T Is For... The 10-Year RuleRead Now
A Simple Trick To Tell If You're Ready To Quit - Or If You Are Just Hitting A Dip
We all hit points where we want to give up on a creative endeavour. Here's a trick to tell if you're hitting a rough patch - or if it's time to pack it in.
In any endeavour, we can hit a point where we ask, "Is this really worth it?". We are not getting anywhere, it feels like a thankless task and we wonder if all that enthusiasm and excitement we had in the early days was ultimately misplaced.
It can be really hard to know what the right step is for us to take. Our minds might say one thing, our hearts another. Are we in denial? Are we refusing to face facts? Are we just committed to this because we have been doing it for so long?
There is actually a psychological term that's related to this latter question: it's called the "sunk cost fallacy".
It basically refers to those times when we find it really hard to walk away from something simply because we have invested so much time and effort in it.
We can't face the possibility that our precious time has been wasted, so we plough on, despite all signs to the contrary telling us to stop.
How Can We Tell When It's Time To Quit?
But the truth is, as Marie Forleo points out in the video below, some things are worth walking away from.
And when we do, we will feel better for it, possibly relieved in fact.
But there are other times where the choice is not so clear.
Say it is a passion and it means a lot to you and you are not getting anywhere. What then? How can we tell if we are deluding ourselves or if we have just hit a bump in the road?
"The 10-Year Rule"
Forleo says "The 10-Year Rule" is worth remembering here.
She explains that if you really want to know how committed you are - to anything - it is to ask yourself a simple question:
"If you actually did quit this, how would you feel 10 years from now?"
If you feel a gut wrench right now even considering this question, you have your answer.
You might have just found yourself in a "dip", i.e., a rough patch. You might be suffering from burnout and just need to take a break, step back and recap.
If, however, you feel neutral - or a sense of relief - then you also have your answer.
Like anything in life, if you are happy and willing to walk away from it - for good - it might not have been right for you in the first place.