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Ep. 61 – Why We Quit

We generally quit something consciously or unconsciously. Learn more in this episode about what that looks like and how understanding your brain can help you to create a life after divorce that you want and can be proud of.


Hey, our beautiful friends, and how are you? So today we’re gonna talk about quitting. You know, when you are mentally exhausted, especially after divorce, I call it emotionally fatigued. It’s so easy to what we call quietly quit quietly quitting is when you don’t even realize that you’re doing it on purpose.

It kind of just happens. It’s like we like to say quitting behind your own back. And I’ve watched it happen to so many of our clients that I wanted to bring it to your attention so it doesn’t happen to you, or at least you’re aware of it. So if you are already. Let’s get started.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you. And desire as partners, both in marriage and coaching. We use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

So, hi everybody. How are you? How are you, Jeff? I’m doing great. How are you? Well, we’re doing good. We’re gonna talk about, um, quietly quitting today. Okay. I really like this subject cuz I love really understanding the mind and how it works. So this is gonna be an episode about the primitive brain and the prefrontal brain, which I’ve talked about so many times.

But you know, before we get started, what’s going on with us? Well, of course we dodged a bullet in the hurricane. Yep. Hurricane. Ian, Ian, Ian, Ian, Ian just came through or actually is still coming, still coming through, um, as we’re bringing you this podcast, this episode. So we’re very fortunate. We’re praying for, um, our fellow Floridians over on the west coast.

Um, they really got hit bad, so let’s all put them in our prayers and wish them all the best, um, as they get through. . So turning now to you, our wonderful listeners. Remember that we’re here because we wanna talk to you about different tools that we have learned me as a life coach, Jeff as a life coach, and me as a lawyer.

A family lawyer for 25 plus years and how we can help you to get past the divorce sooner than later and onto your best life. I used the expression a lot. You were asking me today, the next chapter of your most amazing life. I said, I always say you should write a book, but we definitely have chapter. Yeah, so I mean, it is a new chapter, right?

It is. It’s a new chapter. You have the chapters when you’re young, and then you have the chapters when you, when you, you know, graduate, let’s say college, and then you get married and you have a young family, and then maybe you get divorced. At some point, either sooner or later, like later in life or not, you know, it all depends, but wherever you find yourself, know that we’re here to like do this for you and give back to you in a way that will move you forward.

And we are here for them, right? Yes, we are. Okay. I think it’s a great analogy because you write a chapter and, and everybody that’s listening to the podcast can write their own. . Yeah, for sure. And that’s, uh, I call it focus on purpose and thinking on purpose. So today’s episode really plays into that because it’s, you know, it’s really about understanding your brain at such a, a level that you can almost watch it and what it’s doing.

And when you can understand your brain and the different parts of it and you watch it, then you can make some real decisions. . Whether you want to go with one part of your brain that’s telling you one thing, like, you know, I don’t know, like go sit on the couch and let’s eat a bag of Cheetos or something, right?

Because that sounds really good. Or the other part of your brain that says, no, I’m not gonna do that because you know what? I really wanna lose those 10 pounds and so I’m not listening to you even though you really wanna do it, right? Part of you really wants to do it. So I’ve noticed this a lot with people and not just with my.

Um, but with people in general, and of course with the clients that we deal with in, in. life coaching work, but people will set an intention and they’re like, I’m really gonna do this. Right? And they, they have such good intentions, they wanna make it happen. And then for whatever reason, it just falls apart.

Well, I’m sure that everybody can relate to having a dream in their life or, or setting a. And then, uh, all of a sudden, uh, you don’t know what happened, but you gave up on the goal and, uh, you don’t even know when it happened. You know, when did I stop doing that? When did I stop working out? When did I, uh, stop?

Just, it was just so quiet and it seems like I kind of quit behind my back. Right, right. True. You know, and the reason we coach is to bring awareness. So one of the important things that we speak about is the primitive brain. That’s true. Yeah. And the primitive brain things immediate and urgent. And it’s unfortunate that the primitive brain is motivated to conserve energy.

In other words, basically lay on the couch and avoid pain and seek pleasure. I ever tell you, you have a nice voice. No, you didn’t, not lately. I’m like, I’m like literally like less than a foot away from microphone with you and like I’m listening to your voice and I’m like, I wish I could talk like that too.

Well, I’ve had it my whole life, so I, I don’t really realize it anymore. I feel like I have to speak like extra high or like really pronunciate, is that how I say it? Annunciate. Annunciate it so that I can. In the biz. We call it articulation. Well, you know, I guess so . But yeah, let’s get back to business back, right back, back to business here.

