Tough Stuff

How to know when it's time to quit

"Never ever quit" is a message you've probably heard for most of your life. Whether it's from your fave positivity Insta account or from your track coach, tons of people may be telling you to never give up: "Keep working at whatever you're doing and don't quit, even when things get hard." 

Sure, there's some truth to it. But for your mental health, it's important to understand that quitting can be a healthy part of life. Tbh, sometimes quitting really is the best option. Whether you've been totally dreading soccer practice or you think it might be time to end a relationship, we're here to help with the self-evaluation process you need to call it quits. 

Write it out 

Journaling is a necessity when it comes to making big decisions. Putting your thoughts to paper validates how you feel (and, ultimately, leads you to trust in yourself). If you're always dreading drama club or you feel stuck in an overwhelming AP class, those are definitely red flags that you should think out.

Talk to your support system 

Whether it's your guidance counselor or your BFF, talk out your feels with the people you trust. Sometimes, hearing yourself speak out loud can help you notice what you haven't already. Plus, getting someone else's opinion can help you see a situation through a fresh pair of eyes.

Make a pros and cons list 

We'll say it now and we'll say it again: Pros and cons lists work wonders. Hit play on your fave tune (because list-making *so* calls for some T-Swift), and split a list into two sections: possible positive outcomes of quitting and possible negative outcomes of quitting. Once you feel like you've written every possible pro and con, whichever list has the most wins. (Unless one list has outcomes that are extremely impactful—which calls for further evaluation.) 

Ask yourself if quitting aligns with your values

Maybe it will only take a quick glance at your dance-filled vision board or a quick check-in with yourself and what you believe in. It's important to ask yourself what you value in life...and then rank them: family, friends, leisure, work, community, spirituality and health (just to name a few). What values are most important to you? How much time and energy are you putting toward them? 

If dancing has been your dream for as long as you can remember (and you only want to quit because you're tired), you might be feeling burnt out and in need of a break. If you're considering cutting off that friend who, after all, has been there for you through everything, you might need space (not a complete separation). Rest assured, most sitches have compromises.

Trust your gut 

At the end of the day, dwelling on a decision won't get you anywhere. Whether you quit or stick it out, trust yourself in the process. Clear your mind, be patient and build self-confidence. After all, you're the only person who spends every second with yourself, so you're most likely to make the decision that's right for you.

Need some more decision-making advice? We got you:
💜 How to know when it's time to quit your sport
💜 Struggling with burnout? Here's how to manage academic stress
💜 How to *actually* enjoy meditation (from someone who's been there)
💜 We're living in the age of anxiety

What's something that you're glad you quit? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

Slider image via @itscaroxline I All GIFs via GIPHY


by Eva Mandelbaum | 1/18/2022