We’ve all heard the saying, “Quitters never prosper.” I internalized it. I prided myself on never being a "quitter" at anything. The problem with my “no-quit” attitude is that I applied it to everything. If I started talking to someone romantically, had an idea, or tried a new experience, I immediately attached myself to an outcome. While this can be beneficial in some areas, I was often left lingering in spaces or with people well past their purpose in my life. Perhaps the quote is only partially right. Quitting may not be a direct road to prosperity, but there is power in moving on when a season has run its course.
Having the desire to move on is natural because endings are inevitable. Too often we base our decision-making on outside factors or hope situations will end naturally. This is not only unrealistic, it's also a waste of time and energy, and is ultimately an abdication of power. By embracing the starts and finishes in our lives, we regain control. As I’ve been forced to be more assertive and direct about ending seasons in my life, I’ve subsequently taken control of it. Here are a few lessons I’ve learned.
1. Endings are an essential reflection of growth. In the past I’ve made professional moves and been called a traitor. I’ve also expressed the desire to be self-employed and faced pushback only to have the person who opposed me make an entrepreneurial move of their own. The point is people will always have opinions when it isn’t their call to make. By choosing to switch careers or companies, you aren’t quitting on the cause, you're adjusting your approach to life and ending the way you have previously gone about it.
Endings usually take our personal needs and interests into consideration, and by making decisions that include those factors, we teach the world to interact with us in a new way. This is how you set boundaries, and boundaries are a reflection of growth.
2. Ending a season to regain peace is all the reason you need. I am a people pleaser. Growing up in an authoritative Christian household, I learned to live up to expectations. As an adult, I’m still learning to break my attachment to the approval of others. We won’t always have someone approving our decisions, so we have to know that our own peace is enough justification to end a season.
Since prioritizing peace is a growth area for me, I still find myself overthinking responses from or expectations of others in different situations. My therapist helped me work through this in our last session when she told me, “It’s okay to change your mind." Sometimes we feel so guilty for canceling or changing plans that we push ourselves to unhealthy limits to appease others. It’s okay to change your mind. We aren’t obligated to keep others happy at the expense of ourselves: end that relationship, have that conversation, or take that position. Do what you need to do for you.
3. Endings create space for new beginnings. I am queen of letting things linger. Up until last month I was driving a 2002 Camry that was in need of a catalytic converter for the last four years. I refused to put up the $1200+ it would take to fix my car, but by paying for the most expensive gas to compensate for the needed work, I probably spent way more than $1200. Life works the same way.
When we let situations linger, we end up expending extra time and energy to make up for the main issue. When I decided that I was getting a new car by the end of May, I knew exactly what to do when my car stopped working on May 29. I took my focus off of reviving what wasn’t working and put my resources into purchasing a much more efficient 2014 Camry SE. It’s okay to let go of what isn’t working. Every ending is followed by a new beginning.
As we seek to progress in life, we have to embrace change. Full acceptance means being willing to initiate the endings that will bring peace and create space for new beginnings. It's okay to move in a new direction.
FINAL NOTE: In putting this to practice, I’m ending my blog after this week. It has served its purpose and run its course, so I’m choosing to make room for what’s next (whatever that may be). Thank you for the last two years of reading and support. This isn’t an easy decision, but I’d love to keep you posted on my next move, so be sure to subscribe to my site if you haven’t already done so.