What to do on days when you feel like quitting

| 20 Jul 2018

If you've ever had one of those days where you have trouble getting out of bed and when you feel like quitting, you're not alone. So what do you do when you (or someone from your team) feel like quitting? This sharing by Nastia Liukin, a five-time Olympic medallist and former artistic gymnast, is gold to avoid having you or someone from your team quit in haste.

In an interview on Impact Theory, she shared that most people would have those days where we don’t want to get out of bed and when we feel like quitting.

She said, “Regardless of if you’re training seven hours a day, six days a week, or you work at an insurance company or a clothing store, whatever it is that your job is, or just in life, in a marriage, in a relationship, we’re all going to have those days where we wake up and we just want to say, ‘I quit. I don’t want to do this anymore, it’s too hard. It’s easier to just throw my hands up in the air and walk away.’”



I don’t want to do this anymore

So growing up, her mom had this rule, and it has stayed with her beyond sports to business and life.

Nastia would come home from the gym and oftentimes in tears, telling her mum, “This is just too hard. I don’t want to do this anymore. I hate gymnastics, I’m in pain. I really just don’t want to do this.”

Her mum would say, “Okay, that’s totally fine. You don’t have to do gymnastics anymore. You can quit, but not today. You have to go back to the gym the next day, and the next day, and the next day, until you have one good day.”

And of course Nastia would say she didn’t want to go back to the gym.

But her mum would tell her, “Look, I’m never going to force you or push you into gymnastics, except for today. And you can quit after you have a good day.”

Sometimes it would be the next day, sometimes it would take three to five days, but eventually she would have a good day.

Her mum would then say, “Okay, great. Now that you’ve had a good day, you can quit. We’ll enrol you back into public school, find another activity that you want to do.”

And she would look at her mum and say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never said I wanted to quit.”

Not today

So the moral of that story was that we’re all going to have days where it just feels like it’s too hard, we don’t want to do it anymore, and we want to quit.

And that’s okay. But you can’t quit or give up on those days.

“I tell these young girls that it’s okay if your passion changes because we’re not all meant to have or love the same things, right? We’re not all going to fall in love with gymnastics and love it forever or have this passion for it, but you can’t change your mind or quit on those days,” she said.

You can change your mind and try something else when you’re having a good day and you just feel, “You know what? This might not be for me. Let me try something else.”

Make it a rule for yourself and your team

For you in the insurance industry, that must be so relatable. It can be such an emotional roller coaster.

One day you may feel like you are on top of the world and there’s no stopping you. And the very next day you may feel like it’s the end of the road and time to quit.

You should make this a rule for yourself and your team.

It is ok to quit. If you really want to pursue a different career or you’ve found your passion elsewhere and would like to try something else, it is fine to quit.

But you shouldn’t quit on those days when you feel low or when nothing seems to be going right.

Promise yourself that you would keep at it until you have a good day again. When a client calls you out of nowhere because she wants to increase her coverage. When a client sends you a note to thank you for the great work that you have done for him.

To avoid making a rash decision to quit because of temporary and occasional setbacks, you can consider your decision to quit again when you feel like a champion.