Six Ways To Know When To Quit and Walk Away

We are all, at some point, faced with the decision: do I stay or do I go?

It could be in a relationship or it could be in a particular job role and generally results from reaching a tipping point of some sort. Something has happened to you and it triggered the question.

So, how do you decide whether walking away is the right thing for you to do?

Here are 6 filters that in total should help you decide if adios is the right call.

Check your energy reservoir

How much energy is it taking to continue doing what you’re doing? Are you constantly having to call on your energy reserves to push ahead?

Everyone has an energy reservoir which represents a backup level of energy to draw on when required. And the issue is whether or not it is as full as it once was, or has its level been reduced.

If your reserves are down, there are 3 implications:

  • there’s less to draw on when you need it for future challenges;
  • it will take longer to replenish when expended, thus requiring a longer recovery episodes when needed;
  • you may want to reconsider how you use your scarce reserves and decide that your current activities have a lower priority than they once had. Your incremental payback from tapping your reservoir is diminishing every time you draw from it.

If you conclude that you’re not receiving a large enough return on your energy investment, a “go” answer is the highly likely response to the question.

Check the people around you

Do you still enjoy their company? Are they as interesting as they once were or are they getting too predictable for you? Do you like being with them or do you find yourself not looking forward to being with them?

If you are staring at a negative reply to this question, you’re leaning for a “go” answer.

Check your support symmetry

Sometimes having strong symmetric support for your efforts is worth the investment in time and energy you have at your disposal.
But ask yourself these questions:

  • do you support others and they don’t support you back?
  • do you find others return the support you offer them unconditionally?
  • are their specific individuals in your bubble that speak of support for you, but act in an unsupportive manner?

If you conclude that asymmetric support for you exists in too many of your colleagues, then a “go” light is your most probable outcome.

Check for toxicity

Is the working environment toxic? Are there a needless number of contrarians trying to force their own self-serving narrative and agenda.

Divergents can be positive if their modus operandi is to seek out-of-the-box solutions to common problems.

But if their purpose is to be disruptive, the negative energy and emotion they create warrants a “go” conclusion.

Check your emotion barometer

Do your emotions run high when you are among your colleagues? Do you find yourself anxious and short tempered while engaging with them?

Conversations that send you to emotional extremes — anger, over reaction, shouting — are personally taxing and are often unproductive from the team’s perspective.

If you feel you’re on an emotional tightrope constantly with your immediate circle of contacts (958) then the “go” door is probably slightly ajar.

Check your appreciation meter

Do you feel that your teammates appreciate your efforts or does it look like they expect that you’ll just keep barrelling along doing more than what is expected?

Often, “Nice work” or “Good job” from those who witness your work go a long way to making the effort you put in feel worthwhile. And when you never hear the words, there’s an emptiness you feel which gradually results in a ‘to hell with it’ attitude.

If your hard work is falling ‘on deaf ears’ maybe you’re closer to a “go” than you realize.

Wrap up

It’s rarely a single factor that decides anything. Usually it’s a combination of a number of seemingly small things that make you decide to either stay in a relationship or role or leave it.

If you’ve given yourself a “go” on most of the above filters then perhaps a “gå” is in order.

Related: If You Want More You Need To Know More