When to Quit or Stay? An Expert Helps You Find Out and Gain Clarity

"I’m in it to win it."

"You snooze, you lose."

"No pain, no gain."

These are common sentiments that get thrown around all the time, whether we are consciously aware of them or not.


This kind of advice might be helpful in certain situations, but in most cases, it prevents you from facing what’s happening around you and to you. When all of our focus is on pushing through and struggling on, we block ourselves from knowing when it’s the right time to quit.

What do we do instead?

Whether it’s the desire to quit a job, relationship, environment or lifestyle choice, knowing what inner voice to listen to can be a bit of a challenge. What is a normal bit of resistance? What is self-sabotage? What is a genuine message from your body or spirit saying, “This isn’t right”?

This is a process of building a relationship with your inner landscape and intuition. However, there are some steps you can take that will help reconnect with yourself so you can assess if it’s time to quit.

While each has its own essence, all are rooted in the same kind of concept: Just keep going, push through it, keep calm and carry on.



Stop thinking about quitting as ‘giving up’, and instead see it as a process of making space. In other words, quitting is simply choosing something else. When you say “No” to one thing, you say “Yes” to another, even if you don’t know what that is yet.

Equally, when we say “Yes” to something (like an uninspiring job), we implicitly vote “No” to something else (work fulfilment in a different job). Think about the choices you are currently making, remembering that doing nothing is also an active choice.



With Step 1 in mind, be more aware of what you want to say “Yes” to. It can be easier to think about all the things you don’t want, but unless you get clear on what you do want, the next opportunity or relationship could end up being a costly distraction, or simply another version of the same old story.

Write down all the things you would love to say “Yes” to. Some ideas for you to consider: longer lunch breaks, more fun in your personal life like going to events, romance, working from home, feeling happy in your body, a relaxed relationship with food, building physical strength, etc. Don’t think about what is possible yet - just write down what you want.




Look at what you are considering moving on from, and get clear on why you were ‘in it’ to begin with.

What were you attracted to? Was there something specific you wanted to learn or experience? Were you trying to prove something to yourself or others? Were you looking to put something into practice? Write down everything you initially wanted to get out of this experience.



Go back over your list from Step 3. Now look critically over what you’re written. Divide it up into 4 sections:

Section 1: What I’ve completed

Section 2: What I don’t care about anymore

Section 3: What I no longer think is possible here

Section 4: What I think is still possible here



If everything on your list is under the first three sections, it’s probably safe to say that it’s time to quit.

If you’ve got some things lingering under ‘What is still possible here’, take some time to go over those tasks or goals.

So many things are ‘possible’, but is it probable? Consider how much effort you would need to put in to get your desires met, and ultimately, whether it’s worth it. Could you get a similar experience somewhere else, but better?

What is the biggest opportunity for growth… staying put or leaving? This is about personal growth - what will ultimately nourish your soul and bring you more fulfilment. Look back over the wants you listed in point 2. How can you move closer to having or experiencing them?