What I Learned from Quitting

This past weekend I decided to sign up for a Pilates certification program in NYC as I thought that having an extra certification would  be good to have for the studio*

[*My sister and I own and run a yoga/barre studio, because we are millennials and we love (and need) to have side hustles. An article in the NYPost backs up the theory: “One in two millennials has a “side hustle” in a bid to boost their cash or chase a long-held passion”.]

The Pilates program would run through the whole weekend, from 4 pm-8 pm on Friday, 2 pm-8 pm on Saturday, and 12 pm-6 pm on Sunday. Going into it I was excited and thought it was something I just HAD to do.On Friday I decided to drive into the city because Google Maps said that driving would be faster than taking the train (Those of you who have been to NYC or have driven there, you know how terrifying of an experience driving in the city can be).

I ended up arriving late due to traffic, so I started off the class a bit frazzled.. After the instructor taught the initial class, she started reviewing the outline of the weekend and mentioned how we should constantly be practicing Pilates so we are always improving, and how important it was to take your role as a Pilates instructor seriously.

Right then I began to realize that I might have made a mistake signing up:

  1.  I hadn’t taken a Pilates class in YEARS and really had no idea what the class even entailed.
  2. I was NOT planning on taking another Pilates class ever, let alone regularly.
  3. I really didn’t care enough about Pilates.  

All the other students in the class were Pilates “hardos”.They all had already memorized the format of the class and  took classes multiple times a week,The instructor taught classes 6-8 hours a day. And then there was me, the girl who pretty much blindly signed up for this class “just because”. Most people would probably have had that thought before they signed up for and paid for the class, but people-pleasing Emily thought it would make her sister happy if she had another certification or another way to contribute to the studio.  

That’s when the internal debate began. “Should I just quit?”

But I am NOT a quitter! If I start something, as much as I hate it, or if I find a million reasons to quit, I don’t quit. For example, I DON’T want to make cold calls at work , but I do because I have to because that’s how I make money. OR I DON’T want to wake up at 5 am to workout but I do, because that is the only time I have, and I have to work out to stay healthy.  hose are all musts in my life, things that are non-negotiable.

But the outcome of becoming a Pilates instructor was not a MUST-have, it was a “nice-to-have”.  A nice-to-have that would take up over 24 hours of my precious waking weekend hours.

On top of that I wasn’t passionate about it in any way shape or form. Things I am passionate about? My job; improving my skills so that I can write and speak better; teaching barre at my studio and bringing in new materials to make the classes better; and most importantly, I love having the TIME to do it all. Time is the most precious thing and it’s the one thing that I never seem to have enough of.

So why the HELL would I want to waste it that weekend? I didn’t, so I decided to quit.

That night I sent them an email saying I wasn’t coming back.  And MY GOD did that feel good. I was also proud of myself because I thought that was a very adult thing to do, to be okay with quitting and saying no.  

A few lessons I learned from quitting this class:

  1. I was no longer going to do things that weren’t going to help me get better at what I am really passionate about. Now this one seems pretty obvious, but to the “yes” people out there, or the people-pleasers, we often find ourselves off track of what WE really want to do in order to make others happy or doing things that we THINK will make them happy
  2. Time is the most valuable thing we haveThis is also what we all complain about not having enough of, so use that time you have very wisely, and only commit to things that will make you happy you did in the end.
  3. It’s okay to say no and bow out. This was definitely my biggest lesson and it was SO freeing. I am definitely a people-pleaser and always want to be perfect and do everything. It was so great that I allowed myself to be selfish and not to play that part anymore.

People will always make time or make things work if they are a MUST-HAVE, versus a NICE- TO-HAVE.

What are your personal must-haves? And what nice-to-haves should you let go of?Leave me a comment below!

-Emily

2 thoughts on “What I Learned from Quitting

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