Quitting Old Things

Why is quitting something so traumatic sometimes?  In  my life I have often had a real hard time quitting something I have been doing for a long time – does this happen to anyone else?

In looking at the times I have had issues with this, I find some common threads.  Usually it is something I have been doing for a long time.  Often it has something to do with an activity (or a passion) I have pursued for decades.   There have been times when I have stayed with an activity long (years and years) after I knew deep down that I really need to quit, but I can’t quite pull the trigger on leaving because there is a part of me that says "oh, but if I am not that, then who am I?’  Looking back it is pretty obviously a case of confusing who I am with what I do, but at the time I couldn’t see those as two different things.

Another common thread is that I feel bad about leaving a group with no one to do what I was doing.  But I have come to realize that, while it may seem like a worthy goal to not leave people high and dry, there are other things involved – not the least of which is the best and highest use of my time and energy.  And the fact is that sometimes it takes someone leaving an organization to prompt people who haven’t been doing much to step up and take over a particular job. I have also found that staying with less than an open heart, and not enjoying what I am doing, does not really do much for the organization.  Sometimes you can do more harm than good by staying.

As I continue on this journey, I realize that sometimes something that was once a good fit no longer is.  The organization may have changed or I may have changed, or maybe we both changed and just not in the same manner.  It’s not a case of they are ‘bad’ and I am ‘good,’ or anything remotely like that.  We just may not have the same goals anymore, or I may have reached a place in my life where I want to save my time and  energy for other pursuits.  Like so much in life, it is neither good nor bad, just different.

This has been an on-going challenge for me, but I am happy to report it is taking me less time to realize when I have reached that point where it is time for me to leave, and I am getting better at doing something about it once I do realize it.

My first post on this blog was about starting new things, and now I write about quitting old things.  They seem to have a lot in common, even though in some ways they are opposite.    How are you at starting and stopping things, and if you get stuck, how do you overcome the inertia?  As always, I am eager to hear from you.

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