When I began writing about giving up, or not giving up, I was unaware of just how many ways there were to look at and approach this topic. When I wrote a hypothetical story on Wednesday, I had a clear vision of the message I wanted to impart….yet….
When I wrote my tale of giving up, the message in my mind was that the person involved was too used to getting everything they wanted when it came to cooking, and got pissed off. Spoiled and gave up when things didn’t go her way. Too entitled.
But then, a few people wrote that maybe the cooker just didn’t like cooking anymore- they didn’t give up, they had just decided there were other ways in which they would rather spend their time. Which is a fair point- when the whole coloring book craze took hold I was all in- then it got routine and I stopped doing it. Ok- that’s a fair way to look at it.
Yesterday, I had the realization that some people do things because of the expectations of others, most often parents. Your Dad wants you to be the next Derek Jeeter, so you keep playing baseball whether you like it or not. Then, you get to a point where your parent is not looking over your shoulder and you quit. Another reasonable way to look at it.
But- the point that is buried in here somewhere is that everyone has a reason as to why something is the right or wrong choice. And each person has a unique perspective and motivation. And that’s the key as to whether or not you should quit something: what is YOUR particular reason , and how does quitting or not affect other plans in your life? (thanks to Ally for this succinct line of reasoning)
Ask yourself why are you quitting. Self analysis is hard for all of us: we don’t like to examine our motivations for doing things, yet sometimes you need to take stock. Are you scared of success or failure? Is it getting too hard and you don’t think you can keep up? Is there a person involved that you don’t like or is making it difficult for you to continue? Do you simply not enjoy it anymore? You need to look at why you want to quit, to see if it’s actually a “good” reason.
You also have to look at quitting as a pattern. This is why I have the parental no quit rule. I’ve seen kids try something, not become an expert at it after a lesson and then want to quit. I held firm because I wanted my daughter to know that you needed to work at things in order to learn things. She was not going to be Venus Williams after one lesson. You don’t pick up a racket and hit a winner. You hit shot after shot after shot until you have a reasonable forehand. You still won’t be Venus, but you can play tennis.
As parents, we have to make sure we don’t put undue pressure on kids to do things that we want them to do. Just ask me about my Mother making me take dance lessons when I was little and I hated dancing (still do) with a passion. Sometimes a kid just hates something. My Mother also had so many expectations of me, and it took a lot of years to get over trying to please my Mother. Her expectations, and my reaction to it shaped much of the worst parts of my life, accounted directly for mistakes and miscues that I made along my journey through life.
So basically, I’m saying that parents have to be really careful about imparting the right lessons to their offspring regarding resilience, persistence, knowing when to quit for the proper reason, and knowing when to keep plugging on.
What you do, or don’t do is an individual choice. Just think about why…..