Nearly everyone is (hopefully) raised with the notion that being a quitter is bad and will consequently lead them to be a failure in life. This is true when pursuing challenging goals that can lead to us acquiring bigger and better things – or even all the little day to day stuff we need to lead our lives and be happy, like the latest and greatest iPhone release, for instance. Work hard and you’ll get what you want, right?

Always follow through, never back down – give up and you’ll regret it forever. There are several mantras we’re fed relating to this dictum, but what do we do when it comes time to quit a bad situation, such as a dead end career that doesn’t make you happy, or to pull the plug on a failing business or other investment? Same goes with a gym membership you never use, or some other swanky membership you pay for but never use. And if you’re an alcoholic, it’s advised that you quit drinking pronto!

Sometimes we just need to quit, even when most of the reasonable-minded people in our lives would object. Sometimes you just need to rip the bandaid off and let the air in so those wounds can heal up and reveal some fresh, more glowing and healthy skin.

Here are 3 instances when it’s probably more than okay to say “enough is enough” and find a new path:

Knowing When it's Time to Quit
Image Credit: Send me adrift/Flickr

1. You know you’re just wasting your life away on something that doesn’t align with your goals.

Perhaps you’re working an administrative job that has your blood pressure up and which doesn’t add much more money to the end of your month? Or paying a monthly membership fee to an MMA gym that you never seem to find the time or ambition to go to. By all means, it’s time to move on. If your job or extra-curricular activities aren’t serving toward your endgame and you absolutely hate them, what do you really have to lose?

The only negative to quitting in such instances would be if you decided to give up entirely. Maybe looking for an excuse to go on disability or social assistance because you’re sick of being disappointed by the types of jobs you’ve been getting. Or giving up on finding a stress-busting hobby because you haven’t found the perfect one yet. Quitting isn’t always giving up. Don’t give up!

2. You’ve analyzed the situation to death and the answer still comes back to RUN!

You know your relationship with a friend or significant other is bad for you, or just not going nowhere. But you once told them you loved them and couldn’t live without them, so you’re trapped. The prescription drugs your doctor have given you for depression only seem to make you worse, yet certainly the doctor wouldn’t lead you astray, right?

If you don’t follow your gut in these types of situations, you’ll eventually fall into “paralysis analysis” if you’re not already there. This energy-sapping mental exercise in futility is the biggest success / happiness killer I’ve ever heard of. Fear, money, guilt, friends, lovers, kids – etc. There are a ton of excuses to keep on beating that dead horse, but you know you’ll still be unhappy at the end of each day you continue on this path.

It’s time to get selfish if whatever you want to quit is weighing on your mind night and day. Especially if your reasons for sticking it out aren’t your own. It’s okay to move on. Life’s too short!

3. You’re doing something because you’ve been programmed to follow the establishment.

Go to school for around 20 years, backpack Europe for 2 years before you settle in and get a good job with a solid company, get married to a nice guy / girl, have your first kid exactly 9 months after your nuptials, save for a couple of years and mortgage your butt to the hilt for your dream house in the suburbs – yadda, yadda, yadda.

How many people truly find happiness following this blueprint? We’re not living in the 60’s anymore; you don’t have to follow the typical baby-boomer path to find success. In fact, you really can’t. They made their money pushing papers at a desk or slogging it out on an automotive production line for 30 years. We don’t really have those options anymore.

Success in life is looking back at the end and saying you did what you wanted to do. Following the establishment is a prerequisite for a mid-life crisis and worse; a miserable “retirement”.

Choose your own path and disregard other people’s blueprints about how your life should play out!

Being a quitter is just fine, as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons.

Quitting something you hate doesn't make you a "quitter"
Image Credit: BK/Flickr