Let Go & Grow
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
A question that has often come up in my own personal life is wondering whether or not i should pivot or persevere. This relates to everything: should i finish reading that book I wasn't loving? Should I try to make that friendship/relationship work? Should I stay at this job?
Pivot: Change directions, do something different, try something new, find a new way, think 'outside the box.'
Persevere: Push through, explore every possible option, find a way to make it work until it can't. And then push a little more.
The topic of Pivot or Persevere is the name of a chapter in a book I'm currently reading, 'The Lean Startup' by Eric Ries. The book relates this concept to business ideas, products and services. However, I think this topic also relates to all parts of life in general.
In the past, I have always been the type of person to persevere. I've always thought that i need to give everything a 100% effort - I never wanted to look back and think that i could have tried harder or done something more. I used to finish books i didn't like, allow people to stay in my life who weren't a great fit. I thought that the absence of success was failure. This is far from the reality of almost all situations.
There is no bigger destroyer of creative potential than the misguided decision to persevere. Company's that cannot bring itself to pivot in a new direction on the basis of feedback from the marketplace can get stuck in the land of the living dead, neither growing enough but not dying, consuming resources and commitment from employees and other stakeholders but not moving ahead.
Don't get me wrong, persevering has its place and if something has a great meaning to you, then my advice would be to go all in. However, after nearly three decades of persevering, I have learnt that pivoting is a very useful skill that more often than not, will lead you down a different path - sometimes it's a path you didn't know you even wanted. Pivoting has allowed me to gain confidence in my own decision making skills and to explore parts of life I wouldn't have been able to, had I continued to persevere. Pivoting often feels like a risk or taking a big chance on the unknown, it can feel unfamiliar and therefore unsafe. This is where growth often occurs. We don't grow when we're comfortable. I encourage, you - pivot. If there is something in your life that isn't ideal, what could you change to make it work for you?
Don't stay at a job if you don't love it.
Don't stay in a relationship if your partner doesn't respect you.
Don't stay at the cafe if you don't like the menu.
Don't finish that project if the passion isn't there.
If you keep knocking, and the door doesn't open, it's probably not your door. Pivot. Find another way. Change directions. There are and endless amounts of possibilities and opportunities that can come from pivoting. If you don't risk anything; you risk even more.