Sometimes, quitting is the best option 

“Don’t be a quitter.” 

“Quitting is for losers.” 

How many times do we hear this rhetoric being said to children and adults alike? 

I grew up being taught that people who quit get nowhere in life. But I hit a point where I realized:

By sticking with a crappy job/relationship/habit, I’m holding myself back. There’s no glory in suffering for the sake of suffering, just to avoid being labeled a “quitter”. 

Quitting turned out to be incredibly liberating because it allowed me to take control of my choices and let go of what wasn’t serving me. As a result, my life improved. 

Here are 5 times when quitting is the best option:

1) When your mental and physical health is suffering 

Early in my teaching career, I applied for a job at a well-known language school. It was a great opportunity and would help boost my CV. 

But within a couple of weeks, I dreaded going to work. The management wasn’t on our side, the timetables were long, and I felt extremely unsupported. 

I was an anxious wreck during that time, my mind going to dark places every morning whilst driving to work. 

Long story short, I made the decision to cut my contract early – I quit after just two months. 

People asked me why I gave up so fast, and I was honest:

It’s not worth my health. 

So, if you’re ever in a situation where physically or mentally you’re suffering, there’s no shame in throwing in the towel. 

Other people might judge, but ultimately, you’re responsible for your well-being.  

2) When what you’re doing doesn’t align with your values or goals 

Another time when quitting might be the best option is when you find yourself doing something that doesn’t match your values or goals. 

For example, perhaps you’ve taken a job working in retail when actually, your real goal and passion is to create music. 

By quitting the retail job and looking for a position in your industry, you’re putting yourself first and working towards making the dream come true. 

And the same goes for things that are against your values. 

My dad quit a job he’d been in for many years once they started working alongside the army – he’s anti-war and staying would have compromised his values. 

I remember asking him if he felt nervous about leaving a comfortable position in a well-known company, and he surprised me by saying how relieved he felt. 

Ultimately, this led to him securing a better job with a company more aligned with his values. 

Speaking of which…

3) When there are better opportunities out there 

I’m not one to advocate quitting solely on the basis that there’s always something better out there – we’d never achieve anything with that attitude.

However, sometimes there really are opportunities that are worth going for. 

For example, if you’re in a dead-end relationship that, no matter how hard you’ve tried to make work isn’t right for you, it’s not a bad thing to cut your losses. 

Personally, when I let go of a few friendships that weren’t bringing me support or joy anymore, I found I had more time to invest in healthier friendships

But it took years to come to that conclusion. 

So, whilst you should consider your options carefully if you feel that you’re undervaluing yourself, don’t be afraid to quit and aim for something that’ll make you happier in the long run.  

4) When there’s a lack of personal growth 

Picture this: 

You’ve got a nice, comfortable job, with no real complaints. Except that you aren’t progressing or challenging yourself in this position.

You tell your friends and family and their response is:

“You’d be mad to quit such a lovely job – you won’t find employers like that elsewhere.”

And while they might have a point, there’s no reason to stay in a situation that hinders your personal growth – no matter how nice it is. 

You see, when you remain stagnant in a job or a relationship, you’re doing yourself a disservice. 

If quitting means getting out of your comfort zone, testing your limits, and learning new things, so be it. 

I often encourage people to think about the long term. When you’re faced with a scary crossroads like this, would your future self, in 5, or 10 years’ time, be proud of staying put?

Or would your future self be proud of you for taking a leap of faith and prioritizing your personal development

5) When you’re in a toxic environment 

And finally, if you’re in a toxic environment, you should quit. Simple as that. 

No doubt you’ve tried to make things better, but if your partner or boss isn’t willing to make changes, you’re flogging a dead horse. 

In fact, I say quitting sooner rather than later is the way to go. 

I was once in a highly toxic relationship. I ended it after 6 months. For a few weeks, I felt like I’d given up too soon. I was consumed with guilt for not trying harder. 

But looking back, I realized by quitting, I saved myself an immense amount of emotional and physical pain. 

And now I feel proud. I protected myself and did the right thing by leaving. 

On the other hand, I have older relatives who’d rather suffer in silence, in broken marriages, than get the dreaded “D” word. 

Quitting, in their eyes, is a sign of failure. 

But as I often ask them – “Wouldn’t you rather be a “failure” and happy? Instead of “successful” and miserable?”

Final thoughts

If never quitting has been drummed into you, I know how you feel at the thought of doing it. But sometimes, we just need to shift our mindset a little and think about the bigger picture.

It doesn’t matter what other people think. What matters is that you take control of your life and leave situations that don’t bring value or joy to you. 

After all, life is too short to remain unhappy, and as I said before, there’s no glory in suffering for the sake of it! 

Kiran Athar

Kiran Athar

Kiran is a freelance writer with a degree in multimedia journalism. She enjoys exploring spirituality, psychology, and love in her writing. As she continues blazing ahead on her journey of self-discovery, she hopes to help her readers do the same. She thrives on building a sense of community and bridging the gaps between people. You can reach out to Kiran on Twitter: @KiranAthar1

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