Quitting vs. Giving Up

I’ll admit it – I’m a quitter.

If I pour my heart and soul into something, and it still isn’t working, I quit.

I do not, however give up.

And I think there is a big difference between the two.

Giving up is what you do when something gets hard. You still want it, but you just don’t have the strength, the gumption, the whatever-you-want-to-call-it to keep going. There is only one thing that I’ve ever given up on, and while it turned out for the best, it still bugs me that I gave up.

Quitting is what you do when you know something isn’t right. You have given it everything you’ve got, and your gut is still screaming at you that you are on the wrong path.

Giving up is acquiescing. It’s admitting that you can’t go on, but you really wish you could.

Quitting is putting on your big girl panties and doing what is best for you, even if it doesn’t seem like the logical choice.

So, what do you think? Is quitting acceptable? Or am I way off…

13 Responses to Quitting vs. Giving Up

  1. Hmmm depends. Sometimes I give up but still press on….so for example, with a client or a project – sometimes I get to a point where I totally give up on making it great, since there are too many cooks in the kitchen, or I give up on putting my $.02 in, since the client is so adamant on creating bad design – and I can honestly say I give up – but I don’t quit. There’s definitely a difference between the two. Those are the times I wish I could quit, but I don’t. When it comes to goals, I’m not sure I’ve ever given up – sometimes I don’t even get to begin!

    • I hear ya. For me, quitting is more about putting my foot down and saying that I’m done dealing with the BS that is going on. Like if I quit working with a client – it’s usually because we aren’t a good fit, and I just can’t take the stress anymore.

      I’ve definitely got a drive to keep going no matter what, but when it’s crystal clear that something just isn’t the way it should be – quit!

  2. Love the distinction you are making here, Amanda. It is actually difficult for me to do both… quit or give up! There are relationships that I should have perhaps given up sooner. I hold on working it from all the different psychological slants I can, thinking that if we just explore the conflict for what it is we can transform it. Others do not feel the same way, so they give up. It breaks my heart, especially knowing it is not about real loss of love. Quitting is also something I don’t often do. haha! and thus it can look like I stay stuck for a very long time!! haha… like attempting to start a biz out of something obscure rather than go with the more concret side of my skills. Astrologers tell me this is because I am a ‘fixed’ sign (nice way of saying stubborn) I do have my early wounds of giving up which perhaps feed in to my holding on stubbornly to people and projects which perhaps ‘should’ be let go.

    • I love that astrologers say you are a “fixed sign”. I don’t know if Sag is one of those or not, but I know I’m stubborn as a mule.

      Quitting was something I had to learn to do – it def didn’t come naturally. After many wasted hours/days/months, I learned that the feeling in the pit of my stomach was never wrong… :-)

  3. Walking away from a situation that just isn’t working is powerful. The more I do it, the more I find that I can identify this stuff and quit while I am ahead or avoid time and energy drainers and detours altogether.
    But – I am also stubborn as all get out and never give up on the overall goal. So great stuff, Amanda! I know just where you’re coming from!

  4. i completely agree with you amanda. Sometimes it is a lot harder to “quit” than to “stay in the game” because we have to admit that something isn’t working. And that something could very well be ourselves. Maybe “quitting” is too much of a lightening rod (or maybe that is your point). Perhaps termination?

    anyway this post is timely because i’m wrestling with this issue right now.

  5. This is a brilliant way to distinguish the two. And I agree. I think way too many people give up too quickly but quitting (your version of it) is knowing without a doubt that whatever you are involved in is just not right for you.

    The fact of the matter is…unless we try, we will never know if something is right or wrong for us. And since life is too damn short, why stay with something that in our guts we know will not make happy. So if quitting is our way out…to pursue something that does light us up and turn us on…I am all for quitting.

    • You are right on. I’m the kind of person who will stop reading a book 50 pages in, because it just isn’t making me want to turn the next page. It used to drive my mom nuts – she would ask me, don’t you just want to know how it ends? Nope – my time is too valuable to me to spend it reading a crappy book.

      Life is way too short to waste time doing something that doesn’t make you feel alive.

  6. It takes courage to “quit”…. But if you keep doing they same thing over and over again, and expceting different results….what’s going to happen??

  7. Sometimes I want to quit, but not give up on getting what I want.

    I quit something recently, now I have to quit the rest of it, lol. I want to quit it.

    Thanks for sharing how you feel, Amanda. It helps.

    Melody

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