Don’t Hesitate To Quit

Your Joy is Worth it

Ahna Hendrix
4 min readApr 14, 2023
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I quit taking a class that I paid for and only had one week left to finish.

As children we’re taught a lot of things — sit up straight, don’t chew with your mouth open, don’t disrespect your elders, and the most classic of them all, finish what you start.

This was the era I grew up in. My parents happily signed us up for sports or music classes, BUT we had to finish whatever we chose.

Sounds fair, right?

I used to think so, but not anymore.

There are plenty of good intentions behind the philosophy “finish what you start”, but it’s from a time when choice and autonomy weren’t prevalent or revered. When feelings weren’t important. And when we didn’t understand the repercussions of ignoring our wants and needs.

Yes, it can be wonderful to commit until the end! I have great admiration for those who stick through years of marriage and came out smiling in the end. Or the person who knew what they wanted and didn’t let anything get in their way until they achieved it.

You know the stories, there are plenty of them!

But there’s another side to this philosophy and one that isn’t spoken about enough. It’s the side that takes us further away from Who We Are instead of bringing us closer to Who We Are.

Let me explain why.

First, when “finish what you start” is attached to our decisions, we become more hesitant to take a step out and try something new. We won’t just dive in! We’ll lead with our heads instead of our hearts.

Therefore, we’ll lose our ability to take risks.

Think about it — What would you do if you didn’t have to finish it? What have you been dying to try For The Heck Of It?

Second, we’ll put too much pressure on our decisions and suck the life out of them.

Who here hasn’t signed up for a class thinking, “This is going to be my NEW thing”, and then it turns out we don’t like it at all?

Then we feel like a failure. An idiot. When the opposite is true! It’s a success to learn we don’t like something, too.

I’ve had a journal since the age of seven and always wanted to be a writer. But when the time came, I discovered that it drained me more than enlivened me.

No, I don’t want to have to pump out articles like a machine! But yes, I do want to write articles when I feel inspired and definitely want to write a book one day (or a few).

Third, forcing ourselves to do things that aren’t in alignment destroys the relationship with our bodies. The body is the greatest tool of wisdom we’ve been given in this lifetime! Yet we’ve been taught to ignore it.

Children know when they do/don’t want to do something primarily because their body informs them. But the people around them disagree or say it's wrong, which confuses them, and leads to distrust of the body.

The child becomes an adult who starts a career or perhaps a marriage that isn’t fully aligned because they were taught to ignore their body’s intuition. And before you know it, they’ve lived a lifetime of not honoring their wants and needs, so they barely know what they want/need.

Life is meant to be tasted along the way. It’s meant to be tried and considered. It’s meant to be played with.

What would your life look like if you didn’t put pressure on yourself to finish things? If you played more? If you quit when it wasn’t aligned?

Can we truly enjoy life when the reigning philosophy is “finish what you start”?

Or do we trade our joy for gold stars? For the picket white fences? For some material ideals of achievement?

A few weeks ago, I quit taking a class that I paid for and only had one week left to finish.

It wasn’t aligned anymore. It was stealing my joy from an activity I loved because the class was boring me.

I wanted something different. And “finishing what I started”, upsetting the instructor, letting down others, etc wasn’t as important as honoring my needs.

And I gotta tell you, walking away felt amazing!

We don’t need to feel trapped by life. By our commitments. By anything! Our life is OUR life.

And this isn’t meant to give you permission to walk away from people and responsibilities. But it is meant to give you permission to question if you should!

The old paradigm of “finish what you start” is dead and gone.

The new paradigm is Listen To Your Body. Learn to communicate with it. Learn to decipher when things are/aren’t aligned.

And learn to quit when it’s in your best interest.

Hope this story served :))

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Ahna Hendrix

Spiritual Guide. Akashic Channel. Intuitive Healer. Teacher. Podcaster. When we invest in ourselves, the world benefits.