You Don't Have To Hate It To Leave
Ep. 185
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One of the biggest misconceptions about quitting is that you can only do it if you’re miserable. 

After all, if it’s not terrible, why leave? 

Don’t be ungrateful. Other people would kill for this job.

Don’t risk all of the uncertainty, regret, and judgment.

Suck it up. 

And if these are the thoughts you’re operating under, you’re going to sabotage your own life in an attempt to have an “excuse” to quit. 

You’ll start focusing on all the terrible things about your situation. 

You’ll complain about it non-stop to your co-workers, spouse, friends…hell, anyone who will listen.

You’ll refuse to find ways to be happy exactly where you are.  

You’ll start snowballing everything that is wrong in order to justify leaving. 

Here’s the truth: You don’t need any justification. 

You get to quit just because you want to. 

Even if everything is ok.

Because you want growth. 

Because you want new adventures. 

Because you want to try something else. 

In fact, that is the BEST place to quit from.

Because you’re not doing it out of desperation. 

Because you know you could be happy either way.

Because you’re not waiting for some new circumstance to make you happy (spoiler alert: it never will long term) 

So if you’re putting off your own happiness because of the hope of changing your situation, stop. 

Make yourself happy exactly where you are.

And then decide to quit because you want to. 

This week on the podcast I go more in-depth about how to view quitting so you can still be happy where you are.

Show Transcript
I actually loved the people I worked with and the work wasn't that insane and I realized like I'm so ungrateful to want to leave a job that's paying me $160,000 a year. I was 26 years old at the time. Like my whole thought process was there's no way I'm allowed to quit this. Are you insane?

Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode. I'm so excited you are here. I wanted to just quickly share before we jump in that I've gotten the nicest messages. I always get the nicest messages from you guys, but in the last day, in the last 24 hours, I've gotten like four different messages from friends, people that I've worked with, either law community or just friends that I've made in other places that have reached out and said the kindest things about the podcast, what I'm doing, like how it's inspired them to do the things they're doing. And these messages obviously mean the world to me, it's interesting doing this work noticing myself discount good messages all the time and focus on the bad ones. And I'm trying to kind of slow that down and stop that and really sit in the gratitude when I get these beautiful messages from people. But what was interesting for me is really looking back, you know, it's like now I have a lot of pride in what I've built. I love what I'm doing. And I've changed so much in my thinking that, you know, these are like the cherry on top. They're, it's great, but I didn't need the validation let's say. And I remember how desperate I was for the validation, like how scared I was to put this podcast out in 2018 and how terrified I was for the people that knew me and what they would think. For my law school friends, my law firm friends, just anybody on social media. And I don't know, I mean, just if this helps for anybody, I think you can never know where it's gonna go, right? Like I never knew if or when I would ever get people to kind of understand what I'm doing.

