9 Scientific Reasons Why It’s Sometimes Better to Give Up

Walking away from something we’ve committed to can be difficult. Researchers believe that one of the primary reasons for this is the sense of loss we experience when abandoning something we’ve invested time and effort into. This is, of course, amplified by the fact that work ethic is ingrained in our society. The importance of persistent hard work is emphasized as one of the greatest virtues that anyone can possess.

But a growing body of research suggests that persistence has its downsides, too. A laser-like focus on one goal (like a promotion) often prevents us from seeking out new opportunities for learning and growth. In fact, a survey of Stanford Business school alumni found that those who held five or more positions in 15 years were nine times more likely to reach senior management than those with fewer roles.

Research shows that disengagement actually has positive effects on the body, including fewer illness symptoms like headaches, eczema and constipation. It also promotes better sleep, which researchers believe is due to the reduction in stress.

Knowing when to walk away from something that’s no longer serving you is an important trait – it’s the mark of someone who knows where to focus their time and energy. Here’s a raft of reasons and research demonstrating that giving up isn’t always the senseless act of defeatism it may appear to be.

Infographic via Net Credit


Sophie M
Sophie M15 days ago

thank you

Jetana A
Jetana A18 days ago

Some of us may give up too easily! However, this advice is good for type A folks.

Angela K
Angela K18 days ago


Chad A
Chad Anderson19 days ago

I did not get past point one because I teach motivation every semester and see firsthand how the desire to do something far outweighs any incentives that can be given to entice someone into doing something. We should work to focus on what we really want instead of on the intermediate steps on our way to what we want.

Alanna R
Alanna R19 days ago

Very good points

Muff-Anne York-Haley


Winn A
Winn A19 days ago


Marija M
Marija M20 days ago

Interesting, so good to know and remember. tks.

Ellen J
Ellen J20 days ago

Definitely good to know. Sharing with some CLASSIC Type A people I know.

Danii P
Danii P20 days ago