I’m not a quitter, I’m a fighter. I keep going even though all odds are against me. Even though it’s hard. That’s how I build my whole life, I fight for what I want and never give up.
That’s how I got my first boyfriend too.
I was 17 years old, we had been dating for 2 years, and then one evening, just finished my work I thought I’m gonna surprise him. I went home, freshened up, put a nice dress on and then cycled the 5 km to his house. I parked my bike next to the house and walked to the door. The moment I walked to the door I had this yucky feeling. Like something was off. I couldn’t place it. I opened the door, full of excitement and there I saw him standing, my boyfriend, kissing my best friend.
I don’t know where I got the guts from, but I walked in, tapped him on his shoulder and smacked him in the face. True story! I’ll never forget that moment, he neither, I’m sure!
But that was the first time I quit something.
Too often are we told quitting is not an option, quitters never win, never give up, you cannot fail unless you quit, the moment you want to quit you need to keep pushing.
Which keeps people stuck in jobs they hate and in relationships that drain them or that repeatedly cheat on them.
Today I want to tell you that quitting is sometimes the best thing to do.
For almost 6 years we’ve been going through fertility treatments, it was one of the hardest things of my life. Dealing with pain, anger, hope, expectations, sadness, grief, loss, love, all at once, while living abroad.
But to be honest, all the injections, the thousands of dollars, and the wasted time were nothing compared to the day that I had to make a decision to keep going or quit.
To continue the physically and emotionally demanding treatment with a very tiny chance of having a baby or quit IVF and give up on our dream to start a family.
One of the hardest things in life is deciding whether to walk away or try harder.
Sometimes quitting is NOT the best option:
For example, when I was in the last year of my bachelor’s and I got a bad grade on my internship, because I didn’t do exactly how my mentor wanted me to do it. I had a very reasonable but emotional response that I wanted to quit, thank god my school talked me out of it, because 3 weeks later I graduated.
Or the day that I was climbing Mt. Everest. I had blisters everywhere, I was freaking cold and in the middle of a snowstorm I decided that it was enough. I sat down and told my husband that I quit. Thank god he talked me out of it, or I would have frozen to death.
But sometimes quitting IS the best option:
- Like a cheating boyfriend
- A job where there’s no opportunity for growth
- IVF when the chance of a healthy baby is less than 1%
How do you make the decision to quit?
Some people make decisions with their head and that looks like this:
- First I’m going to apply for another job, and if I get it, then I’ll quit my job.
- There’s this girl on tinder that I like, but there are so many more options, maybe I look further first – I don’t want to miss out
Some people, like me, make decisions with their heart, that looks like this:
- I’m too tired to listen anymore to those stupid jokes of my boss, I quit
- my boyfriend just looked at another girl, I quit.
What I would suggest is to check in with your head & heart.
Back in 2011, I was thinking about leaving the Netherlands and discover the world. My heart said: yes, that’s exciting, adventures, new people, My head yelled: no, you don’t have a job, a plan, you can’t just drive to Paris all by yourself!
When there’s a conflict, check in with your gut, your values, mine is freedom, so it was clear. I packed my bags and never turned back. Best decision ever!
But then what.. once you’ve made the decision to quit.
They say when one door closes, the other opens. I don’t think that’s true. When one door closes you end up in the hallway, waiting for the next door to open. And the hallway is a messy place, of uncertainty, loneliness, hope, expectations, doubts, and fears.
You’re in between the person you no longer are, and the person you’re not yet.
This messy place is where you have to reinvent yourself, redesign your future. You can’t do this alone! You need to find your tribe! People who are in the same situation as you, who get you, likeminded people!
- When I quit my boyfriend and I wasn’t interested in any man, my tribe existed of girls only
- When I quit my life in the Netherlands to travel the world my tribe existed of travelers.
- When I quit my job and became a business owner my tribe existed of entrepreneurs
- When I quit IVF my tribe existed of… PAUSE no one..
You know, travelers and entrepreneurs are everywhere. Super visible, like yelling from a rooftop.
But people who are childless after IVF, are not. They don’t talk about it, they don’t show off with pictures of their bruised belly and their empty arms on Facebook. They don’t post a picture of the nursery room that will never be used or share photos of the drawing they received (from themselves!) on Mothersday. They don’t. They are struggling in silence and nobody knows. PAUSE
I was looking for my tribe, everywhere. I wanted to connect with people who are like me, people who would get me, but I couldn’t find them.
And so I created something so special, so unique that I knew that they would find ME.
Twice a year a small group of female entrepreneurs who are (just like me) childless-not-by-choice come together, in a beautiful location around the world to redesign their future for happiness and success.
Btw. There are still spots available, if you know somebody, feel free to reach out!
Like I said before, I’m not a quitter. I don’t give up so easily. I fight for what I think is worth it. But when in doubt, I ask my heart, my head and check in with my core values. And then.. sometimes quitting is the better option even when it means giving up on your dream, that doesn’t mean it’s easy, but one thing I can tell you for sure,.
It’s better to quit than to not make a decision at all, because the longer you delay your decision, the longer your life is delayed.
And life is too freaking short for that!