Episode 68 Brave Enough To Stop

June 7, 2023

Good morning from New York City. Before I get into what I want to talk about today, I’d like to say thank you to those of you who have sent messages, shared Dear Constance, commented on social media, invited me to a beautiful meal. The feedback and support are truly heartwarming, and we have hit over 10,000 downloads.  While I’m not really sure how important that metric is, it does tell me that I have a solid listener base, and it’s rewarding and meaningful to me. So, thank you.

Interestingly, that is a perfect segue into what I want to talk about today which is quitting or giving up. I find it interesting that in our culture we are hardwired to never give up. We say don’t be a quitter and that kind of language. I know speaking for myself, my father used to say when I called from Europe – they were living in Montana for many years there was an eight-hour time difference, so I would call them at the end of my workday – Connie, don’t give up. Show ’em you can outwork the best of them. I deeply internalized the importance of hard work and powering through and unlearning that or reframing that for myself was a big challenge and a hard lesson to learn.

Culturally, we value the people who don’t quit and there’s a lot of language, a lot of quotes and a lot of motivational material around never giving up. Yet today I want to pose the question where in your life have you given enough? Where is it that you might want to stop? It can be a brave and courageous act to stop – to say that’s enough, to say I think I’ve given my best, or I’m not bringing my best energy and enthusiasm here, or I’m not proud or happy with the way I’m showing up. That can be at work, in a relationship it can be in a volunteer activity or a commitment we’ve made to taking care of our grandchildren. I don’t know.

I think we all have those places in our life where we feel like we’ve made a commitment or a promise to ourselves or a promise to someone else, yet we’re kind of done or we have an itch to do something else. For me, this comes down to reframing that idea of quitting as giving up Sometimes enough is enough, or sometimes we can dial it back. Sometimes we make assumptions about letting people down or what other people might think.

I know, speaking for myself, the example I’ve given in the past was this executive board position that I held with the non-profit Artolution. I had a time-consuming commitment –  also energetically – and there came a time when I was kind of done. When I was able to get quiet and ask what are the stories I’m telling myself about this – perhaps that they’re going to think that I’ve given up on them –  or whatever it was at the time, when I was able to actually stop and look at that commitment, I was able to see that I had already contributed doing what I do best, In my case that was about bringing fresh energy and momentum, and connecting the organization to an important financial resource. That’s what I was supposed to do. I no longer needed to hang on. I could contribute in other ways without that same level of commitment and leave the board slot for someone who had something else to give. I can think of many examples in my life, especially over the last years that I was really done, and it was okay to stop and to make space and to give my energy elsewhere.

So, all this to say that quitting is not always about giving up. It can simply be about stopping and it’s up to us to pause and perhaps reframe it. It really can be that simple. Where in your life might it be time to stop to say that’s enough to make time for something else? Where can you reframe quitting and giving up? Sometimes that is the brave and courageous thing to do.

I’ll leave you with that thought today. Until next time, from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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