When To Quit + When To Persevere

When it comes to your goal, are obstacles a test of grit - or a sign that it's time to let it go?
Christi Hegstad May 20th, 2021

Back in January, I set a business goal that checked all the boxes: Energizing, purposeful, challenging, aligned with my values. It would also allow me to impact a greater number of people in meaningful ways.

In the months since then, however, I have encountered obstacle after obstacle. Some merely tedious, others fairly significant.

I’m still excited about the goal – but I’m also kind of exhausted.

And it got me wondering:

Are these obstacles ‘tests’ to see how much I believe in what I’m doing? If I have the grit to persevere?

Or are they ‘signs’ indicating that I’m not on the right track and it’s time to let it go?

What do you think?

The Quit vs. Persevere Dilemma

Apparently I’m not the only one who faces this conundrum. As a coach, I am often asked how to tell if the best step with a goal is to quit or to persevere.

The answer, of course: It depends.

But if you find yourself in a similar space with one of your goals, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

* Why did I set this goal? Does that still apply / remain strong?

Reconnecting with the ‘why’ behind your goal is one of the strongest motivators I know. Let’s say you’re passionate about supporting literacy, and your goal involves creating a service that may help thousands of people with just that. Revisiting the purpose of your goal and the ripple effect of its outcome may be all you need to reenergize your efforts.

* How much is this goal costing me? Is it worth it at this time?

In her excellent book Succeed, Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson explains how changed circumstances or not fully understanding at the onset what your goal would require may impact whether or not it’s wise to continue pursuing it. An honest assessment of costs, benefits, and the realities of your current circumstances can help you determine if it’s the right goal, or if it’s the right time for the goal.

* If I close my eyes and imagine achieving this goal, what do I see / how do I feel? If I close my eyes and imagine letting go of this goal, what do I see / how do I feel?

Visualize both scenarios, engaging as many senses as possible, and see what calls to you the most. This may sound woo-woo but it’s a great way to help ensure you’re making your decisions with head, heart, and intuition – not just from mood or frustration.

* What if I got some help? 

I recently hired my next coach, in part to help me with my persevere-or-quit decision. Within a week of doing so, my answer became crystal clear. I am now able, with her support, to focus my energy on actions and next steps rather than swimming in questions and indecision. Consider securing help to achieve your goal, especially if you’ve been going it alone up to this point.

If I can serve as that coach for you, please reach out – I only have a handful of openings for new clients this summer and I’d love to chat with you about possibilities!





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