The costs of quitting

Hidden-Cost-Puzzle-2It's been a tough month over here.  While my business grows and opportunities arise, my time is becoming more precious and scarce.  At the end of the day, there are a never-ending amount of ways that I can be of service, and, frankly, I want to take them all on (and usually do just that, to my later frustration). The organization that I train coaches with, Accomplishment Coaching, has been demanding a lot of my time as of late.  I lead two teams, and that requires a lot of energy, time, support and being.  It's a lot of work, and not the kind of work that you can just knuckle down and do - the kind of work that coaching is all about.  It requires really digging in to how I'm being — working with my coaching to get clear on what I'm unable or unwilling to let go of, and figure out what needs to happen to do so.  Oh, and it also requires a lot of the kind of work that you have to knuckle down for and do.  On top of all of that, it comes at a net cost to me to take on this work.

This month I've been highly unwilling to do most of that, and highly resentful of the costs.  In order to move forward, I need to get complete on how it's gone in the past, so that I can create something different.  However, I haven't wanted to, because it means letting go of some other stuff.

My struggle is in not wanting to quit my position.  I don't want to quit being right about this stuff.  Here's some of what I haven't wanted to let go of — maybe some of it will resonate with you:

Being Right

If I continue to hang on and maintain my position, I get to stay right.  At its core, this me being righteous.  I get to remain correct and right and as a result, the entire world around me must change.  If the world won't change, then I get to stay pissed off at it, but there's not really anything new that will come from that place.  We'll both just sit there frowning until something breaks.


When I first wrote this paragraph, I wrote that I generally consider myself a fairly humble guy.  But on reflection, I don't know if that is actually true.  Maybe I'm not that humble.  Well, author's epiphany aside, I realized, as I sat by myself working through what was currently blocking me, that I would have to go back in to the room at some point, sit with my team and share with them not only what I was struggling with, but also that I could now see things in a different light.

I never expected this to be a place that I got stuck, but look at that, I'm just as human as anyone else.  I had it set up as a huge hit to my pride to make this admission.  Somehow, if I was able to work through this stuff, I had set it up so that it would mean I was ... wrong initially.  I realized, as I continued to sit with this stuff, that part of the cost of creating the breakthrough is that people will be happy for me.  Somehow, that in itself I currently hold as costly.  I'm currently as surprised as you are by this revelation.

My Position

a850017dd04977ba8e53310624b452d7If I wanted to experience a breakthrough — a change — I would need be willing to let go of the position I was hanging on to.  The way things were set up, no one was going to shift and I wasn't going to move.  Sometimes commitments are like that.  You say yes to something, and then later on change your mind, or get frustrated with what you've committed to.  You get weary, and lose sight of what's in it for you.  You find a new position, and grow attached to that one.

Then it becomes costly to let go of it.  I've spent so much time thinking about how right I am, and how wrong the other side is that I've become entrenched in that perspective.  There's no longer any room for anything different.  I don't want to quit my position, because I've invested in it.

Breakthroughs are hard

I really got clear this past weekend on how challenging it is to create our breakthroughs.  There is an invisible but nevertheless palpable cost to giving up our position.  Getting complete on how things have gone - truly forgiving ourselves, the circumstances, and everything else that has transpired - that's really hard work, and sometimes you can't do it without support (that statement only applies if you're a human though, so take it with a grain of salt).

Quitting can be hard, because most of us hold it as an admission that what we were up to was in some way wrong.  But, with support and altitude, we can actually get up and outside of the right/wrong context and create something new and different.

What are you current unwilling to let go of that is no longer serving you?  What costs do you perceive exist in quitting?  Where in your life are you committed to being right, and what is that costing you?