Throughout our childhood, whenever things became difficult, we were encouraged by parents, coaches, teachers, and others to keep going. “Don’t ever give up,”they would say. In many ways, we were taught that this was a measure of integrity. After all, perseverance in the face of hardship builds character. Later in life, as we build our career, society teaches us a similar theme: success relies on persistent hard work. In that scenario, there is rarely place for deliberate disengagement.
But what if there is? What if giving up is the good thing to do?
Disengagement Can Be a Good Thing
Walking away from something we’ve committed to can be difficult. But a growing body of research suggests that persistence has its downside, too. A laser-like focus on one goal (like a promotion) often prevents us from seeking out new opportunities for learning and growth. So, what should we do? Research shows that disengagement actually has positive effects on the body, including fewer illness symptoms like headaches. It also promotes better sleep, which researchers believe is due to the reduction in stress.
No one is suggesting that you simply give up whenever things are too hard. But knowing when to disengage from activities that no longer provide any benefit can make life, and work, easier. This infographic from NetCredit suggests 9 reasons why it might prove beneficial to simply stop. Take a break. And breathe…
Knowing when to walk away from something that’s no longer serving you is an important trait.In fact, it is the mark of someone who knows where to focus their time and energy.
Also published on Medium.