Is It Time to Quit? Or Am I Just Tired?
Is it Time to Quit?
I was talking to one of my mentors recently about quitting. He's a sports coach, used to play professionally and, of course, a lot of his metaphors revolve around sports.
As do mine. If you've been around me a while, you'll know I use my love of tennis and running as a way to describe situations in life or business.
What he told me this week felt particularly wise and resonant with my state of mind in the moment.
You know, Cathy, there's a difference between stepping back and quitting.
I'd been talking to him and told him (jokingly) that I felt like taking a step back. I wasn't really going to, but I'd experienced something—as we all do from time to time—that had made me pause, that had shaken me a little off my footing.
Ouch, That’s Hot!
As I thought about his words, it reminded me of touching a hot plate or a stove—it's a natural, instinctive reaction to jump back from it, to drop it, or even scream with pain.
But that doesn't mean that we won't get a cloth, pick the plate up again and carry it to the table.
It can be easier to understand things through a metaphor or a story—especially when we're a spectator, as in sport, because, when we're the one wrapped up in the situation, there's too much of what we feel going on. It can help us 'get' something more quickly if we change the context.
Someone who gets an injury on the field might want to sit on the bench for a while, but that's not a reason to quit the game.
In life, however, it's harder to see this. Something happens and it can trigger a chain reaction of thinking -- what does this mean? What did I do? How do I respond to it? What (bad) judgements can I make about myself?
All of which is completely made up!
As soon as we see this, we can accept that life gives us knocks, and we don't have to make them mean something about us personally.
As long as we know that what we are doing is bigger than we are, then we're obligated to get up, brush ourselves off, and get back in the game.
The distinction though, is to see that it's OK to take a step back or take a time-out; that doesn't mean you're ready to quit—quitting is a choice.
I hope your week is incident-free, I hope you don't plan to quit, and I hope you continue to create your magic in the world.
Supporting you with the "inner game" of making a positive difference in the world.