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Sunday, February 22, 2015

What Makes a Person a Quitter?

Several times in the last few weeks I have found myself in conversations regarding quitting.  It made me start questioning the idea of quitting.  I started to think about things like when is it ok to quit, what is classified as quitting and isn't quitting better than never trying.  There have been points in my life that I have labeled myself as a quitter.  But now I am starting to question the whole concept of quitting.

Looking back over my life there have been lots of those little activities that I have quit.  The first thing I can remember quitting was playing the flute.  I honestly don't know how long I even went to the lessons, it did not last long.  I never even wanted to play the flute but you had to in order to play the piccolo.  I also quit volleyball after playing it for two years in middle school.  I don't think anyone would hold it against me for quitting I was horrible.  I spent the majority of my time braiding the other girls hair.  I just was never that great at organized school activities but I did try. 

As an adult I have continued to jump into activities that I think I would like and not always followed through.  I don't do this on purpose I just get bored easy and I don't want to spend my time on an activity I don't enjoy.  I pose the question is it better to not try something new if there is the potential of not enjoying it and quitting?  One activity I took up several years ago was cake decorating classes.  I thought this would be the perfect activity for me since I love baking.  I did not consider though I hate frosting and I'm a perfectionist.  So these classes did not last long.  I got sick of being covered with frosting.  I also had unrealistic expectations for myself and got frustrated that my cakes didn't look like a professionals.  I don't regret spending the time and money on this class even if it wasn't a complete success.  I have even tried to put my anxiety aside a few times and made cakes for family functions. 
Looking back now I realize all these little things don't really matter and are not reason to label myself a quitter.  Obviously I have quit jobs, but by no means have I been the type to just quit for no reason. I have always quit to try and pursue something different or better.  I have been with my current company for over ten years.  I did though quit college after one semester for really bad reasons.  I was home sick and missing my boyfriend.  I also chose that school for bad reasons.  I made my decision based on where my friends were going.  Would I have been better to just transfer to a smaller school than quitting, yes.  It ended up being more of a detour than quitting, I finished my Bachelor's degree just short of my 31st birthday. 
So when is it ok to quit?  I tried to do some research on this subject and to be honest there isn't much out there.  You can find tons of information on how and when to quit things like jobs and smoking.  I think this has to be a personal decision.  I don't think there is a definite answer.  I know going forward when I want to quit something; I'm going to ask myself what are my reason's for quitting.  Is this going to get me to where I want?  Am I quitting out of fear of imperfection? An example of this would be me quitting volleyball.   I was never going to be a professional volleyball player, you can ask my brother, so there was no reason for me to keep playing. 
 I am also going to ask myself, is this really quitting or am I just putting my time and energy in a different area?
People may disagree with me on this subject and I'm ok with that.  I think though we spend to much time and energy worrying what other's think.  I can attest to this and it only feeds my anxiety.  I also  know in the end it is my decision and people are always going to have their opinions  You are never going to please everyone so why not start with pleasing yourself.  If you are one of those people not doing what you want to be, start asking yourself these questions:
1.  Is this helping me get to my goal?
2.  Is this making me happy?
3.  Am I doing this for myself or someone else?