Quitting

Hello, and welcome to September!  The weather has taken a turn to the moister side of things here on the West Coast, and we're heading in to darker days.  With the sun of Summer behind us, we're taking on the theme of quitting for this month. Take two minutes and jot down your relationship, thoughts and judgments about quitting.  (You don't have to, but you'll get more out of this process if you actually do).

Here are some of the common themes:

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  • Failure
  • Losing
  • Giving up
  • Foolish
  • Rebirth
  • A second chance
  • A new life
  • Wisdom
  • Finality

Our interpretations about quitting deeply impact our ability to step forward and create something new.    This is pretty obvious right?  If we want to create something new, we're often going to have to let go of something old.

My journey from lawyer to coach meant leaving behind a career that I had spent years developing (for a career that I had spent... years developing - but never mind that for now).  All of my interpretations about quitting kept jumping up and getting in my way.

I was giving up on something that would bring me success.  I was being foolish; throwing away all the time I had invested into law school and working in the field, for something newer and less certain.

This happens with my clients too.  We get comfortable in what we're up to.  There is a comfort to the amount of money that you make, by default, as a lawyer.  There is a comfort to the fact that you don't have to go out searching for clients when you work for a company.  There's a comfort to the fact that you don't have to go out dating when you're in a relationship with someone.

Now, ironically, this comfort is kind of like the comfort you experience lying on a bed of nails.  As long as you don't move, you don't experience pain - but you're still lying on nails.  Sure, dating might be scary, but staying in that relationship that is making you miserable isn't doing you any favour - it's just comfortable.

[Tweet "Your fears are like lying on a bed of nails.  As long as you don't move, you're okay."]

The thing is that we get so caught on the fact that we have to let go of something, that we can't see what's on the other side.  All we can see is the thing that we are desperately clutching at to prevent from losing.  "If I end my toxic relationship, I won't have as much disposable income, and I will have to sort out who gets which possessions" (are money and possessions really worth giving up on happiness and love for?)

Until we have someone outside of our context shine the light on what we really want, we just can't see it ourselves.

The beauty of coaching is that we have to start by giving something up right away.  Coaching is not a cheap investment (it shouldn't be either - you're investing in your future and your life).  If you want to work with a coach, you're going to have to be willing to quit some things right out of the gate.

I gave a complimentary session to someone where we concluded that what they wanted was more spare time, and a more vibrant social life.  We distinguished that one of the things in their way was the amount of time they were spending working.  When I asked them if they were interested in changing that and creating the social life and spare time they wanted, they told me "Yah, I am, but... here's the thing - I just don't have the time".  Quitting is hard.

5916b7c1336aacd66e3e208b508dbbcbFor Scrooge, it only took being visited by four spirits and seeing his own death.  For me, it took the exhaustion of working two careers side-by-side.  Hopefully for you it will take less.

What are you currently hanging on to that you would need to quit in order to get something you really want?  What are the benefits of hanging on to that?  What would you have to let go of if you were to quit?

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