I hate giving up on anything, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do. Knowing when to give up, when to dig in and persevere and taking action either way is a skill that usually comes from experience. Even to those of us with that experience, letting go is not easy. On one hand, we are all schooled from an early age that persistence and perseverance are celebrated qualities. We hear stories of inventors, entrepreneurs, and creatives who faced repeated failures but ultimately succeeded and became legends for it. Even in our everyday life events, there are countless examples of folks who just held on a little longer and found success after repeated failures. So, it’s little wonder that we are all reluctant to let go, because to let go is to give up hope and possibility. I have been at this crossroad often over the years and have learned that sometimes persisting in fruitless endeavors does more harm than good. It can lead to burn out, physical exhaustion, financial ruin, and mental and emotional distress. All these things eventually impact our health and well-being. Not good!
As an entrepreneur, it’s hard to think about giving up. Perseverance is a hallmark of the entrepreneurial spirit, but it must be balanced with reality. Not an easy task for anyone, let alone an entrepreneur. Hustling, innovating, and persistence is woven into the fabric of our being. The thought of quitting feels like failure, and no one wants to be a failure, right? But is it really failing? Doesn’t it take strength, fortitude, and self-awareness to recognize when it’s time to cut our losses and let go? Quitting for the right reasons is a way to ensure our finite resources – time, energy, wellbeing, and capital – are utilized effectively. Time spent on a project, relationship or endeavor that plateaued or is regressing is a time not invested in opportunities that could lead to immense growth and satisfaction. It takes an emotional and mental toll; and can drain our passion and creativity.
The most profound lesson that emerges from quitting strategically is resilience. It might seem counterintuitive, but choosing to let go fortifies our resilience and courage. It teaches us that we do have the fortitude and discernment to recognize when something isn’t serving us well and to take action. It reaffirms our adaptability, a trait invaluable in the ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship.
Sometimes, the best path forward isn’t the straightaway; it is taking the other fork in the road and redirecting our efforts. Knowing when to go straight and when to turn: priceless! Changing course and letting go is not a weakness, it’s a strength.
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than hanging on.” – Eckhart Tolle
What will you let go of this weekend? I’d love to know.
Have a great weekend.