Quitting Vs. Moving On: The Difference Between Giving Up and Looking Out for Yourself

Sometimes things can get so frustrating that you realize you can’t go on doing what you’re doing.  Maybe you’re in a bad relationship or a job that makes you miserable; whatever it is, it’s pretty normal to think “I can’t do this anymore”.

It’s also normal to seek advice and guidance from the people around you to help you figure out what to do. Recently, I have been extremely stressed about my job because deep down I know it’s not the right job for me.  There are things I know I can tolerate (a relatively heavy workload) and other things I know I can’t (lack or structure/guidance/utter chaos), and the ratio of these things in my current job is absurdly skewed.  I tried talking to people about leaving this job and they all said to me “You can’t just give up”.
This made my blood boil.  I am not someone who gives up easily and I am certainly not a quitter.  However, I am someone who knows when I’m in a bad situation and when it’s time to leave.  Leaving this job is not giving up.  I am not leaving because the work is too hard, the hours are too long, or the fact that no one talks to me (although I certainly don’t care for any of those things).  I’m leaving because I know this job is not what I want to do with my life and the work environment makes me stressed and unhappy.  I don’t look at that as quitting.  Quitting is giving up because something is hard and you don’t want to put the effort in.  Moving on is being able to be honest with yourself and know when enough is enough.   Moving on is being able to listen to yourself and take care of yourself.
One of the gifts I’ve given myself is the ability to be honest with myself.  I know which situations are good for me and which are not.  I also know when I can ‘suck it up’ and when I need to walk away.  My issue is that I don’t always listen to myself and I listen to other people instead.  I’ve now come to realize that these situations never work out.  If I could just listen to myself in the first place then I’m sure I would avoid much disappointment and stress, but disappointments and stressful times help make us stronger and grow into the people we’re meant to be.  So as much as it hurts now, I know this situation will help me in the long run.
When you’re in a situation where you don’t know what to do, sit down with yourself (no one else) and really think about it.  If you can try a little harder and your efforts will be rewarding and lead you toward something better then don’t quit.  But if you know it will not lead to anything productive and could potentially hurt you, then have the courage to move on and try something else.  The most important thing to do is have the strength to tune everything else out and really listen to yourself.

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