Welcome to this podcast episode about finding the courage to quit. In this podcast Rianne shares how she got from not being able to quit to quitting very easily. Her transformation from not choosing until it was too late, to very intelligently quitting by following a framework of 5 questions and eventually to intuitive decisions making. So join Rianne in this podcast where she shares personal stories and everything about her framework of the art of quitting..
So let's start and take a deep dive.
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Having the courage to quit, one of the most challenging things in your life
One of the most challenging things I came across in my 36 years on this planet is finding the courage to quit. And to be honest I was really bad a quitting! Especially quitting a successful job or business, and even an unsuccessful one. You would think that that would be easier, but to be honest I think it is even harder. Well at least it was for me.
And if you go to the essence of these decisions to quit a job or a business they are all life changing decisions which I experienced 10 years ago to be so frightening. And now I actually see them as the most fulfilling and guiding once.
So in this podcast I would love to share with you how I got from not being able to quit to quitting very easily. My transformation from not choosing until it was too late, to very intelligently quitting by following a framework of questions and eventually to intuitive decisions making.
And these three phases are actually the phases you go through before you will be mastering any art. And if you have been following us for a while, you know that we see living life as an art. And as with any other art - like photography or painting - you evenly have to train yourself to be good at it.
So today we are going to talk about mastering the art of quitting - a small but very essential part to mastering the art of life - which just means creating your best life.
But first I want to share a story with you that underlines why it is so important to have a frame work of questions to ask yourself when it comes to quitting. A framework that helps you in the first place with recognising when it is time to reflect about quitting but also with finding the courage to quit and to do it with emotional and rational intelligence
And this first story I wan to share with you is about the first time I made a life changing, big decisions to quit.
Quitting my job - the original of my framework to quit with emotional and rational intelligence
Just please be kind, just like I am to all my not so good or my not so proudest moments and character traits, because in this part of my life I was just leaving university at 23. Really had no clue of what life was really about, just followed what everyone else did and got a job at one of the best law firms in the region.
I can still remember how proud I was and how confident and insecure at the same time but mostly excited to walk into the office of ‘my law firm’. Wel it actually legally wasn’t my law firm but it felt that way, i felt like i was part of it and i was so proud of being part of something so big. And the office building was impressive,, And all the marmer, high ceilings and inner courtyard, But nothing left an impression as all the well dressed man and woman, sitting in their small offices, walking around in the hall ways, calling, looking very business and important.
And after setting in the first steps and really walking through the hallways towards the department I would spend my first 1,5 years in an evenly small office, and with the worst view, the neighbouring office wall. And on my very first day i noticed that my energy of excitement was changing and that I started to feel very small, caged even. But he I said to myself I am wearing my killer heals and my very first tailor made suit - I can do this.
And that is how I started my lawyer job very naive and full with enthusiasm, but I came to the realisation pretty soon - like on my first day - i didn’t know anything about the law or being a lawyer…….and the job was not and i mean really not as cool, fun and romantic as in the movies or in the series SUITS.
My first year was really challenging, I wanted to quit multiple times, felt extremely insecure and had no idea what I was doing - but I pushed through and also realised that I had to give it a chance. this first year was all about really understanding what it meant to be a great lawyer.
the second year went a little bit better, but still not acing it and also still feeling miserable, but I was young, had at least the Friday afternoon drinks as activities I enjoyed outside my 60-80 hours workweek…and some great colleagues that helped me get through the days as well. I actually got to meet Cindy, one of my best friends up until today who i miss almost every day.
the third year I got the hang out of it, changed section, And i don’t say this easily at all, but I was getting really good at my job.. And even though i was getting that good at it and for the outside world i was very successful, i hated it more and more and more. Always dealing with conflicts, clients that where never satisfied because no one wins with lawsuits and lawyers, everybody has to pay high prices even when you winn a case in the NL. So it was really an unfulfilling job to me with also a lot of compony politics, never being good enough, always feeling the pressure of working more hours and delivering more revenue to the company, and still I was telling myself to push through. That I studied too long for this to give up (which was definitely my ego talking, and a big red vlag, but wasn’t that reflective or conscious back then).
And then my fourth year arrived, my best months as a successful lawyer, but also the worst and it even brought me to my lowest point in life.
If i look back I had many moments that I could have realised that i needed to quit this job. I just really had no idea how to quit. i just kept on going with the thought it will get better, this is normal, everybody needs to push through the first years, you studied this long so you can’t quit….I really was locked up in this system of thinking, and had no idea what to do other than being a lawyer or practice law and keep pushing through
Saying in dutch - wie a zegt moet ook b zeggen - which means if you start something you got to finish it.
