Cutting Your Losses: 5 Times You Have to Know When to Tap Out

Amber Heard in Never Back Down

The first time I watched Never Back Down, the set up scene right before the big fight got me HYPED. Jake’s best friend had just been hospitalized by the main antagonist (Ryan) of the movie and he was understandably enraged. Like most guys in his situation, he wanted to do some serious damage to the guy who hurt his friend. Like most people who see someone they care about walking down a destructive path, his sort-of girlfriend, Baja, begged him not to fight the guy. When he wouldn’t listen to her, she tried to appeal to his sense of reason.

Baja: Walking away and giving up are not the same thing.

Jake: Good. ‘Cause I’m not doing either one.

Pretty good response. I don’t think I would’ve been in the right state of mind to give such a response. I probably would’ve told her I didn’t care and then stormed off to fight the guy. I definitely identified and still do identify with Jake in this scenario. Sometimes you’ve just had enough. You can’t let people walk all over you and you for sure can’t let them hurt the people you love without consequences.

Taking Care of Business

Jake handled his business in a positive way. Instead of running Ryan over with his car or busting a cap, Jake fought him one on one with MMA rules in place. No tricks, no dirty fighting. Just two guys settling their beef with their fists in front of a crowd of strangers.  Baja was afraid that Jake would lose himself in the process of defending his loved ones, but he didn’t. Instead, he defended his friend’s honor while maintaining his own. Even though it would have been arguably justifiable, Jake didn’t let his anger get the best of him. He’s a better man than I would’ve been. If somebody had hospitalized my friend or someone close to me, they would be laying up in the hospital bed next to them. Or underground. But then I would be a slave to my rage.

Quitting Doesn’t Mean Giving Up

There are times when fighting the good fight and powering through your struggles is necessary. And then there are times when it’s best to cut your losses. That doesn’t always mean your giving up on yourself. You’ve just identified something that’s contributing more to the impediment of your progress rather than helping you in your progression. In the following instances, it’s best to stop wasting your time and quit while you’re ahead.

1. When It’s Supposed to Be Fun But Isn’t

Have you ever joined a club or organization with the intention of having fun doing something you like with a group of like-minded people only for it to feel more like a job than an escape? That would be a good reason to leave that group. Or do you have friends who either never support your goals or constantly bash your looks or your decisions? Cut em loose. Or say you’re a kid whose parents signed him up for sports and spend more time drilling you over a dropped pass than congratulating you for the progress you’re making. If you’re not happy and you’re not having fun, quit the team. You don’t have to stay in these situations if they aren’t bringing you the joy you were looking for. That’s not what you signed up for.

2. You Don’t Feel Appreciated

This applies both to jobs and relationships. Sometimes you try really hard but your boyfriend or girlfriend seems like they couldn’t care less whether y’all were together or not. Maybe your boss is strapping your with more and more responsibilities but isn’t giving you more and more benefits or even respect. Maybe you’re putting in a lot more than you’re getting out. Don’t wring yourself dry for people who don’t appreciate your hard work and sacrifice. Let them see what it’s like when their doormat is pulled out from under them.

3. You Know You’re Wasting Your Time

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” – not Albert Einstein

There’s no use doing the same thing you’ve been doing if you’re not gaining anything from it. You only have so much time on this Earth. Don’t waste it doing something that’s not helping you progress in life. It’s one thing to waste your time when you think there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You think you’re getting closer to your ultimate goal. Maybe you think you’ll get a promotion if you work late or that girl will finally go o a date with you if you get her a thoughtful birthday present. But it’s another thing to keep plodding along when you KNOW that you’re wasting your time. Maybe your boss has already made it crystal clear that there are no promotions, raises, or overtime opportunities in your future. Maybe that girl moved to Austin without telling you. Don’t keep breaking your back or wasting your energy on these people.

4. There’s No Room For Growth

This one sort of goes with the tip above. Why would you keep being a part of something that helps you gain absolutely nothing? Where there’s no opportunity for growth? The answer is that you shouldn’t. If your job isn’t offering you any incentives, what’s keeping you there? Get a new one. If you’re unhappy with your job and you can’t get overtime and you aren’t getting a raise or a promotion any time soon, it’s a wonder you still work there. Ask for a $1 raise and see gauge the response. If you’re not worth $1 now, you won’t be worth much more in the future. This goes for relationships and organizations as well. If you feel like you’re just going through the motions and you’re not getting anywhere, find something more fulfilling to do with your time and energy.

5. You’ve Changed Your Goals

Sometimes your goals change. That’s just the way it is. If your current path isn’t leading you towards your current goals, something’s got to change. It makes no sense to continue doing something that’s not getting you to where you want to be. If your current job isn’t leading you to the career you want, get a new one. Sometimes you have to put in a little work like getting a new degree or certificate, but it will be worth it in the end if you’re doing what you really want to do. If you got into a relationship not wanting to get married or have kids but now you do but the person you’re with doesn’t, you need to evaluate how important that is to you and whether or not you should continue that relationship. Maybe they’ll change their mind like you did.

In each of these situations, you need to know yourself, know your goals, and know what it’s going to take to reach them if you’re not headed in that direction already.


Follow me: @DoHpodcast and @JestonTexeira

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