Persevering And Letting Go

Are persevering and quitting natural opposites - or do they actually have a lot in common? Could they even seamlessly coexist?
Christi Hegstad October 26th, 2023

At first glance, they may seem diametrically opposed:

Grit = Persevering

Quit = Stopping

I am fascinated, however, by how much these two books and concepts can share in common. For example:

For both, it helps to know your why.

Not everything is worth pursuing when the going gets tough, just like not everything is worth quitting in the same circumstance. Your level of passion and how fully the act contributes to the expression of your purpose, for example, can be major players in your decision to persevere or quit. It helps to be discerning and to know the reason behind what you’re doing.

For both, it helps to know the costs.

There can be a tendency to equate perseverance as good and quitting as bad. If persevering means unhealthy risk, potential danger, or negative impact to one’s top priorities or values, however, letting go might be the wiser choice; we need to weigh options as objectively as possible. (Duke gives great examples of this with the decisions climbers of Mt. Everest must make along the way.)

Grit + quitting can actually coexist.

A combination of the two in a single endeavor could potentially lead to the most beneficial outcomes. For example, if your business experiences a year of struggle, you may believe the only options include an all-or-nothing ‘grin and bear it and struggle through another year’ or shut it down. Considering a blend instead – ie, persevering with the business but quitting certain offerings – could open doors that previously seemed closed.

Another commonality between the books: Grit by Angela Duckworth made my top 10 list when I first read it in 2018, and Quit by Annie Duke will make my top ten in 2023! 🙂 I learned a great deal from both books and believe reading them in tandem could spark some incredible thoughts.

Have you read either of these books? What’s a top takeaway for you?

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