I’ve been thinking about quitting.

Mainly because Lisa Congdon has too. This post stopped me mid-scroll and stayed with me for days.

‘I’ve been on a systematic mission to examine and quit everything in my life/work that feels finished or draining or one-sided or obligatory or without purpose or joy. So far in the past 9 months, I’ve quit alcohol, food restrictions, teaching college, my podcast (more on that to come), two boards of directors, working on Fridays, working on umpteen client projects at once, coffee dates with people I don’t know, most public speaking, writing any more books, several friendships, and most weekday evening plans. I have not felt as happy, “balanced” (if such a thing exists) and such a sense of spaciousness in nearly 20 years.’

Loud Quitting

Lisa calls this ‘loud quitting’. She says ‘it is intentional, communicated, assertive… and unapologetic’. Her way of ‘overtly claiming and taking control over’ her time as opposed to constantly pleasing and serving others as she has done for most of her life.

At first, this concept felt radical. Can you really just decide to reshape your life like this? Lisa concedes it’s taken a lot of time and emotional work to reach this point, but there’s still a simplicity to it.

Just stop. Walk away. Say no. Quit.

Am I Quitter?

As I thought about this a little more, I realised I’ve already done some loud quitting in my time.

In my late teens, I quit school because my part time retail job felt more fulfilling and exciting than the A Level syllabus I was supposed to be studying. A few years later, having worked my way up to management, I quit my job, my long-term relationship and my rented flat to move home and go back to college. I’d fallen out of love with my career in retail AND my boyfriend, so I chose a new path. Later still, I quit London for Exeter, and then Exeter for Bristol, because I knew I’d find more happiness in a different postcode.

More recently, in the wake of my CFS diagnosis, I decided to quit a lot of things associated with toxic productivity culture. I no longer hustle hard, skip lunch, work late or say yes to every opportunity that lands in my inbox. Making my health and wellbeing a priority also meant quitting dairy, red wine, lack of sleep and anything that causes unnecessary stress.

What Else Would I Like to Quit?

I guess I’m no stranger to quitting loudly, but I still lean towards people pleasing a lot of the time. There’s plenty I need to put down or walk away from to achieve the ease and spaciousness Lisa describes.

So, what else would I like to quit? Here’s a non-exhaustive list in no particular order…

  • Comparing my creative output to other people’s {especially other people without children and/or a chronic illness}.
  • All the thoughts and beliefs stopping me from starting my memoir {especially the one that makes even typing that sentence a struggle}.
  • Being such a perfectionist {I’ve made progress with this but I’m yet to quit completely}.
  • Feeling like my home must be clean and tidy before I can rest and relax.
  • Feeling like it must be me that cleans and tidies it.
  • Struggling to put myself first.
  • Overthinking.
  • Forgetting to drink anything other than tea.
  • How about you? Is there anything you’d like to quit loudly?

Love Audrey xxx

P.S. Poet Edgar Albert Guest ‘On Quitting’

P.P.S. A version of this post originally appeared in Letters From Love Audrey, my monthly newsletter filled with creative inspiration for you and your business. If you’ve enjoyed reading this and would like more of the same in your inbox, you can sign-up here.

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