Winning by Quitting

Winning by Quitting

Maggie Eldred, Social Media Manager

When the word “win” comes to my mind, I think of competition. I think of how to beat someone, not literally, but through competition. But one thing that never comes to mind when I hear the word “win” is “quit.” To many people, the word “quit” includes the ideology of giving up, losing, and of not winning. But what if you could win by quitting?

To me, winning by quitting is an idea that had never crossed my mind. I had always thought of quitting as a failure and that I would be a failure if I quit. The word failure has been a thought always in the back of my head, always trying to get under my skin and tear me apart from the inside out. I felt that if I were to screw something up or disappoint someone, I would be a failure. I will admit, I am a “people pleaser” and like to have people happy with me as opposed to being upset with me, but that can make you fail, too. It made me do things that other people wanted me to do, but in reality, it was the last thing I wanted to do.

Sooner or later, I had to learn how to tell myself the truth. I had to be able to consciously figure out what was toxic in my life and how to cut that out. I needed to realize what was putting a good influence on my life and find a way to keep that in order to establish a base happiness level.

“Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” This is a quote by Bear Bryant. I have to say that this goes against anything and everything I have been saying in this column, but in this context, I think it is wrong. Quitting is not a “cop-out.” Well, I guess it is, in some forms, like quitting on a class or quitting a sport because you loathe the rigor of the practices. That makes it the easiest cop-out in the world. But if you are quitting to save yourself, you are winning.

There have been people in my life that I have had to quit. People who were toxic for me and people that I unconsciously gave the ability to turn me upside down and flip me inside out. Once I realized the power I was giving them and they were the reason I was feeling so horribly, I had to quit them. My body and mind could not take any more of their non-stop ridiculing, criticizing, and judging that they were feeding me. They were changing who I was and how I was as a person, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

So I quit, but I did not give up. I did not “phone-it-in,” and I did not “quit.” I set a goal. I set a goal to be a happy person. I dreaded being weighed down by them on a daily basis with all of their drama-filled lives. I didn’t see a point anymore, so I left. I cut those toxic people out of my life, but I did not quit, I won. I won a life that put me on top, a life where I was not constantly wondering if I was disappointing the people that I cared about, and a life where I was not wondering daily how I was going to get through ridiculement and criticism that I guarantee was not good or valid constructive criticism. My life once consisted of criticism that had the ability to tear me down in a New York minute. I gained a life without the constant worry.

Now, take this with a grain of salt because it may sound like I am trying to convince the world to quit everything, but I am not saying to quit everything. I’m not saying to quit a job, or a friend, or a sport that you have been playing for your entire life and love, but you don’t like the coach. I am telling you to quit those toxic things. Quit those things that are not seen to be for your benefit and replace them with things you love. Replace the bad with the good. I did, and I won.