Are you a quitter? Well, of course you are.

You’re not still working at your very first job, are you? And you probably aren’t still with your first love.

You likely changed schools, roommates, or even the city in which you live at some point, yes?

In each of these scenarios you had to quit one thing to begin another, although you might not have thought of it that way at the time.

But quitting is a necessary first step to redefining our goals and what we want from life. Quitting frees us from hopelessly pursuing the unattainable, and allows us to move on to new and more satisfying challenges.

Which is the main point that psychotherapist Alan Bernstein & Peg Streep make in their new book, Mastering the Art of Quitting: Why It Matters in Life, Love, and Work.

No One Likes a Quitter, Right?

Unfortunately, there’s a stigma about quitting in American society. Our national tendency is to stay the course, however off-track or misguided it may be.

The word quitter has some very negative connotations: Merriam-Webster defines it as “a person who gives up easily or does not have the courage or determination to finish a task.”

And because our culture values persistence and tenacity so highly, the idea of quitting as a valuable tool to living well seems counter intuitive.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Becoming a Better Quitter

Featuring compelling stories of people who have successfully quit – some easily, some with great effort – Mastering the Art of Quitting provides helpful questionnaires and goal maps to guide you toward becoming a better quitter. Based in science, this book shares many psychological studies that illustrate why some people have a talent for quitting, and why others need to develop their quitting skills.

While it isn’t a how-to book, Mastering the Art of Quitting helps you understand your potential biases and how blind-spots in your thinking might be impacting your ability to quit and move forward with a conscious sense of choice.

According to Bernstein, once you understand your personal propensities on quitting, you’re more likely to consider your options based on their current and potential future outcomes. That keeps you from ruminating and getting stuck. Neither of which are helpful.

Self-Awareness Is Key

My big takeaway from this book was the focus on self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence, both of which we talk about frequently here at Careertopia.

According to Bernstein, people who have a better sense of their thoughts and feelings have an advantage in exhibiting artful quitting.

Take Action Today

Most likely, before you even finish this book, you’ll have shifted your view of quitting from a negative action, and instead see it as a prime opportunity for reframing a situation, imagining new possibilities, and reinventing yourself.

In addition to reading  we recommend using the tools in our Careertopia Starter Kit to immediately gain a better sense of your natural behaviors, reactions, and motivators.

If this is something you think would benefit your life be sure to pick up Mastering the Art of Quitting: Why It Matters in Life, Love, and Work (affiliate link).