Why I'm Okay With Being a Quitter

I've spent the majority of my life trying to convince everyone that I'm not a quitter. 

I quit piano lessons, guitar lessons, softball, and basketball. I quit two colleges and many relationships along the way. I actually just quit all of my jobs and yet another relationship. I'm quitting the house I currently live in. 

I'm a quitter and it's okay.

Everything I quit were things I thought I "should" do. I thought they would make people happy or proud of me. I thought making everyone happy would make me happy. Turns out it just makes me really anxious. 

A few months ago I revealed my crippling bout with anxiety. Through counseling (hey you, yes you, stop reading this and schedule a counseling appointment right this minute. Ok proceed.) I realized that people pleasing is the fastest of tracks to anxiety. I looked around me and discovered that significant pieces of my life were decided out of not wanting to disappoint people. 

Not disappointing others just disappointed myself. 

I was living out of places I didn't want to be in. I was piling things onto my overflowing plate just so everyone would sing my praises. I thought I could be everything and yet was slowly withering away to nothing. 

I burst into tears at the sight of my unanswered emails. It began to affect my relationships as the thought of parties and social situations made me realize what a bad friend I was and therefore letting people down. My anxiety caused me to feel like a bad Christian and terrible at my full-time ministry position. 

Saying "should" leads to a lot of shame, which makes us feel like a load of sh...crap.

The more I said "you should be better, you shouldn't feel this way, you should be able to handle it, you should say yes and be a good fill-in-the-blank" the more ashamed I felt at my self-created underperformance. This is a vicious loop that just leaves us feeling as though we are the worst. 

Eventually I realized I had to stop listening to the voice of "should" and start listening to the voice of the Savior. God was calling me to freedom and not to fear. He was calling me to follow Him not to fall apart. 

Sometimes quitting and calling go together.

When I finally realized what the Lord was calling me to it meant quitting a lot of things. My hero Bob Goff says to quit something every Thursday. I quit everything all in one day. 

People are disappointed, but you know what? I'm not. People probably aren't happy, but you know what? I am. People probably think I'm crazy, but you know what? I am. We all are. 

What do we need to quit?

If we're being honest we wouldn't have to quit so many things if we hadn't let should and shame make those decisions for us in the first place. Where are there places causing us shame and anxiety? I'm not saying we need to run away whenever something gets hard, but I am saying that maybe it's time to take inventory of what we do and why we're doing it. 

Do we make decisions out of not wanting to disappoint others? What would happen if we quit many half-hearted activities and fully engaged our hearts in a few things? 

Quitting facilitated my calling. I'm the world's biggest quitter and for the first time ever, I'm pretty excited about it. Maybe it's time we all lose ourselves a little bit to find ourselves even better on the other side.