4 Steps to Success by Quitting
In today's post I am going to challenge you to achieve more success by quitting. You might find this strange coming from me since I am known for being tenacious and persistent. But stay with me here, try the 4 steps I propose and then let me know how much your life improves. The steps are great to use with your coaching clients as well.
Our lives are incredibly full and many of us are addicted to constantly doing. Joyce Meyer says God created us to "be human beings, not human doings."
Have you noticed that most of us are consumed by an ever-growing list of what we think we have to do? We have become slaves to tasks that no longer serve us. But we don't quit because of the negative stigma associated with quitting.
How many of us fear quitting so much that we end up missing what God wants to do with us and in our lives? I suggest there isn't one of us who shouldn't quit doing at least one thing.
When we were young, the training began. Do you remember when you played games and you were taught that although you might win or lose, you should never quit? In this way many of us have come to connect abandoning a task with the same type of shame associated to quitting a game as a child.
Quitting is seen as taboo. When we talk about the possibility of leaving a church committee, choir or civic association, we do so with hushed voices because of the perceived shaming or rejection that might result.
I am writing this post because I believe it is time to legitimize quitting. Quitting is different than being a quitter. Being a quitter is to be someone who seldom or ever completes anything.
There are good reasons to quit. Those include:
- Spending time on this activity keeps you from engaging in more rewarding endeavors or seriously harms your well-being.
- The activity conflicts with your faith or values.
- Your decision to keep doing something is based on fear rather than faith.
- You are not / no longer sowing into fertile soil. (God wants us to "sow into fertile soil" and that includes our giving.)
- You consistently receive more frustration for your efforts than reward.
God is doing a new thing and in order for you to be part of it, old, worn, dated and fruitless endeavors need to be set aside.
If you are feeling a struggle with certain tasks, it could be that their season has ended and the grace has lifted for you to do them. This is especially true if your efforts have become fruitless.
"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do
you not perceive it? I will make a way in the
wilderness and rivers in the desert."
~ Isaiah 43:18-19
The beauty of our human existence allows us daily opportunities to re-create and re-design our life. God gives us permission to do this. He has given us free will. And sometimes, when we fail to act despite the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can have the rug pulled out from under us to where we have no choice left but to act.
"The steps of good men are directed by the Lord, He delights in each
step they take." Psalm 37:23
I am here to reassure you that you are not a slave to your life. You have choices. It is time you put yourself and your calling first. Although there may be those who don't want you to quit such as friends, family, bosses, other church or club members, etc. This is because you're quitting is a threat to how they like things. You are changing the status quo.
But you owe it to God and yourself to first create some margin in your life. By this I mean time to actually do nothing and space to get still before God. You will never get truly clear about His path for you if you don't take time to stop and listen.
You already have everything in you that is required to fulfill your calling but you will never be clear on what it is until you stop and listen. I am speaking from experience here.
There was a time when I was running from one thing to another and didn't even make the time for prayer and alone time with God. As a result, my spiritual life as well as my personal and professional lives suffered. You may have heard it said and I will repeat it here… If you aren't making time for God, you are too busy. It is time to quit doing some things.
I encourage you to make a list this week of every activity that you are involved in over the course of seven days. List everything including work, church, groups, cooking, commuting, sports, date nights, reading, school, exercise, meetings, etc.
Then, rate each activity by whether it is producing good fruit. Good fruit can also include relaxation and fun activities because we need balance in our lives.
Rate the activities you listed as follows
3 points for a moderate to large quantity of good fruit produced
2 points for a small amount of good fruit produced
1 point for no measurable amount of fruit produced
0 points for negative feelings or bad fruit produced
Next, rewrite your list of activities with those receiving 3 points at the top. Then list the activities that received two points. Below that list the activities that received one point. Below that, list any activities that received zero points.
Finally, earmark those activities that receipt 0 points for quitting immediately.
Note those activities that received only one point each. Keep an eye on those and consider them for deletion as well.
You will soon find that you are participating in activities that produce fruit and have time to spare. Use some of that extra time to rest, relax and spend with God praying and listening. Take time to dream, explore and let your mind wander.
When you do this you will find yourself becoming happier, much more relaxed and far more creative. Best of all, you will be making more time in your life to hear from God and follow His plan more closely. And that can only be good.
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Want to learn more?
If you are interested in diving deeper into God-aligned priorities for your life, you will find related training in CCLC/CPLC course. This is the Certified Christian Life Coach course that also includes an additional certification as a Certified Professional Life Coach. So YES, you receive both certifications for taking one course. This curriculum is offered in two versions, an affordable online version and the Premier one-to-one version with your own Master Christian Life Coach trainer.
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