And I look back now and I'm just so proud of myself. And I'm so happy that I chose to take that step because I get to be an example for other people of what's possible. And I get to be an example for them as they start these new ventures and they tell me about their dreams and they do these incredible things. And it was so hard for so long. And you have to do it in the absence of that validation, in the absence of other people understanding, in the absence of knowing whether it's gonna go anywhere in order to ever get to the place where you've built something that affects other people, that can help other people, that you can be extremely proud of. So I don't really know what the point of this is more than like I've just been shocked. I just got the last message and I was like huh, just thinking back about my past self and what I would've done if I knew that this was gonna happen, right? Like how much it would've helped me through so many of the lows like knowing like it's gonna be okay, people are gonna like it, people are gonna get help from it. And now it feels so wonderful but I'm so proud that I did it without knowing, right. I'm so proud I did it when I didn't have the cheering squad or everybody like telling me how great it was. I'm so glad that I did it resting on my own validation of knowing like this is the thing I wanna do. And whether it succeeds or fails, I'm gonna go down with this ship. We're gonna see what happens. And then to see where it has come, it's just been such a cool and unbelievable journey for me. And I want for all of you to really see like what is possible, right. Being an example of what's possible for people in the future. And maybe you don't see that now. And maybe it seems super scary and it seems like a lot of uncertainty and it seems like it might fail and it might, right. I had the same visions when I was doing the photo booth business. I so desperately wanted that to be successful just because I wanted people so quickly to look at me and think like oh wow, she did it. And I didn't get that. And I remember being so crushed kind of by that when I was starting this podcast and thinking well, I did something and it wasn't a huge knockout like success. And I'm just so glad that I continued to let myself try things and do other things so that I could find the thing that lights me up and helps me kind of put my mark in this world. So anyways, that's a long-winded way of me taking a moment to celebrate and be proud of myself. And I hope that you all get to experience that. And a lot of that comes after a lot of the fear and doubt and terror and self-loathing and all that other stuff that comes with it. And it comes from really learning to validate yourself. So that's that. Let's jump into today's episode, which I am so excited about because I get this all the time. And I see this as in patterns with so many people that I help. And I know all of you are doing this, cuz we all do it. I did it. And so I want you to stop it. Alright, here's the thing. One of the biggest misconceptions that I hear from people and that I have and that we have to change and it's subconscious, none of us are really conscious to it, but we believe that if it's not terrible, if I'm not actively miserable in whatever it is that I'm doing, then I don't need to change it. Right? Like we've already established that humans don't like change. Our brain is wired for certainty. And the more we know, we will stick with. That's why we have sayings like better the devil you know than the devil you don't, right. That is why so many of us stay in things where it's just meh, you're not happy but at least you're not miserable. And it's only when we're like so miserable like we hit rock bottom when it's like a good enough excuse to leave or so we think. Again, it's not a conscious thought because we've sort of been trained to believe like if it's just okay, if everything is okay, why would you leave? I want you to think about your relationships or your jobs because we've all been programmed by a lot of these misconceived notions like you should be grateful, so many other people would kill for this. Right? We stick with things; you don't just give up. Why would you risk it? There's uncertainty if you try something else. We've all been programmed. Like you pick one partner and you stay with them for the rest of your life. You pick one career and you just do that because the goal hasn't ever been happiness or fulfillment or things like that, it's just been stability. I pick that one career and it provides me a paycheck for the rest of my life. And that's fine. That's what a career is for, right. That's sort of the the messages that we've gotten and think about even with your friends, right? We don't just end friendships but why? Sometimes our friendships, it's like we've outgrown them, but we are all so used to the status quo. Like we're so afraid of change. We're so afraid of the negative feelings that it might bring up, that we stay in these really ordinary and oftentimes unfulfilling lives, relationships, places, just because it's easier. I mean, if you think about even like hobbies, I should think about the messages that we get. Like let's say you've practiced the piano for a number of years, right? You're good at the piano. And then if you stop playing for whatever reason, like the messages you're gonna get is like it's such a shame. You spent so much time doing that. You were so talented. As if, just because you've spent some time doing it, you should continue doing it forever. Or just because you have an affinity for something or you're good at something you should just continue doing it because of that reason, right? It's like the sunk cost fallacy over and over again. While you've put in so much time and effort into this relationship, you've put in so much time into these friendships, you've put in so much time into this hobby, into this job, you know what it is. And so even if it isn't a hell yes, even if you don't love it, you’re just gonna stay, right. Like just keep doing it. Don't rock the boat. And it's because of these thoughts that we have that we, it's just thoughts, it's just thoughts of the way that it should be, that we just decide okay, I guess I'm in this for life now. Yes, I'm just gonna keep chugging along in the same way, just because that's how we've always done it. That's how it's always been. And so what happens if you just feel like you've outgrown something? You're bored, you've learned everything you need to learn there. Right? I think like intellectually we all understand that we're not gonna be the same person in our twenties that we are in our thirties, that we are in our forties, whatever, as it keeps going. Obviously we change. Our interest will change, our personalities change, what we find fun changes. And yet we're so set in the fact of like I don't ever want uncertainty or I don't wanna ever cause any type of negative emotion in anybody else so I'm just gonna keep doing the same thing over and over again. And so when we start feeling like we are bored or we want something else or we've outgrown something or the chapter kind of is over, we start making ourselves miserable because we have this subconscious belief that I have to be miserable in order to leave. So if I can't stay anymore, if I don't want to stay in this, I guess I should just focus on everything that is wrong with this and ruminate over that and blow it up in my head and make myself so unhappy to justify why I should be allowed to leave. It's like a type of self-sabotage. We start making fights with our partner, right? We start focusing on all the things we hate about work. We complain about it to this person and that person and it just keeps growing, right? Whatever you're gonna focus on is going to grow. And so when you start telling yourself and you start looking at all of the little things that are going wrong, that's what you start seeing. I did this when I was at my, the first job I had at the law firm I talk about. It's a big law firm. I knew I wouldn't like it before I went. Okay. So like I knew I didn't wanna stay there. In my own mind, it was, I had made the plan to go to make money to pay off my loans. That was like the only reason I was taking this job. I knew that's not why I went to law school. I knew it wasn't gonna be fulfilling. For me.

