The recipe for success? A kick ass sense of drive, determination and the strength to never say no. to persevere, to never quit.
Not really. In fact absolutely not.
You see the difference between winning and losing, reaching your goals vs floundering is the ability to determine what's working and what's not. And then to have to balls to take the crap that’s not working and to quit. To full on slap it in the face with cold reality of rejection and move on.
I'm a ridiculously driven person. I'm also incredibly stubborn. Add to that a dash of wanting to please people and a desire to keep everyone happy and you have a recipe for disaster.
The short version of the story is I made a change in my 9-5 career and it wasn't working out the way I had anticipated. In fact it was sucking the life out of me. It was as Elizabeth Gilbert mentions in her podcast episode 201 entitled: "You Have a Screaming, Not a Calling" not a moral issue, nor an ethical issue but just a structural and engineering issue for how I work, and what brings me to life, and what brings me to death. And this was not bringing me any life. And yet I pressed on, moving forward getting through every day and coming out of it a little bit more drained and with a little less stored in my creative reserve.
You know what happens to me when I become drained and my creative energy is tapped out? I become an incredibly unhappy person. Like think dark night of the soul kind of unhappiness. I go from a place of usual creativity and energetic thinking into this dark cave of pessimism, feeling trapped, exhausted and unsatisfied and feeling like there is NO WAY OUT.
So what did I do? I QUIT. I realized that in order to win, to succeed, to meet my goals and to be happy that I needed to quit this thing that wasn't working, this thing that was a huge psychological road block.
All it took was a bit of encouraging self talk, the decision to not give a crap what people thought, to not worry that it would "ruin me" and to take a leap of faith to cut the dead weight out of my life. And you know what the funny thing is? I didn't even have to reach quitting day to feel a huge weight lift off me emotionally. Just the act of saying it out loud (I actually wrote it down first during a random stress induced doodle session) and making the decision knowing that a change was coming (even if months away) was enough to open the creative curtains and let the teeniest bit of light in.
So yah, fuck it! Quit! So what are some of the things that you can quit today? They don't even have to be huge life altering decisions. Sometimes quitting the small things that aren't moving and flowing is all you need to get going again. Maybe it’s a creative project you are working on, a design, a recipe or a blog post you are writing. Something you've been doing because you think you should be doing it (because it's what you're supposed to do to be successful right? that blog post/article/listicle/youtube video told you so!) or something you feel you need to finish simply because you started it. Whatever it is, if its not working, and its standing in the way of you feeling fantastic and open andable to create and do, then QUIT it. Whether that means abandoning ship all together or shelving the idea temporarily until you can breathe new life into it, give yourself permission to stop the stuff that’s not working and make space for the stuff that will.
As for me, I have a long list of things to quit over the next 18 or so months and this was the first step. Scary? Yes. Liberating? YES. Would I do it again? YES YES YES. So what can you quit today that will take you one tiny step closer to winning tomorrow? I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments.
QUIT. I dare you.
You've got this.