Quitting – no one likes to be a quitter. There is a certain stigma associated with quitting. Yet sometimes, hanging on is the worst decision there is!
Quitting can feel like failure… or giving up… or not being determined enough to see something through. It is an ending, and endings are hard. In addition to the pain, it can feel like it is marring your character.
Too often you linger on letting something continue to drain you rather than having the courage it takes to quit and take a fresh course. That’s why quitting is not for wimps!
There is a positive side to quitting. Whenever you eliminate something, you free up space for something new, better, and more important! That can be a very good thing!
As a leader, knowing when and what to quit is paramount! Sometimes it is letting go of responsibilities or roles. Other times it is habits that hinder you as a leader.
Here are 10 habits worth quitting… immediately!
1. Quit being a workaholic
By nature, leaders are attracted to being productive; they like rolling up their sleeves and taking on challenges. Yet when work becomes your life, it is actually counter-productive.
Keeping work within a specific time frame forces you to trust God more and work smarter!
Working less frees up time for the people in your life and energizing activities that will actually help you work more effectively. So, quit thinking you are being effective by working 24/7.
What is a reasonable boundary for you when it comes to work? Who can hold you accountable to honoring that boundary?
2. Quit the Stinking Thinking
Nothing will hold a leader back more than operating out of negative mindsets. Stinking Thinking will influence your decisions, affect how you interact with others, and keep you stuck!
Here are just a few examples of stinking thinking:
- All or Nothing Thinking – thinking in extremes rather than viewing things realistically. Some call it black or white thinking. It causes you to see things as either bad or good, right or wrong – nothing in-between. Most of the time, there is some good and some bad in a given topic or issue. Get in the habit of challenging your perspective.
- Catastrophic Thinking – thinking that something is much bigger or more serious than it really is. That causes you so see it as insurmountable and detrimental. While the unexpected might not be desirable, it is NOT the end of the world and it is an opportunity to get creative!
- Unreasonable Expectations – expecting more than is reasonable from yourself or others. If you hear the word “should,” it is a tip off that this kind of thinking might be at work. Become more aware of your expectations – often we don’t even realize we have them until we are disappointed in some way.
- Personalization – assuming that something is about you when in reality is has nothing to do with you. Get in the habit of taking yourself out of the equation and come up with a slew of other possible explanations for why something might have occurred.
- Blaming – not taking responsibility for you the things you say and do or taking responsibility for things that other do that don’t belong to you.
3. Quit procrastinating
Stop pretending you are going to do something if you really aren’t. Is what you are putting off just not that important to you? Is the fear of doing it less than perfect paralyzing you? The longer you put off doing something the more daunting it becomes. Face up to what you have been putting off and get it done. I guarantee you will be surprised to discover that it really wasn’t nearly as big a deal as you thought it was!
4. Quit second guessing yourself
There is nothing more unattractive than a wishy washy leader. It is just not motivating to follow. Even if your decision wasn’t the best, walk it out and learn from it.
5. Quit getting sucked into the vortex of the urgent
There will perpetually be things pulling leaders in different directions. What makes a great leader is being able to stay focused in the midst of chaos! Make it a habit to start your day by determining the most important thing you can do that day to keep things moving in the direction of your goals. Tackle that first! Don’t let the little stuff that will flood your day take you off course. In reality, far more things can wait than we want to admit!
6. Quit saying “Yes”
Leaders love a challenge and the opportunity to influence, resulting in them taking on too many responsibilities outside of work. Get a better handle on your limits and reserve your “yes” for the opportunities that are in line with your values, passion, and will enhance your relationships. Not only will you handle your obligations better, but your quality of life will be better as well.
7. Quit caring what others think
Leading in a way that is subject to the opinion of others will keep you from operating out of your unique strengths. Become so clear about who you – both strengths and weaknesses that what anyone else thinks won’t matter.
8. Quit multitasking
If you think you are being powerfully productive when you are multitasking, you are not alone! According to recent research from Accenture, 98% of workers spend part of their day multitasking. In reality you are compromising the quality of everything you do – some research suggest by 40%! Want to produce great work – quit multitasking!
9. Quit putting off your priorities
If someone were to ask you what was most important to you, would your answer line up with how you invest your energy and money? In other words, are you putting the things that are supposedly most important to you first? Initially, you might think it’s temporary and pour yourself into something other than God, family, or leadership priorities, but before you know it you have cultivated a bad habit leaving your priorities out of whack.
There is no guarantee of a tomorrow, so maintaining your priorities is essential every day and it requires you once again to trust God that everything will work out.
10. Quit expecting people to read your mind
There is so much more to say on this particular topic that I will leave it at that and share more a later time!
It is not enough to just quit a habit. In order to truly succeed in ending a habit, you must replace that habit with a more positive one.
As you have been reading, which habit stands out as the habit for you to quit? What impact would this change have on your life or leadership?
Have you tried quitting one of these habits unsuccessfully? Why not turn to a coach to help you walk through the change process? Someone who can help you discover what’s driving your behavior and help you create a strategy to quit for good, all while supporting you in the process!