‘Keep going! You can do it! Try again!’
We encourage children to try again, to not give up, and to persevere. Quitting, often with a side meal of a tantrum, is commonplace with most kids I know. Frustration builds and action stops. There also appears to be an inverse relationship with the number of adults or amount of encouragement surrounding the child and their age. The younger they are, the greater the encouragement to not quit.
If your experience is anything like mine, at no point along life’s journey were you taught when to quit. Or what quitting well looks like. This is just as big of a problem as quitting too early, perhaps even more so.
In our current age, we are bombarded with opportunities, ideas, emails, and all sorts of notifications. Not only is syaing ‘no’ one of the most important skills to learn, so too is learning to quit well. All of us take on tasks, projects, and all sorts of work which we either don’t need to or over time we learn is not going in the direction we thought it was. Tasks, projects, ideas change as we implement them, as we engage with them. And sometimes their evolution is not what we expected or hoped for. This does not mean we are a bad person (shame) or that the task, project, idea is bad (it could be brilliant). It simply means it is no longer the right fit for us and where we are at.
Knowing when to persevere and when to quit is a hard skill to learn. We only get better at knowing which to choose through practicing it. And yes, just like when we practice anything, sometimes we make the wrong choice. But we learn from that too.
It’s hard work. Do it anyway.