So you’re thinking about quitting.
Whether it’s a job, a lifestyle, or a relationship—quitting, even when it’s right, is rarely easy. Below is a simple, three-step process that can help you to uncover if it’s time to walk away so you can start a new chapter.
1. Stop Tolerating and Rationalizing
Unless you’re a glutton for pain, you probably have a good reason for being where you are. When we commit to a job, a relationship, or a habit, we almost always have a “good” reason for it.
“I had no idea until I entered the iPEC coaching program and started taking some of the assessments, how much of a world-class rationalizer I was.”
Alison Deutsch, who is now a certified iPEC coach, says most of the choices she used to make before becoming a coach, required her to sacrifice what she truly wanted for the comfort of the status quo. Those choices and decisions were usually followed by a rationalization of why it was okay for her to sacrifice what she truly wanted.
“I was putting everybody’s needs before my own, and I would tell myself, this is the ‘right’ thing to do for my family. It’s OK. I can handle it . . . it’ll get better. I kept hearing myself tell this story over and over again.”
Often we create these stories to cope with the unhappiness we experience. This feeling of discontent and disconnect from ourselves and what we truly want is typically the result of a choice we’ve made to tolerate something about ourselves, others, or the life we’re living that we really don’t like.
“Yes, it helped me to cope with some of the challenges I was going through in my life but in essence, it kept me stuck. It was a story I kept replaying in my mind. It narrowed the vision of what I could see and didn’t open me to all the other options and choices I had because I kept repeating this story over and over again.”
What stories do you tell yourself that keep your on your current path? How do these beliefs help you cope? How might they also be holding you back?
Take a few minutes to write out (in brief bullets) the aspects of your life that you’re unhappy with. Is it your job, a relationship, your commitment to your health? What story have you created to cope with the discontent you feel?
Now ask yourself how true is it really that this is the way it “has to be.” If you dropped the story of how it “has to” or “should be” what would you do differently? How would it feel to change things up? What opportunities might open up to you if you shifted this mindset or at the very least, became more conscious of the stories and how they might prevent you from seeing other options?
2. Align Yourself with Your Values and Passions
At one point or another, we’ve experienced being stuck in a rut. Our routines and habits can unintentionally sabotage our efforts to live in alignment with our values and passions. Who you are, what you genuinely care about, what you’re passionate about, and how you make decisions—each is intrinsically tied to your personal values.
When you feel like you’re stuck in a rut or disconnected from what you’re doing, you're likely no longer living in alignment with your values. Eventually, you get to a point where enough is enough and you have to make a change.
Take the time to self-reflect and learn what is truly important to you.
What motivates you? What inspires you to take action?
List out 3-5 values. Now ask yourself how you’re incorporating these values into your daily life. Go ahead and rate yourself on a scale of 1–10, with “1” being not at all aligned and “10” being completely aligned.
If you’re not at all incorporating your values with what you do, how can you start? If you are, but it’s not at a 9 or 10, how can you create a space where you can connect even more with your values and amplify their expression? If there’s no way to connect with your values, you may want to ask yourself if it’s time to change course and shift priorities.
3. Take a Leap and Trust Yourself
Don’t wait for the world to be ready. There is no such thing as the “right time” or perfect conditions. Life is always inevitably going to happen.
The trick to making a change in your life is getting real with your limiting beliefs (and how they hold you back), aligning with your values authentically, and then going for it. At iPEC, we explore that there are no true “failures.” There are only results and what you can learn from those results. Get comfortable with experimenting; only then will you uncover the exact combination that will get you the outcome you’re after.
When you’re willing to be curious and learn from experimentation, the exact path you take to get to your goals becomes less critical.
“You’ve got to be patient, and you’ve got to be willing to be a small fish in a big pond . . . over and over again,” says Nina Cashman, an iPEC coach and the founder of Pave Your Way. “That’s how we learn when we make leaps. Allow yourself to flop, this is not a straight shot. Try a lot of things. You’re going to learn from all of it.”
Let your purpose, passion, and curiosity light you up and lead the way.
Is it scary? Hell yeah! No one said this was easy. The unknown scares us all. Don’t let your fear deter you. Trust yourself enough to experiment. Only then will you have a shot at achieving the results you desire. Ultimately, humans are creative and resilient beings. We all innovate and make things work, regardless of our circumstances or what happens.
“If we know in our hearts that what we want is on the other side of that ledge, then it’s time for us to jump off of it,” Nina explains.
“When we do, we look back and wonder why the heck it took us so long.”
Feeling inspired to tap into more passion and purpose in your work? Curious about a career in coaching?
Start by grabbing your copy of our in-depth guide to understanding the field of coaching, and find out whether becoming a certified coach might be the right career path for you. Click the image below to get started.