Never give up easily

One of the hardest things in the life of a project or business is knowing when it is time to give up. No one likes to feel like a failure, and often to quit seems like a failure. Neither is it a good idea to continue pouring resources of energy and time into a business or project that is going nowhere. You need to understand what your limits are and what the benefits are for various options which might be available to you. It is not failure to recognize boundaries and to honor those boundaries. Wearing your self out in pursuit of an unreachable goal is not healthy or productive.

An helpful exercise to go through personally or with the help of an analyst or counselor is a SWOT analysis. If you can honestly assess the situation yourself, the SWOT analysis can be done by yourself, but it is far more effective to work through with the help of someone else. The counselor may be able to see patterns that you are unable to see because you are too close to the situation.

SWOT acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. During the course of the review, you list the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your current situation. Just writing down everything you can think of within the four categories is sometimes enough to assist in making a decision.

Does the business or project have strengths or positive features? Are there strengths which you or your employees or co-workers are gaining or giving? How about weaknesses? To be considering giving up is not a weakness; it may be strength to recognize that reaching a final goal may not necessarily be the best path to follow.

The example of an expedition to climb Mt Everest which resulted in a number of deaths and the decision to give up the ascent was not a failure. The courage to recognize when it was strength to turn down the mountain and save the remaining lives meant a tremendous victory personally for the climbers who returned.

There is no doubt that these climbers gave the ascent all of their physical strength and doubtless their emotional strength as well, but the important thing to remember is that the climbers succeeded even though they did not reach the top of the mountain.

When you complete the process of listing the four categories above, review the list. Does one have far fewer items on it than others? If so, why is that? Is there something in each category? Did you expect the results you got? If another person who is familiar with your situation were to do the analysis, would he get the same results as you did?

By completing an exercise such as the SWOT analysis, you cannot be accused of giving up too easily. You’ve used all available tools to arrive at fact and used those facts in determining the best course of action. If that decision is to move on to something else, you will know it is by choice, rather than having the decision ripped out of your hands. Use the opportunity to glean information about the future, after all, this is an experience that you will not want to repeat, so the lessons that can be learned from giving up should be ones that will stand you in good stead for the future.

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