After almost 4 years of pushing through I had in a split second the thought that dying would be so much easier than to keep on living, and then I knew things needed to change drastically
and if i think back on that moment, I probably was feeling this way for more than a year, every evening I was totally drained of energy, I had bad nights really bad nights, i was emotionally disengaged, I had this constant back pain (and my back is my week spot), If i close may eyes and think back at that moment I can still feel that pain and see me dragging myself out of bed in the morning, sometimes even crawling to the shower, to just sit there for 30 minutes, letting the hot water run over my back to finally loosen up my muscle so i could move and walk and get to the office.
I just lost the spirit of living, of enjoying life.
And with that something become painfully and profoundly clear, something i never wanted to happen, become a reality. I promised myself that i would never get myself in a situation to feel a depression like my father was living with for years and years. I would do everything to prevent it, and now there i was, at the edge of or maybe already knees deep into one.
And if i hear myself talking right now, i realise it is not the most uplifting podcast, and I definitely never intended to let this podcast be depressive, so sorry if it feels a little bit like that, but i do intend it to be real, raw and honest, vulnerable and insightful and i promise after this it will get better! this was my deepest moment in my life - not my worst, but I was definitely at my lowest point.
And to be honest, I just don’t believe in sharing succes stories, the failures, the hurdles the challenges are so much more powerful and insightful.
But im getting distracted.
So when I was at that lowest point in my job as a lawyer, in need of drastically change, Intuitively I knew if I just could set that step inside a corporate company as a legal counsel - even a junior function would be ok - if i just could be there and show them what else i can do, i will be able to leave my profession and do something I actually will enjoy - and so it went.
I found my intuitive confidence and power to quit, yes far too late and from a necessity point of view, but i did it and started a magnificent and fulfilling career within a multinational - well at least for a couple of years - because that path was also not exactly what i had in mind for myself - but he i was still young, and needed to learn my lessons and gained amazing skills i still use up until today which im so grateful for.
But at that moment my biggest outtake was with taking decisions to quit - to carefully watch my energy levels and to never let it come that far anymore. To be able to change course, to quit from an inspiration point of view in stead of a no other option point of view.
And exactly that is the reason why it is so important to have a frame work in place that will help you with taking a decisions to quit based on inspiration instead of necessity.
So here it goes my frame work - which is build up out of a trigger and 5 questions., and in some cases even a sixth one.
The trigger - when do you need to ask yourself if you should quit
So i made this rule for myself that if I noticed I was 3 times not feeling happy or energised in something i was doing - not a moment but more in general a thinking or a feeling - that instantly I would clear out my agenda in the upcoming weekend and take the time to reflect and be honest with myself.
This is also why we tell our clients to always keep a good eye on your energie levels.
The 5 question frame work towards quitting a job or business
Does it make me happy and energized? Not in every moment but in general. If I noticed that 3 times I conclude that it really doesn't make me happy what I'm doing or costs a lot of energy, then I know that I have to be very honest and clear and maybe even quit with what I am doing (this actually goes for everything not only a job).
Is there an opportunity for growth? In a situation that costs me energy or doesn't really make me happy, I always ask myself if there is an opportunity for growth. Are there skills and lessons to learn worth the downside of not feeling happy or enthusiastic about it? This is a question of balance, and if the opportunity for growth doesn't outweigh the negative aspects, I stop with what I am doing.
If I keep doing this, how does this make my life easier or more fun? There is probably a reason you keep a job ( or friends, a company or a hobby, etc.). By asking this question, it becomes obvious what your drivers are, and then you know if it are valid arguments or that your ego or fear is driving you, like status or certainty.
What can't I do right now because I'm still committed to doing this? This clarifies how valuable your time is and what more beautiful things you could do and realize.
What kind of burden will I be lifted off if I stop doing this? Again, this will help visualize the positive outcome of stopping, an essential part of the change.
And last question: can you change perspective? Can your job or business be a vehicle towards your best life - like the opportunity to safe a lot of money and buy your first RE project and create a passive source of income.
If you found this interesting, than we can guarantee you will be extremely excited when you sign up for our mentor program #ModernLifestyle. This frame work is just a very small part of creating your best life. In our program we share all the tools with you to create your best ife and master the art of living. Read more here.
Have an amazing day and feel the breeze!
Rianne & Gerben
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