@protohiro via flickr
“Quitters” are looked down upon in our society. We have this belief that if you’re going to start something, you had better well finish it. This is especially true in one’s career, and it’s no surprise that we have so many unhappy professionals out there. But those that find the courage to quit…their lives are so much more resonant. I was talking last night with a woman whose partner recently quit his job as a law clerk to work as a sous chef. What he is losing in financial means he is gaining in life satisfaction. Bravo to him: he was able to move on and is thriving for it. Bravery beat fear.
But just as insidious as staying in a job you hate is giving up on one because you are so wracked with fear and Resistance to truly let your self thrive in it. When an obstacle is encountered, you internalize it to a degree that the stress of performance, responsibility, possible failure, or other persona-damaging events cause you to shut down and accept a life more safe and comfortable. You have moved away from a dream because you didn’t have the wherewithal to allow yourself to thrive in it. Fear beat bravery.
Right now you might be standing at this precipice and wondering what to do. Here are some questions that will allow you to explore and guide your decisions making:
What is the truth about your situation?
What about what you are doing right now excites you (and when I mean “excites,” I mean “Christmas when you were six-years-old” excited…THAT level of excitement)?
Who would you become if you continued to follow this career path?
What values would you be honoring if you stayed your path? What values would you be honoring if you quit?
What advice would someone you admire (real or fictitious) give you, and how does that advice feel?
What difference would it make in your life or the lives of others if you continued your career?
What are the voices in your head telling you right now, and is what they are telling you realistic?
When you think about leaving your career, do you feel empowered or disempowered?
What would you celebrate about leaving your career, and what would you feel is unresolved?
What concerns you the most about staying, and what concerns you the most about leaving?
What is the learning in this situation?