Okay. But I got a job in 2008. I started right before the crash. And then there was the crash, right? So actually, work wasn't that bad because there wasn't that much work, right. There was like kind of the world was falling and there wasn't a lot of work for people to be doing. So the way that the big law firms are, the reason they're so unbearable for a lot of people is just the sheer number of hours you have to work is almost insane. And so people burn themselves out and that's what I was expecting when I went. I was like you know what, I already know I'm not gonna last a year because I'm not gonna wanna work like this. But then I got there and it wasn't bad, I wasn't working that much. And I panicked because it was actually bearable. I actually loved the people I worked with and the work wasn't that insane and I realized like I'm so ungrateful to want to leave a job that's paying me $160,000 a year. I was 26 years old at the time or 27, right. I grew up with like parents that were immigrants that had to work so hard, you know, to make less than that. Like my whole thought process was there's no way I'm allowed to quit this. Are you insane? Even though I knew I didn't like it, right. I wasn't miserable but I just didn't like the work. And so I started really focusing on everything that was wrong at that law firm. I complained so much. I cannot even tell you the amount that I complained to my parents, at the time like my husband now was my boyfriend at the time or my fiancé I guess, how much every day I would find the littlest things. Like I was complaining about the fact that there wasn't work because I was always anxious that they were like I had to be on call. And so I didn't know how to obviously manage my mind. And so I was so anxious about that Blackberry just dinging. And I didn't know what I was doing at the time. I didn't realize I was doing this but I wanted my parents' permission, you know, my fiancé's permission to quit. I wanted somebody else to tell me it's okay. If you don't like it, you can leave. And I knew that they weren't gonna do that if I was just like mmm meh, that's alright, but I don't wanna work here. Right. My parents definitely would've put up a fight and been like are you crazy? You're making insane amounts of money. And the work is bearable. Like suck it up. And they did do that in the beginning when I first complained a lot but I kept complaining and I made myself so miserable at that job.

