Is There a Time to Gracefully Retreat?

In my last post Is Success or Failure a Better Teacher? a question was raised “If we never give up will we eventually “make it”, or is there a time that we need to gracefully retreat.” This opens up a whole new topic and I thought it was worthy of dedicating another post to that question.
My first response was “it depends”. It really does depend on many factors and in the video below I discuss a couple of times in my life when a graceful retreat was the answer.

I believe that there are times when we fail that we are actually “being tapped on the shoulder” to go another way. There are other times when we need to try another angle, strategy or just plain keep going. Have a look at my video and let me know what you think.

Please leave me your feedback – do you think there is a time to gracefully retreat?

22 thoughts on “Is There a Time to Gracefully Retreat?

  1. Don Enck

    You pose a very tough question. It goes very deep, deep to the heart. I guess it’s a matter of belief. How strongly do you believe in your venture. Looking at all your options, pros and cons, how has your capital been affected…the list is huge. It’s certainly not an easy decision…unless of course you’re making absolutely no money at all and it’s just a money pit. Even then, it can be tough because you’re big break could be just around the corner.

    Thanks for asking this question. It’s made me think. All in all though, I think I would rely on my “gut” my intuition, what my heart is really telling me.
    Don Enck recently posted..Are You Building Relationships With Effective CommentsMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      You are right Don it is a tough question. I think your final comment on “relying on your gut” is key. I think if we go with our heart we are on track it is when our ego takes over we are in trouble. But sometimes when we are “in” it we can become confused.

  2. Coach Freddie

    Hey Sue,
    I think it’s all about the lessons in life, testing what works, and what we are willing to risk. All these are related… if we don’t learn the lesson we get to repeat it… if we see something is not working we can move to the next thing… and last are we willing to risk it all or how much do we want to bet. We are all different and you’re right… it’s our gut feeling.

    You really have to pay attention to your feeling and what you are thinking. Remember the Law of Attraction says you will attract to you what you focus on and give your energy to.

    Coach Freddie
    Coach Freddie recently posted..The 26 Hour DayMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      I agree with you Coach Freddie it is all about lessons in life. Sometimes I think I was a bit slow as I have repeated several 🙂 However I am wiser these days. And hindsight is always good!

      It really is a very bit question.
      Thanks for your feedback.

  3. Linda G. Cox

    Thank you Sue for discussing this very difficult subject! With goal setting and the ‘Law of Attraction’ so alive, it might be a huge decision to make! You make a valid point, we need to trust ourselves.

    I wrote that much of my comment and looked up at the other comments before I posted this and realized that I’m not the only one who feels this way!
    Linda G. Cox recently posted..Generation YMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      It is a difficult subject I agree Linda. When Belinda asked the question it had made me think deeply. It is one I have often pondered.

      I notice there is a common thread on the comments.

  4. Mary Lou Kayser

    Hi sue,
    This is my first visit to your blog and I like what I see! My friend Don Enck led me here with his syndication of your post on Facebook.

    The question you ask here is provocative and one that many people contemplate at some point in their business career. In his book “The Dip,” Seth Godin explores this question as well, and gives readers some benchmarks to use when considering whether or not the time has come to hang it up. There is a distinct difference between quitting and moving on because the time is right to do so. Sometimes, once we have given a project or venture everything we got and still aren’t where we thought we would be, moving on is indeed the right thing to do. It is a personal decision, though, and a very difficult one for sure.

    Thanks for exploring a tough question. It definitely hits home!
    Mary Lou
    Mary Lou Kayser recently posted..Extraordinary Personal Branding- Do You Know the MLM MobsterMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Hi Mary Lou
      Thanks for your comments and I agree it is a provocative question. It was one that was asked as a comment to my last post so I thought it would be good to pick it up. I have not read The Dip, and I love Seth Godin’s work so I will check it out. Thanks.
      I am going to check out your blog right now.

