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How do you know when to stop?

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Photo by Sebastian Voortman on

I’ve got a conundrum for you to help me solve. Please.

If you have a situation that isn’t working for you – a job, a relationship, a hobby – anything that you’ve been doing for a while, maybe even years, but it just does not deliver the way you thought it would (or at all), when do you you stop trying? Where do you draw the line?

There are a million clever little quotes about not giving up, and how every failure is a test of your character, how hard work pays off, how success is just around the corner, etc. But surely somewhere along the line you can decide that you’ve rammed your head up against that same wall for long enough, and it is time to bow out gracefully? There should be no shame in that. I think sometimes to enable yourself to move forward or onward, you have to quit doing what you are doing? Also, the more you do something that isn’t working, how do you keep up your enthusiasm for it?

I am writing this with my own job situation in mind, but as I write, a few others’ scenarios come to mind. I know I’m not the only one in this situation, but I also know everybody handles these things differently. I can’t think that you keep doggedly on and on, believing that by never giving up, you’ll eventually reach the success you want. What if you don’t? What if you keep on for years, always living with the stress of things not going according to plan, not working out? I know we often carry on past the expiry date, for different reasons – what people will think, peer pressure, pressure or disapproval from friends and family, social standing, finances.

In the meantime, you could have tried something else, and that could’ve been a huge success. Maybe.

In certain situations it becomes very clear that the time has arrived to draw the line, and you often don’t even think in terms of failure, only to move on. But other times things are a bit murky, and complicated…

I don’t know. It seems to me to be one of those situations where you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t…

On a slightly more positive note: Roomys The Cat is doing okay. Not great, but not too bad either. He is eating a bit, but he hardly moves (which is probably best). So I am watching him like a hawk, and hopefully he’ll continue to do better every day. (If you are new here, and are wondering what this update is all about, please see previous 3 posts.)

Roomys in his little lair….

About zelmare

Hallo to you from the southern most part of the African continent - South Africa!! To put my life in a nutshell : I raised 3 absolutely fabulous kids (I'm sure you will hear a lot about them, since I am a very proud mama), I became a doting grandmother two years ago and recently bought a house in the Western Cape, and in doing so, realized a dream I've had for many, many years. I love traveling, which I don't do often enough. I love living a simple life - cooking, gardening, knitting and of course, blogging. There is still a lot I want to do and see in my lifetime, but time will tell how much of that I can actually accomplish. I am looking forward to meeting a lot of lovely new friends and interesting people here on WordPress! :)

4 responses »

  1. This can be such a tricky one: how to know what to do, and when! For most of last year and 2019 I immersed myself in short story writing, saving them on Word (I still have them), convinced that I was going to keep at it with a view to getting published/ entering short story competitions and the like. After a while I realised that I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and that I was losing that feeling of enthusiasm and motivation that drives you on to take the next step… and the next. So I stopped writing. When I read my stories back now, I still feel proud at my efforts and in a way I don’t feel that I failed. Writing stories was a very cathartic experience for me: a kind of reaching into a pool of memory which I then mixed up with my own sometimes dark imagination! So the experience was good for me, and helped me get perspective on some important events in my past, and to understand myself better. So I think that deciding when to ‘call it a day’, is to decide at what point you no longer are benefiting from a situation- and if you are still benefiting, is it worth the cost, if there is one. If you feel like you are selling your soul, then it’s not worth it! Difficult though, cos if we’re talking about a job, that may not be so easy to replace. Hope I haven’t confused you further here!

    • Thanks for your perspective! To me I’ve reached the point where everything is showing me to quit, except for some people close to me who is thinking exactly that – I’m quitting. I see it as bailing out of a useless situation. Not lucrative AT ALL, and frustrating to say the least. :/

  2. So difficult. Everyone has their own motivators (or demotivators)… I have stuck with a job that I hated only because of a good and steady income. My way out was not my choice… my plan was to stay until I got pregnant. Then they let me go and released me!! Haha!! So each to their own!! You probably have to weigh the good and bad and decide if it is (for you) worth it to continue or quit!! Hhmmm… good luck!!


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