“Winners never quit and quitters never win.” ~ Vince Lombardi
Do you believe this quote to be true? I don’t. I think there’s a lot of people who quit things/activities in their life and end up being winners. Take me for example. I always wanted to dance and do gymnastics as a kid. I wasn’t particularly good at either one of these activities, I was awkward and clumsy. I even broke my gymnastic coaches nose trying to do a backhandspring (flying legs - knee to nose). In my parents words when it came to my tap dancing… painful to watch. I wasn’t any good but I didn’t quit right away. I stayed with both activities for 2 years before I called it quits. I gave them both my best truest effort. In the end, I discovered for myself that these activities weren’t for me. As it turned out, by quitting, I actually enabled myself to fall in love with a new sport and a sport that loved me back.
Often the case with starting new things, I certainly wasn’t very good at it right away, however I was engaged enough to keep going. You may argue that flipping between activities is just how it is when you’re growing up. I think that while the situations may be different when we’re adults, the same concepts can be applied. In life you should try your best, give it all you’ve got, and then at the end of the day, you’ll then know in your heart whether you should keep with it or quit. Quitting doesn’t have to necessarily mean stopping an activity entirely. It might just mean taking a pause to evaluate and then try again. Or it might mean, thank you for the opportunity and the experience, but now it’s time to move on.
This series of trying and quitting things is something that we’ll end up repeating many times in our lives and that’s ok. What’s not ok is doing something you hate simply because you feel that you shouldn’t allow yourself to quit. There are too many options/opportunities out there to try. [Especially when it comes to physical activity. Take dancing for example, when I was younger there were a handful of options, like ballet, tap, jazz, or Irish dancing. Now, you have hip hop, zumba, aerial, and even pole dancing classes. Try one or try them all? You’ve got nothing to lose. When you discover the one (or two) you enjoy doing, it’s ok to quit the rest. You took the chance. You gave it your best and explored possibilities.] In the end, by quitting something you dislike doing, you haven’t sold yourself short as we’re often led to believe, but instead prioritized living your life to the fullest and given yourself the chance to move on to something you enjoy doing more. I don’t know about you, but that’s a win in my books.
Below are some guidelines you can use to know if an activity is right for you.
- Do I look forward to going or doing the activity?
- How do I feel when I’m doing the activity or when I’ve finished?
- Do I need to do this activity?
- Do I actually like doing the activity? Do I find excuses not to do the activity? (If you’re continually finding excuses instead of doing the activity, then it’s not right for you)
It is okay to hesitate when trying something new. It can be scary, but don’t give up. There are always ways to make things work. For instance, if you want to try dancing, but feel like you’re going to be a bull in a China shop consider taking private lessons, before trying a group lesson. Doing one to one lessons is a great way to start because you can ask lots of questions and not feel embarrassed or self-conscious about it. It’s also a lot easier to improve at a new activity in a one-to-one setting.
Remind yourself that you’re brave and commend yourself. It takes both courage to quit something you have always done, as well courage to start something you have never done.