3 Signs of When Persistence is a Liability (and you need to quit)

Determination to keep going is a vital part of success in any area of life. But did you know that it can also be harmful? Sometimes quitting is the only viable option. But how can we know? Read on to uncover why your persistent nature can get the best of you, and how to take measures to see that it stops destroying your life.

You know that you need to change when:

1) You feel like you are dying

Do you hate getting out of bed in the morning to go to work? How about your studies…do you get a headache every time you open the textbook? What is it in your life that feels like death?

I’ve lived in a couple of these situations. One was learning the Cambodian language–hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I literally got a headache every time I tried to learn new words. But I persevered and am very happy that I did. A lot of lives are changed as a result–including my own!

Another time I worked at a job where it felt like I was dying every time I went to work. I know, that sounds like an exaggeration, but every time I got to work it felt like my heart was smashed between the tectonic plates that made the Rocky Mountain range. It didn’t matter which self-help books I read, what speakers I listened to on the mp3 player–but what mattered was the sense of RELIEF that I felt immediately after I resigned.

If drudgery is the path to your dreams, then do it to get free; but don’t waste life for drudgery’s sake. Don’t live a dream for someone else–no matter how much they say that they need you.

We know that both work and studying are very good for us. People that stop working and stop learning stop living. We need to work to have a sense of purpose and meaning.

Many baby-boomers are learning now that retirement–just kicking back and watching the world go by–isn’t as fun as others told them it would be. We learn to develop and growth is life—it is part of our design. If work and studies are so good for us, how can they feel so bad sometimes?

What is more important: making money or your quality of life? The two are not always synonymous. Maybe the way that you are making money is more of a liability than an asset?

We can always change the way that we make money, but we can’t set the clock back. Don’t wait to retire to live, start now. There is a boundary on how long each of us is here, and I don’t know about you but I want to spend as many moments doing what I love to do.

You know that you need to change when:

2) Life seems suffocating

Does your world seem claustrophobic? If it feels like at every turn something is blocking you or hemming you in—it may be time for a change. Life is not about oppression—although for far too many people this feels like the reality.

Life begets life—to multiply life, learning, work, and love. It is about being free—we all know this deep within. Death begets death. That is why oppression and tyranny can exist unopposed for a limited time. So, why do so many feel like they are drowning in a sea of circumstances that are beyond their control? Do you sometimes feel at war with yourself?

You know that you need to change when:

3) What you attempt is just. not. working.

Ever try to stop the tide with a toothpick? Or paint on water? No matter how hard you try its simply not going to work. You’ll either end up with a salty, soaked dental tool or a bucket of warmish, colored water. They are two of the least effective and efficient activities known to man.

Some relationships are like this. I know everyone has reasons—and good ones—for keeping things going. There is your history, your loyalty, your sense of duty. There are usually far more reasons to keep going than not. But sometimes, you question the wisdom of carrying on. How do you know when to say “enough”? What if you’re being brainwashed or physically harmed?

Abuse and other relational dysfunctions are symptoms of a problem. The cure is usually not about taking away the evidence of the problem. Doctors don’t cure cancer with painkillers, do they? Drinking yourself to death doesn’t make your job interesting and fun, or improve your circumstances, or rekindle lost passions.

So you need to work your way to the heart of the problem much like a surgeon has to dig around until he discovers the tumor and removes it.

Maybe, just maybe, you are doing the wrong thing entirely. Sometimes, the only way to get the life that you want is to change your circumstances. Maybe the voices of your boss, your peers, and your lover are the wrong ones. If others have advice that will help you along your way, great; but don’t let others decide your fate for you unless you are comatose.

You were not born a slave. Stop acting like one. God gave you brains, so honor Him by using them. Access your situation with an equal eye however long it may take, and make your decisions based on your findings.

If persistence is one of your strengths, don’t trade it for a weakness and undermine your health, wealth, and happiness. Have you tried your best but seen no improvement? Maybe its time for change. You are a free man, a free woman. Celebrate that freedom by finding what you love, and then focus all of your attention on doing it.

You have a choice.

If the current path isn’t for the best, it is not too late to re-chart the course. Sometimes, quitters do prosper when your situation is doing more harm than good.

Was there a time in your life in which persistence became a liability for you? What did you do? What are some situations that you can think of where it is a good idea to get the hell out of there? Please share in the comments section below. Thanks!

About the Author

Dustin White

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