Sometimes it is better to give up than to keep trying. And sometimes, it is better to stick with it and persevere until you get there. The trick is, knowing when to choose which option.
Of course you have to look at the consequences of quitting. For example, if you want to quit your job, how will you pay your bills?
Assuming you can deal with the consequences or if there are no significant consequences then you need to consider other things.
I’ve Already Invested Lots of Time and Money
Some people think, well I’ve invested all this time and all this money, I can’t give up now. But would continuing just be throwing more time and money away? Sometimes you need to cut your losses and accept what you’ve already lost.
Some would argue that failing fast is good. If you want to try a new venture, it’s better to see that it won’t work, in a month and after $1,000 than after a year and $50,000.
Think of All the Time and Money You’ll Free Up for Other Things
Another big advantage to giving up is, although you can’t get back any time and money you’ve already invested, once you’ve given up one activity you now have the opportunity to invest time and money if other things. All those things you wouldn’t have had time and money for before are now available.
How to Decide
I have previously looked at some decision making techniques (see here) but consider the pros and cons of sticking with it or quitting.
The following points could also be applied to deciding whether or not to start something new as well as to stopping an existing activity.
You could run though a “what if” scenario. If I choose this option what will happen? What will that lead to? What will happen then? Then do the same for the other option.
Sometimes it’s hard to be impartial so if you have someone you trust, maybe go through this process with them.
Toss a Coin
Sometimes you just can’t decide and, after considering any consequences as mentioned above, you might just find that flipping a coin is the best decision.
Yes, seriously, toss a coin and then learn to accept the decision. If the decision was so impossible that you couldn’t make it, then why not? Indecision is paralysing you into inaction and you are stuck A) doing nothing and B) worrying about what to do. At least if you make the decision on a coin toss, you have a way to move forward. And if both options were equally good or bad you will find that you soon adapt to and learn to live with the selected option.
Most people find that it’s far less stressful to just get the decision made, whichever one it is and move on. Whichever choice you make all the best. Let me know how you get on.