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Dojo Diva here! Happy Monday! Today we are going to talk about QUITTING. Wait? Didn’t we just talk about beginning? YES. But starting and quitting are actually more closely related than one might imagine. To quote the one of the greatest movies ever…
Sometimes the way forward is often the way baaack. ~Labyrinth
Gracie Jiu Jitsu practitioners learn that we never lose, only learn. In the beginning, this can be tough to embrace because pride and ego get in the way. When I started BJJ, I didn’t (obviously) have any skill, but I DID have strength. I also had an ego. When we’d spar (roll) I’d muscle through using power instead of finesse. Problem was, I didn’t want to lose, so I wouldn’t tap out even when it was clear I was beaten with yet another arm bar. I’d hold on and hold on and HOLD ON and MAKE them truly get the arm bar before I would tap out.
Dumb, dumb, dumb-ditty dumb.
I still “lost.” I only delayed “losing” and added a strained elbow or shoulder on top of it.
Finally, I slowed down long enough to listen and decided to try it the “Gracie Way” instead of my own. I slowed down, focused on my breathing and gave up trying to “win” and instead focused on learning. What was I doing or not doing that was leading to me being in a bad spot? I set aside my pride and traded it for allowing myself to be new. Now, the second I feel I goofed up? I tap out, reverse engineer what went wrong and work to correct it.
There are so many things in life we can be powering through and in our fear of “giving up” we lose the larger and more important lesson.
There’s a famous quote that I feel does a LOT of damage if we aren’t careful. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Inspiring? YES. Accurate? NO.
I posit that winners actually are expert quitters. They quit things all the time! They quit toxic relationships that are taking time and energy away from their goals. They quit a business plan that’s going nowhere. They quit shopping novels that maybe didn’t turn out as well as planned and they move on to the next book and do better because they can use the experience from the story that went sideways.
I like to say, “Persistence looks a lot like stupid.” The act of never giving up is noble, but never giving up on the wrong things is a formula to fail. We have to learn to detect the difference between quitting a tactic and quitting a dream.
Quitting is very valuable when applied properly.
Quitting Shortens the Learning Curve
When I learned to “quit” in BJJ, I started seeing more clearly what I was doing wrong. I was able to keep going and get more practice because I could stop and ask questions. “Hey, what do I do when I find myself HERE?” And I could use the time as a learning opportunity. Also, I prevented injuries that might have made me have to take off valuable time from Jiu Jitsu.
Quitting Saves Time and Money
In business, quitting can save time, manpower and money. Too many people hang onto a mistake far too long, because they’ve already invested a lot of time and money making that mistake. What happens is we are then throwing good money after bad. Sometimes, we just have to take the hit as a learning experience and move on to more productive endeavors.
Quitting a relationship in business often means we have the tough task of firing someone. Most of us don’t like the idea of hurting anyone, so we avoid it. As a business owner? I HATED having to admit I made a mistake in hiring. But I can honestly say that every person I’ve fired should have been cut loose far earlier.
I had a writer I knew who I hired to do basic administrative stuff. He was a really nice guy I wanted to help…but he was a DISASTER in the job I’d given him. He sent messages to the wrong people, missed messages, made all kinds of errors in the paperwork. A person I’d hired to help me save time was sucking every spare minute I had cleaning up his mistakes. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and keep hoping things would improve.
But, by NOT quitting on an idea (letting this person GO), I ended up causing damage that wouldn’t have been there had I been brave enough to put a stop to something that wasn’t working.
Quitting Makes Pressing On EASIER
As an author, quitting has saved me pointless revisions. When I get a feel a story is going nowhere? I stop. Go back to the basics. What is my log-line? Why is the story unraveling or fizzling?
I used to just keep going, keep writing and believe that I would find my way out. What I actually did was make the landscape far more confusing and the novel much harder to repair because now I had an additional 30,000 words I didn’t want to part with. Had I quit earlier when I first sensed the plot derailing, it would have been far simpler to get back on track.
Quitting is very useful. In BJJ, it helps us learn, grow toward mastery and have far fewer injuries. Same in working out. If it’s hurting in a WRONG WAY? Quit! Quitting saves a lot of time, effort, energy and drama if we learn to get good at it 😉 .
What are your thoughts? Do you practice BJJ? Did you have a hard time quitting (tapping out) in the beginning? Did you improve once you learned it was okay to “lose”? Have you had some tough things in life that got better once you quit what wasn’t working? Are you bad about quitting? Do you hold on to things far too long and to your own detriment? Can you think of some things you might need to quit?
I LOVE hearing from you!