Every now and again, I hear a little voice that says, “It’s time to quit!” But how do I know if it’s coming from my inner mentor or fear?
Sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate between the two. Over the years, however, I’ve gotten better at identifying them. Here are a few clues that help me decide whether it’s time to throw in the towel or keep going.
1. Your inner voice sounds desperate.
Does the voice sound desperate and whiny? Chances are if it sounds like it’s trying to convince you to quit, it’s most likely fear. Fear doesn’t want you to succeed. It wants you to stay safe in your comfort zone. When you decide to do something risky, something close to your dreams, you better believe that voice will come across as desperate, argumentative and even somewhat convincing. In comparison, quitting something that’s not right for you will feel like a calm knowing.
2. Your beliefs are based on “should.”
Sometimes I hear the voice of surrender and it’s focused on something I “should” do. Maybe I need to quit pursuing my dream so I can focus on making more money or I should stop doing this project because I should be spending my time on something more practical. If your inner voice is based on something you “should” be doing, chances are it’s not time to quit just yet.
3. You would feel temporarily relieved, but filled with regret down the road.
Imagine how you would feel if you quit. If you’re hit with instant relief, but think you’d regret it later, you’re probably being motivated to quit by fear. The things that matter most to us cause us the most fear. But while quitting will initially eliminate the discomfort, the realization we’re not pursuing our dreams feels tragic. While fear ebbs and flows as we continually push ourselves, the feeling of continual comfort and living a lifetime of safety never feels good in the long run.