Don’t Quit Until You Ask Yourself These Questions

What’s that? You’re wondering “Don’t quit what? Oh, pshaw, child, the answer to that is as simple as it is important in all our lives. “Don’t quite anything until you know the following.”

by Nicole Dieker

If you can’t decide whether it’s time to quit a job, end a relationship, bow out of a social organization, or simply say goodbye to something in your life that might be kinda okay but not great, ask yourself three questions:

  1. What aspect of this situation is making me want to quit? What’s the problem here?
  2. Can I fix the problem?
  3. If I can’t fix the problem, will it improve on its own in the future?

Let’s say you’re part of a group that meets every week to drink beer and play board games. You used to look forward to the weekly hang, but recently you’ve started dreading it—so should you quit, or keep showing up?

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself why you want to quit. Is it because you’re overscheduled and don’t have enough time in your day to rest and recharge? Is it because your job has become increasingly demanding, or because you’ve taken on a new commitment in your personal life (a partner, an aging parent, a baby)? Is it because the group has added a new member who’s dragging the whole thing down? Is it because you and the other group members have moved into different stages of your lives, and you no longer feel like you’re hanging out with peers?

Once you’ve identified the core problem, your next question is whether you can fix the issue that’s causing you to dread the event. If the issue turns out to be something that’s solvable, such as “I don’t like game night because I always feel hungover the next day,” then go ahead and implement the solution (drink fewer beers, in this case) and see if the urge to quit recedes.

If the issue is something you can’t fix on your own—like the increased demands at work—ask yourself whether the situation is likely to improve on its own….

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