I had so much anxiety that I just created for myself. There wasn't anything happening but I just remember being so frustrated that it got to the point where my parents were like just quit for the love of God, stop talking about this. And I remember how relieved I felt when they said that. It was like as if they'd given me permission to go in and quit. I didn't know I was seeking their permission but that's what I was doing. And then I quit and I think back and I'm like it was so much unnecessary drama and suffering. Right. I could have just quit because I wanted to freaking quit. Cause I didn't wanna work there but I couldn't justify that in my own mind so I had to make myself and make the situation so unbearable that it would be okay quote unquote like it would be justified for me to say I don't wanna work there. And I see this all the time with my clients. They have like an okay job. It's like very normal. I mean, I have some clients who have like, you know, big law jobs and they're working insane hours. Okay, fine. We can talk about that circumstance and the thoughts that they have about that and all that. But I have people who it's like regular nine to five, don't work nights and weekends, you know, don't have toxic work environments, it’s just whatever. It's okay. The hours are okay. The pay’s okay. And maybe they've just outgrown it. Right. Maybe they've done it and they're not learning anything anymore. Like human beings by nature, our brain wants to always be learning. And so maybe they've done it for a lot and they're just bored. Maybe they just wanna try something new. But then obviously the fears set in like the fear of regret, the fear of making the wrong choice, fear of judgment of everybody else, fear of uncertainty. What's gonna happen if I leave? And so as soon as the uncertainty comes in and our brain has been so programmed to like avoid uncertainty at all costs, we start realizing like okay, I can't leave. And so that's where the feeling of like stuckness comes in because we've just told ourselves a lie that we can't leave. And so then we just start focusing on why this is the worst job in the whole world. And I like get people who are like trying to convince me that they have the worst possible job. And like when we break it down, they even see it. They're like it's not that bad. Alright, so what is with the song and dance of making it so terrible in your own mind? And I know it's just because they want to feel like it's okay for me to leave. And I see this all the time cuz part of what I do in Pave Your Path, in the program that we do a big module that we focus on is loving what is right now, right? Is slowing down and trying to figure out how you can love your life exactly where you’re at, with the exact circumstances you have, without leaving. Because when you leave, you're gonna take that same brain to the next circumstance. So we're gonna clean up our mind first and figure out how we set boundaries, how we start doing the things we love, how we make time for ourselves, how we start loving the job that we're at right now. And I get so many clients they’re so resistant to this. They're so resistant to me trying to help them change their minds about their jobs where they are miserable in. And it's always because they're having thoughts like if I like it here, then I'm just gonna stay stuck. If I like it, then I won't have the motivation to leave. Right. If I like it, I won't have the excuse to leave. And so we almost have this thing that like I am willing to feel terrible for a prolonged period of time because I have the hope or the prospect of being able to change something in the future. And so we just create so much suffering so that everybody else can understand when we say oh, we quit. Yeah, of course. Like you were miserable there, of course you should quit. And I just want you to know you don't have to hate it to leave. Let's normalize changing our mind just because, right. Clearly this is called Lessons From A Quitter, I very much wanna normalize quitting things that no longer serve you. Hobbies, relationships, jobs, the state you live in. I don't care. I want you to start looking at your life like a series of chapters or experiments, right? Chapters are going to end. You are going to evolve as a human being hopefully as you grow. People are gonna come in and outta your life. Things are gonna change you. You're gonna start learning a different way to live. You're gonna question your own ways, right? Your old ways. All of that is supposed to happen. Those are not bad things. Those are great things. And when you look at it that way, it's okay for a chapter to end. There's not something wrong with you. You're not doing something wrong because you've outgrown a relationship or you've outgrown a job or you've outgrown a hobby or whatever it is. You're evolving. One of the questions I like to ask myself again and again and I think we all should is like would I do this again? If I had to start now, okay. If I had to make that decision again, would I still be in the same relationship with this person? If I had to apply for this job, would I do the same job again? If I had to go to school right now for this, like would I go back to law school or whatever? And if the answer is no and the only reason you're doing it is because it's hard to change it. And by hard, I mean, you're gonna have negative feelings. It's gonna cause some negative emotion in people, but you know what else is hard living a life you don't wanna live. Living a life that isn't true to you. It's funny because that's like the number one regret of people on their death bed. Like they've done all of these studies where they interview people who are dying and the number one regret is that I didn't live a life that was true to me. I lived a life that other people wanted me to live. Right. This isn't like you don't have to take my word for it's just like documented and we can see why. Cause we always think like we have more time or we'll figure it out later. And so many of us like spend our whole lives doing things we just don't wanna do because we think we don't have a good enough excuse to change it. And I just want you to know you don't need an excuse at all. And so we try to take the quote unquote easy way out. Like oh, at least it's safe here. It's certain. But that easy way out is just so much harder. It makes it so much harder in the long run. There's so much resentment that gets built. There's so much anger created because we can't face up to the fact that we just don't wanna do this thing anymore. And so I just wanna know like what if that chapter just ended and it was beautiful and it was great and it served its purpose and you learn from it