How to Stop so you can Start

Before you find your personal best, let go of your mediocrity. Determine what isn’t working and stop it.


Stopping is harder than you think.

  1. Fear of failure makes you keep working at what isn’t working, even when it’s failing.
  2. Wanting something to work may blind you to the reality that it isn’t.
  3. Failure to adapt causes failure.
  4. Pleasing others motivates you to keep doing what pleases them but displeases you.
  5. Belief in persistence – the hope that doing the same thing will yield different results. What if you stop one step from success?

Life is barren when you’re
living someone else’s dream?

Don’t stop when:

  1. It’s a matter of principle.
  2. It’s essential to the mission.
  3. It’s a matter of values.
  4. It’s a core competency.
  5. You lose who you are.

Suggestions for stopping:

  1. Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you should stop.
  2. Examine the ratio of energy to impact. Stop low impact activities.
  3. Focus on your greatest opportunity to contribute. Stopping isn’t about selfishness.
  4. Follow your energy. What persistently excites you?
  5. Let go of persistent drain-points.
  6. Discern the difference between method and mission; adapt methods quickly.
  7. Talk to people who stopped and started again.
  8. Say what you want. Others may not like it. Realize they want you to do what they want you to do.
  9. Spend more time with those who want your best.
  10. Identify a new path before leaving an old one.

Bonus: Stop small.

Look around and honestly say what you see.

Suggestions for starting:

  1. Start now.
  2. Start small.
  3. Get advice.
  4. Adapt often.
  5. Start again.

Bonus: Run toward your dream not away from your nightmare. The difference is love rather than fear.

How can people stop effectively?

What traumatic stops have enabled your successful starts?