Many times I have been tempted to continue down the wrong path just because I had been on it so long and already committed to it so deeply that even the thought of leaving it was painful. Whenever I have given into this feeling, I have only ended up worse off than before. I did this with a masters program that I didn’t end up finishing. I now have massive amounts of federal student loans and will probably end up starting all over again in a new program. I did this with gym memberships. I had a year-long gym membership to one gym which I never used. I wrongly thought if I signed up and toured the gym, it would motivate me to actually use it. That wasn’t realistic, of course, and I ended up wasting a lot of money. Then a few years later, I made the exact same mistake and signed up at another gym. One year and hundreds of dollars later proved to be an exact repeat of the first time.
The lesson to be learned here is not to continue doing the same things you’ve always done if they don’t work for you — even if it means starting over or quitting something you’ve been working at a long time. Better to be a quitter at something that isn’t right for you so you can succeed at what is right for you. I’m not a gym person. I find them dirty and gross. I find them too loud, too bright, and intimidating. I don’t like working out in front of other people. These characteristics are not likely to change. Instead of continuing to try the gym route, I should find other ways of working on my physical fitness. And there are other ways — many of them.
Not everything is meant for you, and there is often more than one right way to achieve your desired outcome, whether it’s a career, weight loss, or any other goal you’ve set for yourself. Instead of making yourself miserable trying to fit a round peg in a square hole, be true to and gentle with yourself and find a strategy that works well for you. Don’t allow your ego to get in the way of admitting you were wrong and need to change something. And don’t allow other people’s opinions that you are “confused”, “don’t know what you want”, “flaky”, etc. to scare you away from starting something new. Fight the urge to give in to inertia. Realize that you’re worth the time and effort it will take to strike out in a new direction.