Knowing When To Give Up

When I was an undergraduate, I had a set goal to become teacher and I was very ambitious to get my PhD one day.  I always placed high expectations on myself, when it came to education. However, before my junior year, my grandfather who I was very close to died. While I still continued in my studies, I realized my passion for teaching was wavering and I was stubborn to admit that.
Overtime, I made a very tough decision to discontinue my pursue to teaching for personal reasons. I ended up going to graduate school to get my Masters in Human Resources. At the end of graduate career, my desire to go to school to a PhD level has died as well. It took a lot of self-awareness for myself to learn when to give up! We live in a society where we motto, “ Quitters Never Win” where is giving up is seen as a bad thing.
“It’s OK to give up on a dream to reach for a new one. Dreams come and go and there is nothing wrong with letting go of one dream and creating another one. Let go of dreams, but don’t ever lose your ambition. Don’t settle for anything less than what your heart desires.”-Caitlin Austin, Why It is Sometimes It Okay To Give Up
While this quote is interesting, it is relatable to one’s personal career development. Just because one door closes, doesn’t mean you cannot open another door. People are too used to never quitting, while it is admiring to not quit. You have to measure the risks and benefits between quitting and sticking with it.
“The overall point it makes is pretty undeniable: when your goals become more stressful than they’re worth, there’s no shame in giving up.”-Whitson Gordon,Why Giving Up is Sometimes the Best Solution to a Problem
The bottom line: If the priorities change in your life, you should be allowed to get a new dream. Career changes are a never ending evolution of change. Embrace the change and don’t feel afraid of to give up.
Questions to my readers:
Was there ever a time you felt bad about giving up a dream? What did you do about it?
If you have changed your career, what led you to do that?

8 thoughts on “Knowing When To Give Up

  1. I was a teacher once upon a time. Being a teacher requires a thick skin, and can be stressful depending on how conscientious you are – I can easily see why you decided to do something else.


  2. For me it's all about perspective. I can honestly say that I've never given up on a dream because while I set a course I choose to remain open to wherever my path takes me (and there have been a few spectacular detours!) rather than pinning myself down to a finite destination.

    The truth is, when we have a willing heart, sometimes our detours take us to places we never would have otherwise dreamed possible – and I find that to be the stuff miracles are made of!


  3. Great post Janelle!

    As a teen into my twenties I longed to be a journalist. A born reader I pictured myself reporting on the latest stories. I studied a media course at university but it touched on all areas of media so I did not have solid experience/skills in any one area.

    Cut a long story short and I moved away from media and fell into business administration. I now work as senior officer in local government. Not at all the path I expected. I blog and write for my church. I feel the doors are opening and opportunities are coming my way.

    Pride keeps people holding in when it is time to call it a day.


  4. I completely agree. You can change your mind and your dream. There is nothing wrong with that. I had to give up a career once because of a physical injury. Things worked out and I am still a happy person. It is possible to have a different career and be satisfied.


  5. Great read! I've felt bad about giving up on dreams in the past, but I soon realized that everything was a learning experience. It all came together to get to the point I am now. Even if I still change dreams, it will all be a collective part of the new one.


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