Never give up … except when you should: A love letter to the quitters

I’m going to offer up an unpopular and perhaps controversial take: sometimes, giving up is the best thing you can do for yourself. Of course, I don’t mean this in a general, overarching sense — I wholeheartedly subscribe to the idea that you should try to put your best foot forward in everything you do. However, pushing oneself to the point of risk, pain, or suffering is counterintuitive. I believe many of us semi-regularly find ourselves in unintentionally precarious positions, teetering on the brink of outstanding achievement and complete mental and spiritual breakdown.

We undertake new projects, commitments, and life goals with positive aims (at least, we should). Still, when we begin a new journey, it’s impossible to know how unknown challenges will affect us and what other obstacles might present themselves along the way. In today’s competition culture – spurred on largely by social media’s stranglehold on us – it’s easy to compare ourselves against our friends, associates, family, and idols and feel a sense of insecurity, jealously, or unworthiness. In some cases, we bite off more than we can chew because we feel guilty or poorly about our current situations, as though our present load isn’t enough, or isn’t as impressive or important as someone else’s. We become ensnared by the idea that suffering is good for the soul when, in fact, suffering is hindering our ability to alleviate stress and rebalance our mental and physical health. Continue reading “Never give up … except when you should: A love letter to the quitters”