and you grew and it's over now and that's okay. It's not anybody’s fault. Even, let's say like a friendship that has to end doesn't mean any of you are bad or good. It just means you've outgrown each other. That's okay. We change. Would you rather somebody stay friends with you just because they have to and they don't actually wanna be around you or would you rather give people the permission to decide like we've grown in different ways. It was wonderful. I'm not saying you have to have like formal discussions to end things but I'm just saying like we do so many things because of guilt because we should, because we've always done it. And that's just a terrible reason to live your life that way. And so the most empowered place that you can be when you make a decision is not from a place of I'm so miserable. That's the worst way to make a decision because you're doing it out of fear and lack, right? You're chasing another destination. When you do it from that, you're saying I need to go find something else so I can hopefully feel better. And we all know how that works. You don't end up feeling better. You take that same brain with you. You go to another job and you just feel miserable, right? You go into another relationship and we, with relationships, this is really interesting to see, right? Why do we keep repeating the same patterns? Why do we attract the same type of people? Because we're just making the same decision from the same place, from fear and lack, from needing other people to validate us or whatever the thing may be, for needing the love that we don't think that we deserve. And so we just keep creating the same cycles. And so when you make a decision from this empowered place of like this chapter has just ended and I'm choosing what I want to do next. I want something different. I'm willing to sit through the uncertainty and the fear and the shame change and, you know, other people not understanding because I want to live my life in a way where I'm constantly checking in and asking is this what I want now? And if it's not, I'm not shaming and blaming myself, I'm taking that responsibility for my life. And I'm deciding what it is that I actually wanna do or who I wanna be with or whatever the case may be. And it's funny because I know that this sometimes sounds contradictory to what I say because I don't think people should leave and I always say this like I don't think you should leave your job from a place of being miserable. Again, because I think you think that if you change the circumstance, if you change the job, then you'll be happy. But you won't because you're gonna go to the next place and do the same exact thing. Still gonna be a people pleaser. You're still not gonna set boundaries. You're still gonna work on nights and weekends. You're still gonna have anxiety and then you're still gonna hate that place. And so that's why I think people should stay and clean up what is going on in their own minds and learn how to manage their own mind before they actually quit. But it's funny because like I've had a client in my program where, you know, oftentimes when people are trying to tell me to quit, I'm I'm not trying to talk them in it one way or another but I'm trying to show them that like maybe this is the place to stay and do the work. And I recently had a client who was telling me that he wanted to quit because this is the only job he's ever been at and he'd been there for a number of years and kind of outgrown it. And he wants to see what it's like to work with other coworkers and work in another environment. And I was like that's a great idea. That's a great reason to quit. You should quit. Find something else, right? Because it's coming from a place of like I've explored this. I've now outgrown it. I could stay here and just keep making that paycheck. But I want to see what else is out there. I may love it. I may not. I may have to keep pivoting until I figure out what it is what I that I want. And I'm willing to go on that journey to get to know myself better, to get to have a life that I want, to feel more fulfilled. That is the perfect reason to quit. And so I want you, when you are looking at your life and maybe looking at like where am I doing this? Right? Where am I focusing on what I hate and making myself more miserable? Because I feel like I can't leave if I'm not unhappy. Like let's just start there and figure out where we're doing that. And then ask yourself why? What if I could leave? Even if I was perfectly happy, even if it was fine, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted because I wanted something more. I wanted more growth. I wanted to experience something else. If this isn't something I would choose to do today, why am I still staying here? What's the real reason? What am I afraid of? When you can start answering those questions, you can start understanding like what is it that I actually want to do with my life and why am I not doing it? I promise you when you realize that you don't have to hate your job to leave, you don't have to hate whatever it is you have to end that chapter, it becomes extremely liberating because you can be happy where you're at. You can work on being able to live in, you know, the now and not suffer for the hope that one day you're gonna find some magical unicorn place that you're gonna feel great. And you still get to decide to leave once you're happy, once you're empowered, once you manage your mind, just because you want more, just because you want something different, just because you don't need an excuse. You don't need to explain to other people, you don't need to justify yourself. And that's the most liberating way to live. And if you want help with that, you know where to find me. This is the work that we do in Pave Your path for six months. And honestly, here's the thing: why would you want to live the other way? This is why I don't understand why everybody doesn't wanna do the program. Like if you can learn how to manage your mind in a way that you can be happy where you're at no matter where that is and you can start really intrinsically understanding what you want and what you don't want and how to go for it. It's the best skill you will ever learn. So if you wanna join the next round, go to and sign up for the wait list. Hope to see you all there. And I'll see you guys next week for another episode.

Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, share it with someone else. I promise you know somebody who also hates their job and wants to quit, so why not share the love? And if you want to come follow along for more, come join me on Instagram at LessonsFromAQuitter and make sure you say hi. I'll see you next week for another episode.