Vitality How I Learned to Quit The seven ways I stopped holding myself back. By Silvia Mordini Photo via iStock I’ve stopped living past the expiration date. In the natural cycle of life everything has a beginning, middle, and end. All living beings have an expiration date, as do projects, jobs, and even relationships. In healthy ecosystems we accept this pattern without getting stuck by prolonging the endings. Nature knows how to go from seed, to bloom, to decay. This is what allows new growth to occur. Here are the seven key ways I’ve learned how to quit. 1. I accepted my chronological age. I quit trying to act or appear either older or younger than I really am. I act my energetic age. I stopped believing that acting older makes us wiser or convinces others we know more than we actually do. I quit trying to fit a societal timeline associated with age. For instance, when the “right time” is to be married or have children. 2. I stopped pretending to be someone I’m not. Instead of trying to fit in, I fit out where I need to and lean into fitting in where I do so naturally. I accepted the job of being me and quit trying to be someone else. I quit trying to make others comfortable with who they want me to be. I started being my most authentic self without apology. 3. I gave up belonging to or trying to belong to organizations, jobs, or tribes of people who didn’t really want me to be a member. It’s toxic to constantly have a death grip on a job in which you try so hard not to get fired. Instead, fire yourself. I stopped working so hard to meet conditions and prerequisites in order to be accepted. 4. I learned how to rest before I got tired. I quit working so late at night. I stopped falling asleep at my computer. In yoga class I take child’s pose before I can’t breathe or feel too much struggle. I meditate before I get anxious. I fuel up before my tank is empty (both my vehicle and my body). I go to bed instead of doing “one more thing.” 5. I stopped accepting all fairy tales as truths. The prince is not coming to save you. Quit believing in other people’s fantasies. You must save yourself. Discern for yourself your ability to persevere. Feed your heart the willpower to choose which fantasies you want to trust. I quit blaming the wicked witch or waiting for the spell to be broken by the good witch. I started to believe in my own magic. 6. I realized I am the hero and heroine of my own life story. I’m playing the lead role in this play, this masterpiece about my life. I quit acting as if I’m the understudy. I quit letting myself be disempowered in how I write my own script. I practice the mantra: I make my life and no one else makes it for me. 7. I stopped stopping. I quit holding myself back from what I really wanted to do. If I am passionate about the person, the job, or the place I make the grand gesture. I quit overthinking things into analysis paralysis. Life is active. Love is active. I no longer wait for the perfect moment. I don’t pressure myself to gather enough data, or do enough research before I begin. As Steven Pressfield says, “Start before you are ready. Ready is too late. By the time we’re ready, it’s too late. Resistance has seen us coming and has marshaled all its forces to lay us low.” I started starting. As a result, nothing has ever been the same. Living past the expiration date is like living life after the moment has passed. Learning how to quit taught me to be fully present when moving into the possibilities of the unknown. I realized resistance to selective quitting means getting stuck in the toxicity of what you already know. It means playing it safe. Quitting empowers you to leap forward into your best life ever! Learning how to be graceful in endings gives us the stamina for even greater personal growth. Love yourself, love your day, and love your life! — Silvia Mordini is a writer and happiness coach. For 20 years her expert passion has inspired people to connect to their joyful potential. Born in Ecuador, proud of her Italian heritage, Silvia developed a sense of global citizenship early on. In young adulthood she was ran over by a car—a life-changing accident that led her to discover the “alchemy” of yoga to heal and transform. A serial “yogapreneur,” Silvia has owned two yoga studios, founded international Alchemy of Yoga Teacher Training School, and Alchemy Tours where she guides retreats worldwide. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.