Success Factor - Business mentor and life coach based in Christchurch, New Zealand
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Knowing when to let go and give up!

For most of us, we were encouraged to ‘try, try and try again’, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try again’ and many other sayings that were drummed into us as children.

Whilst it’s important to keep trying, it is equally important to know exactly when it is the right time to let go and give up.

We need to have some indicators that tell us we are now ‘banging our head against a brick wall’ and it’s time to ‘call it quits’, to ‘walk away’.

We need to manage our emotions, because they could be screaming at us to keep going or yelling at us to give up! Which one do we listen to when they are both so loud, we can’t ‘hear ourselves think!’

We know that in our lives we are continually learning and growing, and that our growth and development isn’t going to be easy, and that there are going to be obstacles, challenges and bumps in the road, causing us to struggle, take diversions, make detours and feel often like we just want to give up because it feels too hard.

However, there are also the good times, when it feels like we are running downhill, gaining momentum, and things are ‘just too good to be true’ in that everything is going right and working out well, the time is right, and the ‘stars are aligned’, but amongst all this we do wonder if things will change, and our ‘luck’ will run out.

What is the alarm bell or the indicator or the measurement we can use to help us along the way, to stop, pause and consider if going ahead is the best path or turning around and going back?

Let’s use the analogy of driving a car in bad weather. We’ve made the decision to leave home and make this trip knowing what the weather is like, how long it’s going to take us and the possible problems ahead, and we’ve taken adequate precautions before we start our journey i.e. plenty of food water, telephone etc.

What is it along the way, i.e. the signs that give us that feeling of perhaps now is the time to turn back and not to continue? What are the danger signs, and how bad are they? What are the consequences or keeping going or even turning back?

We need to consider if we are ‘pulling the plug, needing to ‘take a break’, and if so how long and what do we do in the break.

Do we still need to do what we had planned and in this way at this time? Is there another option, another alternative?

We need to methodically work through the facts and take our gut feelings into consideration and weigh up the pros and cons before deciding.

We need to ensure we have done our due diligence and not made a rash decision or had a knee-jerk reaction.

If we do decide not to go on and stop or ‘quit’ then we need to do this and feel good about it. This is called ‘positive quitting’. Usually quitting has negative connotations and it shouldn’t particularly if we’ve made the right decision for the right reason and for those concerned.

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