Quit While You’re Behind



The majority of us are familiar with the phrase, “Quit while you’re ahead,” used to remind ourselves, or others, that there are situations when it’s best to get out while things are working for us.

Today I’m going to discuss quitting while you’re behind.

What does this mean, exactly?

Here’s the scenario:

I have a client who—regardless of the excellence of her work—is incapable of pleasing her supervisor. Low-grade gripes and grumbles, nit picking and non-sequiturs inevitably meet her.

“What can I do?” she asked me recently. “He is impossible to please!”

“Hhhmmmm,” I asked her, “are you the only one he treats this way or is this how he shows up in the world?”

“It’s the same for everyone! It’s maddening. I thought I could make a difference.”

“Time to quit while you’re behind,” I told her.


Now some of you may be thinking—as she did—that I wanted her to quit her job.

Absolutely not.

What I wanted her to realize was that grumpy is where her supervisor feels most comfortable.

Crabby is his happy.

Recognizing this made it easier for her to stop taking his comments and behavior personally. Quitting on the idea of getting ahead with him freed her up to do outstanding work for her own satisfaction, not his. 

I mention this on the off chance you, too, know someone who is happiest when they’re unhappy/victimized/moody.

If you do? Quit while you’re behind.

Because the only person you need to—and can—get ahead with is yourself.


For more on the importance of choosing your attitude, regardless of the situation, take a look at “Freedom’s just another word…”