If you find yourself fighting a losing battle too often it may be time to rethink your approach. First, be aware that every battle is hard and do not allow yourself to misidentify struggle as loss. True struggle is a testament to your character and can only improve you in the long run. Nobody becomes better by “fighting” in trivial battles, today we learn about knowing when to quit.
Also, be honest when evaluating your losses. Sometimes you’ll be surprised – pure chance can turn what you considered a loss, into a win; a year or ten down the road. As long as it pushes you in the right direction and doesn’t completely break you, everything you truly invest yourself into is a win.
Now, even true losses are useful. They can provide you with valuable experience and be stark reminders for the future. Do not let them grow into phobias which prevent you from believing and trying ever again. Relive your losses as often as you need, but once you know you’ve identified all mistakes made – let it go and focus on the future.
Learn that determining when to quit is not something that should come up during a losing streak. The best time to determine when and how to quit is away from the heat of the battle; before you even start fighting. Defining your quitting criteria should be part of defining your goals. Yet, too often we allow ourselves to be driven by blind enthusiasm when picturing the goal, and switch to incessant pessimism when things don’t go our way.
Don’t go all in when your bluff is called and then blame the world, luck and destiny for your woes. Before starting anything be crystal clear not only what you want, but why you want it and what are you willing to give for it. Sure enough, when you define things that way, conditions under which you will quit should be obvious. And once they are – stick to them.
If you have suffered obvious defeat, accept it. Don’t succumb to crazy notions like a gambler who believes that he will miraculous recover after losing his whole stack of chips. Stick to the quitting criteria you have defined before venturing on the path. When you truly know the time to quit, you will be able to say I quit with authority and confidence. And, more importantly, you will never allow yourself to succumb to struggle and quit a winning battle.
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