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I talked about this a little bit earlier in the month, but I think it’s worth revisiting because we’re all so used to the saying “Winners never quit” that sometimes we stick with something a lot longer than we should.
The truth is that winners quit all the time; they just don’t quit because things get hard or because they’re feeling discouraged. If you truly need to abandon a goal, that’s a decision you should make separate from your emotion — because you’ve realized it’s not moving you closer to your vision, because you’re replacing it with a more realistic or appropriate goal, etc. — and not because you’re discouraged!
Seth Godin’s book The Dip is “a little book that teaches you when to quit (and when to stick)”, and he talks about two types of obstacles on your path to your goal: dips and cul-de-sacs.
A dip is just that, a low place on your journey, where things get harder, where you feel a little overwhelmed and where the only way out is to climb up.
A cul-de-sac, on the other hand, is also known as a dead end, a place where your only option is to turn around and try another route.
Viewing your goals through this lense and evaluating whether you’re at a dip or a cul-de-sac is an important part of goal setting. And being willing to abandon a goal and try something new when you’ve hit a cul-de-sac is just as important as being willing to push through the dips.
This can be true in every area of life — from time management and homekeeping to career goals or business ideas. The key is to step back and wait for the emotion (frustration, overwhelm, stress) to pass and evaluate it objectively before making your decision to quit!
Do you give yourself permission to quit, or do you feel like you must complete a task or meet a goal no matter what?