Something I have learned about myself recently is that I can be overly self-critical. I have high expectations of myself and feel the need to have a strong, impenetrable exterior. It probably doesn’t help that I can also be very stubborn, in almost every aspect of life. Couple these two character traits together, and it means I’ll often find myself in a situation where I am not pleased with the outcome/what I am producing, but am too stubborn to change what I am doing.
It’s not just these personal character traits, there is also an unspoken shame in society when it comes to quitting. If you quit your job after only a short stint at the company, it might look bad on your resume when you apply for your next job. ‘Dropping out’ from your degree without completing it shows a lack of commitment. Giving up on trying to make things work in a relationship means you don’t care enough and you should probably try harder. I found myself in a situation where I was doing something just to please others, and I was miserable for it. I remember speaking to a friend who simply just said “so why don’t you stop doing it?” Such a simple question, yet I had no answer. The thought of quitting filled me with feelings of shame and failure. But the more I thought about it, I realized the effect that it was having on my mental health, and it just wasn’t worth it.
We shouldn’t need to please other people at our own expense. Whether it’s staying in a job that’s making us miserable because ‘it might look bad’, or staying in a bad relationship (romantic or otherwise) because we’re afraid of ‘giving something up’, it’s just not worth it. At the end of the day, I am the only person who is living my life, and I have to live with the consequences of the decisions I make. If people advise me against quitting or giving up, they’re not the ones who have to carry on living this way. As Albert Einstein said, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’. Change is good, and sometimes that change can only happen through quitting.