solve the problem.
If you see nothing in yourself that can be changed to succeed, and the situation continues to fail, it is okay to give up and let it go. In business, some markets will always be unprofitable. In relationships, some people will always be a pain to live with. Become a quitter and win!
I’m a firm believer in persistence. To go anywhere and become the person you want to be, you need persistence. You need the will to overcome the many obstacles and barriers you face. However, Anthony J. D’Angelo was quoted in saying, “Never let your persistence and passion turn into stubbornness and ignorance.”
Don’t make the mistake of giving up out of weakness, having a lack of desire, being lazy, acting stubborn, or not possessing the skills to handle the situation. Be strong, be smart. Identify the failures and learn from them to succeed.
I give you permission to relinquish the failing situations in your life. Stop dragging an anchor in your life that holds you back. Quitters can be losers; but the smart quitters win. Learn to quit and you will learn to win.