Quitter (n.) a person who gives up easily or does not have the courage or determination to finish a task.
Being labeled a quitter is an unfavorable title; however, in some contexts quitting is not always a bad thing. For example, quitting in a basketball game because your team is losing may be looked down upon but to quit smoking is viewed as something positive. My point is, it all depends on the situation, on YOUR situation.
With personal goals it is imperative to have both the passion and the talent for whatever you wish to pursue. Passion is simply not enough. Ever ran into that aspiring singer with horrible vocals or that aunt who insists on cooking every holiday but no one eats her food? WHY– the question we all want answered. Why do they choose to pursue things that obviously aren’t meant for them? In order to accomplish a goal you must have the ability to take the steps to achieve it. With all due respect, I admire their ambition and willingness to try but in the words of W. C. Fields, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.”
Consider the British Army adage, “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance” also known as the “7Ps.” Poor performance is usually the reason why people consider quitting in the first place; however, according to the adage, proper planning and preparation can prevent that. So what does that mean? That means from the beginning, your goal must be clearly and well defined. Not only is it important to iron out your goals but establish what success is in relation to that goal.
It’s totally normal to face obstacles and unfavorable circumstances along the way yet that doesn’t necessarily equate to poor performance, but perhaps room for improvement. Don’t let temporary failures lead you to quitting. As mentioned in the Attitude is Everything post, one should focus on recognizing the value in failure by learning from his or her mistakes.
Now if working towards a goal is causing you to be unhappy, bringing forth negative consequences, or taking away focus on more important things, perhaps you should consider change. Notice I didn’t say quit. Deciding to quit should not be an impulsive decision. There are steps you should consider before that choice is made. Firstly, take a break. Make time to reflect on your situation. Weight the pros and cons, re-evaluate your objectives, goals, ambitions, and strategies. Secondly, seek guidance. Whether that’s doing more research or consulting an expert. Those two steps alone will help you understand why performance is not where you’d like it to be, how you can improve, and if pursuing this goal is still enjoyable and important to you.
Its important to understand that goals and things change over time. So changing your focus is technically not quitting, its simply changing direction. This new direction may be the winning one.