Nobody likes thinking of themselves as a quitter, but there's no point in staying stuck in something if it's not accomplishing anything or making you happy. In those cases, it's sometimes wiser to cut your losses of time and energy.
If you're struggling with knowing whether to quit--whether it's a job, a volunteer or personal commitment, an activity, or even a habit, here are some questions to ask yourself. Answer them and you'll know if the time is right.
1. Am I enjoying myself?
If not, you need to ask yourself why you are doing it at all. Only a few things in life are important enough to be worth doing if they're a drag. On the other hand, amazing things happen when you're having fun and doing something you love. If you're not having fun, it's probably time to quit.
2. Do I feel motivated?
Do you have the motivation to do what you're doing? The last thing you need is to spend your time on things that make you feel exhausted or drained. You need motivation if you're going to succeed; without that push, it's hard to keep progressing. Motivation brings excitement, happiness, positive expectations, and energy. Motivation pulls you forward.
3. Am I feeling burned out?
When long-term exhaustion meets diminished interest, you know you're suffering from burnout. One of the hardest lessons in life is figuring out which bridges to cross and which to leave alone--and it's even harder when you're exhausted and demoralized. When you reach burnout, withdrawing and restoring yourself is the best thing you can do--for yourself and for the work you're no longer really helping with. The point of achievement is having long term-perspective.
4. Does it align with my goals?
Let go of any activities that aren't helping you achieve your personal and professional goals. Instead, spend your mental, emotional, and financial resources where they matter. You need goals if you want to be successful--but only if your goals align with who you are and where you're going.
5. Am I doing this for myself, or for someone else?
At the end of the day, you are responsible of your own life. Do your best to stay true to yourself. That means if you're not feeling it, wanting it, desiring it, it is time to let it go. Don't let the opinions of others make you do anything you don't want to do.
6. Do I have what it takes?
If you can't give it all you have, then stop. You never want to settle for mediocrity or to be known for anything less than excellence. Take care of yourself, fill up your cup, and let others take over until you have what it takes to get back on track. True strength shows up not only in the ability to persist but also in the ability to stop--it comes from knowing when it's time to go and when to stop. Sticking it out when you're miserable doesn't make you a better person.
7. Does it serve me?
If it no longer works, then stop. If a commitment, job, habit, or activity isn't helping you live your best life, and if it stops serving you in a way that is meaningful, it's time to quit.
Never quit anything over something that went wrong--quit because you tried your hardest and nothing made it better. Sometimes quitting is leading too.