Smoking the Quitting Habit

Break the quitting habit one step at a time by finding the fear of success, putting it in the pipe of excuses, and watch the habit of quitting go up in smoke.

We have all known people who have tried to quit the habit of smoking. Often times, it is not a pretty sight. On the surface, it seems so simple for someone to just give up a bad habit. Just stop the habit and quit cold turkey! Unfortunately, this strategy doesn’t work for many. Just as an addiction may be tough to break, the quitting habit is not much different. You can find it in any environment. When faced with the challenge of reaching for peak performance, the quitting habit keeps someone from delivering on their potential.

People often resort to quitting because they fear stepping outside of their comfort zone and seek to avoid the pressure to perform at the next level. To help someone break the addiction of quitting, give them small achievable tasks to build up their confidence. Show them others with similar skill packages that have been able to achieve a higher level. Share with them that success is a challenge even for overachievers. Provide them with opportunities to engage in collegial partnerships minimizing inexperience.

Before you begin the challenge, map out your strategies with everyone’s input to establish ownership in the achievement. Try to make the endeavor fun and seek to instill some form of entertainment. You can always find the opportunity for comic relief no matter how tough the situation. When faced with a large challenge, break it into smaller successes to achieve the main goal. Use a personal journal to document the achievements of others to develop reminders for future goals.

If you fall short of the goal, admit the failure and build from it instead of rationalizing with excuses. You should know when to confront the quitter. There are times when confrontation is necessary and others when it can appear to be as overwhelming to the quitter as the challenge itself. Break down the strategies and coach the quitter one step at a time. Know their benchmarks and decide when it is best to change direction. Every achievement is the kindling that starts the fire burning away self-doubt.

The following are fire starters that smoke the quitting habit:
• Call on mentors to support the pursuit of the goal
• Present the challenge in clear terms to focus on strategies for success
• Grant room for mistakes
• Support solid decision-making with consistent execution
• Always choose persistence
• Failure is not an option!

When peak performance is finally derived, recognize it with the magnitude of its impact on the goal. Give equal recognition to those who delivered their best game and lost as you would to those who won. Plan to succeed and only quit when you finish everything you start.

Let me know your thoughts.



Author: Creating Six Degrees

Anthony C. Gruppo, CEO Northeast Region, is responsible for leading all employees, divisions, and operations for Marsh & McLennan Agency – Northeast. Here he is focused on leadership, strategic position, and organizational development. Prior to coming to the Northeast, Anthony led companies in the Southwest, Southeast, and West Coast. Anthony is the author of three books centered on personal and organizational development.

4 thoughts on “Smoking the Quitting Habit”

  1. Great article. “Find the fear of success, put it in the pipe of excuses, and watch the habit of quitting go up in smoke. ” Love that line…Thanks for sharing!

  2. As an Account Manager our peak performance seems to be guided toward and spent mostly on mastering our efficiency to take on more job duties, at any given time, and still manage to get our original workload done successfully. I must say, we are used to changing to meet what our Department needs us to do to be most productive, but it is hard to add our own goals to push for success with the time left in our workday. Though there may be a lull time every so often, we never know when that will be taken away with the next new change. To get a peak performance skillset going in all areas of our job performance, we need the time available to master the new techniques and goals, such as setting a goal to write a certain number of new business policies or to further our education with designations. Not only do we need to find what our fear of success may be, we need to fine tune our goals and techniques toward success until we feel comfortable enough to put the fear of success in our pipes and smoke our “quitting ways” away for good. To a Company/Agency, time is money, to an Account Manager, time or the lack of , may even be the fear of success that stops us in our tracks.

  3. I often look at challenges globally, which can lead to quitting before take off when the size and scope is daunting. Your advice to take small bites to make the task easier to surmount and realize smaller successes is valuable and sometimes hard to remember when self-sabotage followed by quitting sets in. Thanks for the reminder to look at the corners and edges of the puzzle, not just the 1000 piece box.

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