When deciding whether to press on or give up, we may think of platitudes like: “Winners never quit, quitters never win.” “Persistence pays.” “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”
But then there are: “You’re hitting your head against a brick wall.” “Don’t beat a dead horse.” “Don’t throw good money after bad.”
We’ve heard how long it took Edison to make the light bulb work and how many failures he had, the high number of rejections some now-famous authors received before selling, actors who were down to their last quarter before getting their big break.
So how much time, effort and money do you invest in a venture before you’re satisfied you should keep going or you’re sure you’re done? Do you set an ultimatum…if I don’t see X results by Y date, I’m through?
If you persist, you may attain your goal. But in most cases, there’s no way to know how long that will take. You may at least have more interesting and beneficial experiences. Or you may feel you’ve wasted more time and come to regret not moving on sooner.
If you quit, there’s the fear that you’re giving up too soon…your next attempt could be the one. On the other hand, you’ll have more time, money and energy to spend on a fresh start or other pursuits you hadn’t focused on. You might feel relief or that you’ve failed.
Then there are those who settle in between…half-heartedly persisting or subsisting in an unsatisfying situation, whether it’s a bad relationship or job, because change is just too scary.
If the majority of your friends advise you to go one way or the other, do you believe them or do the opposite? We’re often told to trust our instincts, but what if they aren’t communicating with us…do we hope they’ll speak up soon or just make a decision? Some may believe in signs and keep going until they get one. Others may pray for guidance.
I think the key is to get out of the rut and do something to move forward. Then perhaps the way will become more clear.