We’ve all heard the statement “finish what you start”. But, is that really the best thing to do? Is there ever a time when it’s okay to just quit? I think that there definitely can be. I think that in our busy-bee society, we continue doing way too much when we probably should let a few things fall off our plate. How do you know when it’s time to throw in the towel on something you’ve been doing, though? I think I’ve found the answer, and I’d like to share a story with you.
In 2014, I decided that I wanted to start my own business. My husband and I had been talking and brainstorming about it for a little bit, so I jumped on the first opportunity that came my way. “This is going to be it!”, I thought. I decided that I wanted to center my business around fitness. I mean, I liked working out, and social media was fun…so why not? I became a Beachbody coach almost right away, and I dove right in.
I quit coaching at the beginning of 2016.
**This post is in no means me bashing the company. I believe that Beachbody does a lot of good, and I have many friends that are still coaches. This is just my story of what went wrong for me, and why I decided to move away from coaching.**
To most people reading this, it might not seem like a big deal. But if you knew me while I was a coach, you would know that I was all in. Everything that I did centered around coaching. I gave 100% of my effort to learning as much as I could about business, social media, products, people, etc. I felt so strongly about the company, I believed in what we stood for, and I was convinced that it was going to be my ticket to financial freedom and happiness. I loved being able to workout from home, inspire others through social media, and meet amazing people when I went on business trips! It was a blast! I truly felt like I was helping people get fit and creating a community of amazing women to lean on each other.
However, my marriage was falling apart. I start coaching before Alex and I got married, I was coaching the entire time we were engaged, and I continued with it for about 6 months into our marriage. It gave us absolutely no time to grow as a couple and enjoy each other.
“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken. -Deuteronomy 24:5
We can see in the verse above that God wants us to take time to enjoy our spouse and build up a solid foundation in the first part of our marriage. I totally ignored that and continued chasing my dreams. (Did you catch that it was all about my dreams? I wasn’t focused on what God or my husband wanted at all.) It wasn’t like I was a totally horrible spouse, but I definitely wasn’t giving my best to my husband. I would work all hours of the day on my phone and on my computer + work my full time job, and my husband got was was left over…which wasn’t much. I wasn’t keeping the house clean, very rarely cooked meals, and I seldom took the time to focus on my husband’s love language. Phrases like “I don’t have time for that” reined supreme, and our entire lives and happiness rested on the success of the business. Sex was all but nonexistent, communication was at an all-time low, and I was starting to feel like this “marriage thing” wasn’t going to work out very well for us.
Many little things led up to one big meltdown around New Years Day of 2016. While most people were excited about the new year ahead and all their goals, I was terrified of starting a new year over and the pressure to make my business a huge success. I was bogged down by the wrong motivations. I wanted financial success, recognition, and a booming business more than I wanted a successful marriage and a close relationship with God. Everything important had fallen to the wayside, and I finally was starting to see it.
Thanks to the Lord, I told my husband of the decision to quit Beachbody in January 2016. I knew that I still wanted a business that helped people, but I wanted one that forced me to take a hard look at my relationships each day. I wanted a business that enabled me to build up my marriage and grow closer to God instead of enabling me to put the focus on other things. I don’t think that it’s Beachbody that made me act the way that I did, but it definitely wasn’t the environment right for us. We decided within a few days to start a faith and marriage blog slowly over time, and here we are.
Our marriage is now ten times better than it was before, and I’m SO MUCH happier and lighter. But I needed to QUIT in order for that to happen. I probably could have come to that decision a lot sooner, but I was worried so much about what others would think of me if I did. Our society is so fixated on being as busy as possible, achieving as much as possible, and being the best of the best. In my opinion, that’s just no way to live. Nothing gives me more peace that realizing that all I have to do to be successful is to love the Lord, love my family, and love others as much as possible. We don’t need to chase after the goals others set or compare ourselves to those that are more “successful”. One of the best things that I ever did for my family was to quit. I challenge you to take a look at your life and trim away those things that steal your joy. They may be heavily disguised, but if you look hard enough and ask God for help, He’ll show you what you need to move away from.
In the meantime, down below are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if you need to quit that thing you’re doing. 🙂
How does it make me feel?
Think about the thing you’ve been working towards/doing. How do you feel about it? What comes to mind when you think about the things associated with it? Does it bring up thoughts of stress and frustration or happiness and contentment? Get REAL with yourself, though. You’re not hurting anyone but yourself if you aren’t truthful about how it makes you feel. Take a seat, think hard, and focus on how you TRULY feel about it.
What are my real reasons for doing it?
As you saw above, I had some not-so-great reasons for wanting to be successful with my Beachbody business. That’s not to say that desiring financial freedom or recognition is bad, but you KNOW your reasons. Take the time to assess them, and determine whether or not they are valid. Desiring financial freedom to buy all the stuff may not be the best reasoning, but financial freedom to help out your struggling family might seem better to you. Get my drift?
Am I glorifying God?
This is the most important question to ask, in my opinion! Everything that we do needs to be for His glory. We owe ALL to Him, so why not? It’s easy to get caught up in our own goals and ambitions while are building a business or going after something we are passionate about. However, the most important thing is focusing on what God is passionate about. Ensuring that our goals and ambitions align with His Word and plan is key. He is the one who gave us our talents, so let’s make sure to glorify Him in our efforts.
Am I still able to honor my top priorities?
This is the one that got me thinking. I was so wrapped up in my own “stuff” that I was completely missing my husband’s need for connection. Our families should be our number one priority after God. Are you placing them in the right spot? Or are they getting bumped down a bit for the goal you’re chasing? Are you able to still find time for the things that bring you joy or are you too bogged down with deadlines and stress to be joyful? Map out your priorities in a list from 1 to 10, and allow yourself to think critically about the status of each of those categories. If something isn’t adding up, it may be time to drop some things off your plate! 🙂
Lastly, I want to say that this is post is not intended to scare you away from doing hard things! I think it’s important to challenge ourselves often. However, I think it’s more important to live intentionally for Christ, keep our relationships strong, and keep joy at the forefront. It’s all about balance!
**Not sure if you should quit or keep going with a certain goal/idea? Head over to the BHC Library and sign up for a FREE goal printable to find out!
Let’s chat! Has there ever been a time in your life when you had to quit? What made you decide to do it, and how did you feel afterward?