The legendary American sports coach, Vince Lombardi has many quotes attributed to him and one of the most famous is “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
It’s grounded in all the success stories that come out of sporting success, especially at events such as the Olympics. There is always a story about some athlete who has overcome adversity, shown incredible resilience, persistence and won out against the odds. They are inspirational and make great copy. What is not reported are the many more stories related to a less satisfactory outcome. The people who also battled the odds and came up short, those eliminated early and the thousands who trained but didn’t even get the Olympics.
There is a fine line between the courage of never quitting and the folly of never quitting. Seth Godin’s book “The Dip” explains how those striving for success will always encounter a dip and exhorts us to push through to the uptick.
But a dip is different to a flat line of failure or mediocrity. Making a decision to stop and do something else is as brave as any decision to stick with it. Quitting is a very loaded word, so let’s say deciding to stop and switch, requires courage in the face of the judgement of others, as well as their own unhelpful self talk. We don’t know what’s just round the corner and agonize over the “what if..” possibility, like the famed Dig Tree of the Burke and Wills expedition in the early exploration of the red centre of Australia.
Deciding to stop and switch is the better choice in the majority of situations where you are facing constant failure, or simply not having any fun. Yes, you need to have options in terms of what you switch to and the switch needs to be well planned and considered but if you have done that, the switch is the better option.
Maybe the move is to something that is more enjoyable, more fulfilling, playing more to your strengths or passions. In order to seize the next opportunity, we need to let go of what we’re holding. Let’s reframe this to choosing a different path, rather than giving up or quitting.