Quitting is Hard, but it's healthy!

Varun 4 years and 1 month ago
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This is the third post in the series on how Quitting is Hard. Each post explores why quitting is good, one potential barrier to quitting, and a way to overcome it.

Why is quitting important? You might live longer.
An unusual study out of the University of British Columbia a few years ago found that when faced with a very difficult goal, those that quit sooner had far lower C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels than those that continued plugging away for 6 or 12 months. CRP is an inflammatory molecule associated with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and aging. Goal disengagement and systemic inflammation - who knew that they go hand in hand? You need to know when to call it quits if you want to live a long, healthy life.

I encourage you to read the article, if you have access. I know it's about teenage girls, but the lesson is a powerful one.

Why is quitting hard? We are biased towards never giving up.
Culturally, we feel that when the going gets tough, the tough get going: sticking with a difficult situation is a badge of honor and commands the respect of others. I'm not going to disagree with this sentiment, but clearly there is a point where enough is enough and quitting is the best option.

How do we overcome this bias? Basic reflection should guide us.
First by being aware of this bias, you've taken a step towards overcoming it. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Am I in a difficult situation? You'd know it if you are.
  • Do I think it is affecting my health? Mood. Appetite. Sleep patterns…
  • Do others think it is affecting my health? Pay attention to what people close to you are saying.
  • What are my options? This is critical. 'Quitting' doesn't necessarily mean submitting your resignation! You might ask for additional resources, switch projects, or redefine what is expected of you. Consider it.
  • What would the short-term impact of quitting be? Number from 1 to 10.
  • What would the long-term impact of quitting be? Number from 1 to 10.

You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.

We here at Disqovery are working on helping you think through situations very similar to this one using our app. If you’re interested in this space, drop us a line. You can sign up for our closed beta here or check us out at disqovery.com.