Photo: Rennette Stowe via Flickr
Has anyone ever told you to stop while you’re ahead? It’s sound advice.”So often we stick with things that don’t make us happy because we feel we should,” Dr. Paul Gilbert, a British professor of clinical psychology, told the Daily Mail. “We live in a country that celebrates sticking with things, regardless, so we don’t really ask: ‘Why am I doing this?’ Quitting can be difficult, but in certain circumstances it is the right thing to do.”
There are negative connotations associated with quitting, so we are often fearful about what others will think of us. It’s understandable because our culture praises perseverance.
“A lot of our behaviour is about maintaining reputation in front of our family, friends and colleagues,” says Dr Gilmour. “We don’t want to be seen to chicken out, or for people to think less of us. But if we’re not careful, we become puppets and our life is not our own. We need to realise we don’t have to be approved of all the time.”
The key is knowing to walk away when something’s not working. Think of what you’ve already invested as sunk costs. According to the Mail, “Researchers in the U.S. have found that people who give up on unattainable goals are physically and mentally healthier than those who persevere against all odds.”
It all comes down to self awareness. Are you doing this for yourself or everyone else? And if for someone else, is there a good reason for doing so? You be the judge.
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