  5. Darlene Davis

    Yes, Sue, I have to agree that there are times when we are being directed to move in another direction. Twice in my life I made the decision to cut the losses and move on. In hindsight, the first decision was made in haste and should have been processed more thoroughly, because I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. But I “bought experience” and moved on.

    At this point I’m trying a different strategy, but staying the course. Challenges are opportunities, aren’t they?

    I thoroughly enjoyed your video. You spoke from your heart!
    Darlene Davis recently posted..Running on EmptyMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Darlene I love the way you said “bought experience” it is so true. One of the things I do enjoy about not being so young any more is the experience and wisdom we gather.
      I have learned to “trust my gut” much more and it is always the right thing for me when I do.
      Thanks for your feedback on my video. You know most of all I want other people to learn from my experiences.

  6. Belinda Cunningham

    Hi Sue
    Ahh my question was a good one yes. I do not have a problem with my ego getting in the way and staying too long. I wonder about bailing too early. I am not much of a stayer with anything in life – if it is not working as I thought I follow my gut and get out.

    However, the stories abound about all these great people who stuck it out and become successful so thought that was perhaps my problem – bailing too early and that perhaps my lesson this time was to go against my gut and stick it out a bit longer.

    After taking about half an hour to write and rewrite this comment causing some cathartic process to take place my gut tells me that perhaps just a realignment of my original plan needs to take place. Lesson also learnt is that we are all different and that I shouldn’t listen too much to other peoples stories but should just concern myself with my own journey.

    So it is not a black and white question of whether to stay or go but rather just a regrouping and detour that is needed for me. A new perspective on things. On reflection that is in fact what I have been doing the last few weeks. Wow so an aha moment for me. Maybe your next post can be about how to know when a detour is needed and not a full retreat.

    Thanks Sue I feel better now.
    Belinda Cunningham recently posted..How to find your nicheMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Hey Belinda you certainly started something here!
      I am so glad you asked the question and now you have had an aha moment. That is always a step forward.
      I used to be like you described yourself, bailing too soon. I changed most things in my life very frequently up until I married Ivan. He is the opposite and over the years we have balanced each other.
      I think you have made a very important point in saying you should concern yourself with your journey and not other peoples stories. We are all hear for our own journey. But – and there is always a but 🙂 I think we can learn from others.
      Now you have thrown me a challenge for my next post. I may take you up on it.
      Take care

  7. Louise Steiner

    Sue, that’s a really tough question. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing, but it is not easy to walk away from something that has been your life.
    I have often heard it said that you cannot fail unless you give up. But there is a difference between giving up and moving on to something new. And sometimes you have to close doors in order for new ones to open.
    So many questions….thank you for that great thought provoking video/post.
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    1. Sue Post author

      I think the comments on my last two posts have said it all. It is a tough one. I agree with you on closing doors to open new ones. It is a very big topic.

  8. Holly

    Great question Sue,
    I can say I am right in the middle of it. Do I stay the course or do I change? No one can help me make the decision. The journey is mine and making the decision to change course or keep with is certainly going to be a success or a failure, or perhaps a detour that I really need to take. Most likely to learn something. I am not sure if it is the ego, the intuition or the programming that will help me make the decision. Thanks.
    Holly recently posted..5 Self Doubt EliminatorsMy Profile

    1. Sue Post author

      Hey Leslie and you have asked another great question of yourself. That one certainly is a whole conversation in itself.
      Have a great week

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  10. Adam Robinson

    In my opinion, if one wants success I don’t think retreat or backing out is an option. Successful people don’t have this in their vocabulary. Well, you’re supposed to start off pursuing your passion. Otherwise, giving up or retreating will always be an option for you. But if you love what you do, then I don’t think it’ll make sense to quit even if you’re not succeeding.

    1. Sue Post author

      Adam it is an interesting debate. I can think of many examples where people are better to retreat, but it is really where they are not following their passion. I agree with your comments on success though. I think if we want something we have to vow to never quit. Some people do not know what they want though.