So we work with our clients, like you said, on the next chap, or I said on the next chapter of life. But you know, really, when we’re setting goals and we’re setting intentions, we wanna do it from a place of purpose. And we all know, because we’ve talked about this so many times on many of the episodes, I mean, both with you as a co-host and me before about.

living in our, or living in our best self and like moving forward. how whenever you’re gonna seek a goal, you’re gonna find a million reasons why that’s not a, a good idea, right? And you definitely have to like move past that. Like, it’s almost like working out in a way. You know how like when you’re, when you’re starting to work out and you’re trying a new muscle group and it like, oh my God, you barely, my gosh, you barely like worked out and it hurts a lot the next day.

But what happens when you keep working out? Oh, it feels great. Well, yeah, but eventually you get used to it. Yes. It doesn’t get as sore and you, and you start to see results and then you get past it and then you get a little bit more motivated as well. You get more motivated and you get closer to your results.

So I kind of like equate setting goals to like creating muscle. Yes. I don’t know. That kind of made sense to me. It does. But you know, we have um, we have a sophisticated brain, which is our prefrontal cortex. Can manage and basically watch over our primitive brain. Well, your primitive, the way I look at it is the primitive brain is like a toddler.

Yeah, true. You know, if, if you let the toddler get in charge, you’re gonna have, you’re not gonna have the life you want, that’s for sure. And you’re gonna be seeking a lot of instant gratification, like watching Netflix. Well, you know what? , when you say that you’re, you’re seeking gratification, like you’re not gonna have a lot of what you want.

I wanna stop there for a minute. Really? Okay. Because your brain, your primitive brain is telling you it’s a good idea to go sit on the couch and watch Netflix, right? Nothing against Netflix. We love it. Yes, we love us. Some Netflix, right? . We’re watching Breaking Bre bad right now. . Yes. We’re, we’re trying, we’re trying.

We really, our son was like, you have to, you have to watch this mom and dad, and like, okay, so we’re, we’re in that series right now. It’s getting good. I think it’s great. Yeah, that’s really good. But your, your parent brain will say, Hey, listen, you had a hard day. You really deserve this. Why don’t you start tomorrow?

It’s raining outside. Cuz right now I’m looking outside. There’s a hurricane. Rem. Actually, this is just a tropical storm that we have. Yeah, but it’s raining outside. So let you know. Let’s, let’s not do what we intend to do. Let’s go watch, watch Netflix. But your prefrontal cortex is the one that can say, you know what?

Primitive brain, you just sit down there, simmer down. Simmer down over there. I know what you’re trying to. , it sounds really good that I can start tomorrow or that it’s raining outside or I put a lot of work in, but I have a bigger goal, right? So I consider the primitive brain like the highest part of the brain.

It’s like the parent’s brain. Okay? The part that our humanist. Humanness. Humanness, how do you say it? Humanness. Okay, so I have this problem pronouncing words and I do apologize cuz I will do that from time to time and I don’t know why that is. But anyhow, I think it’s cute. Okay. , some people probably don’t think it’s cute when I mispronounced a name or something, but.

we’re humans, and obviously as the humans, our brain and why we’re different than the animals, like let’s say our two beautiful dogs, Coda and Blue, is because we can rationalize and think through something and process it and understand it. Our dogs, if you put down food and they’re hungry, they’re going to.

They’re gonna eat the whole thing. They’re not looking and saying, well, listen, I, I need to lose a little five pounds over here, so I shouldn’t eat that. Their brain is gonna tell them there’s food. I’m hungry. I eat our human brain, our prefrontal can now say there’s food there. I think I might be hungry, or maybe I am, but I’m gonna stay on my protocol.

I’m gonna stay on my diet. Right. That’s the difference. , it’s a new level of, of pleasure, you know, to be able to control the brain that way, to be able to use it to create the life you want. And when you’re going through divorce and post divorce and you’re emotionally fatigued, there’s a lot of highs and lows.

And so when you can use your primitive brain to control things, it can be like a steady. Stream of success, right? Yeah. It can say, no, I’m not gonna eat that because I have a better goal, which is I wanna lose weight. Well, when you understand how it works, uh, then you can understand that the primitive brain is always wanting to sabotage you.

Not on purpose, but it’s like, uh, there’s no ill intent, but it’s not because you’re not worthy or, or newly divorced or whatever. It’s just because you are a human and, and that’s. So, so the bottom line is we gotta keep the primitive. In check. Right. You know, when we set goals, when we don’t want to defer to it, meaning the primitive, brave, we don’t wanna leave it unsupervised because it will quit any chance of success.

It’s that little voice that says here, you don’t need to do that now. Handle it later. Like I said, watch tv, whatever it is, and it can appear to be very powerful. Right. Well, the permanent brain is, you know where that comes. Where does that come from? It comes from, I mean, I’ve studied this and it came from, you know, Cape people time, right?

Mm-hmm. , yes. Because back then you had to have a primitive brain that said, I’m hungry, I’m cold. I’m afraid I have to protect myself. And so that’s what the brain did. But we evolved as humans. Right? Right. We went hunting and we made fire. Well, yes, but we no longer have to go. We can go to, we can go to the store and buy things.

Right. We no longer have to be afraid that, you know, a bear’s gonna come in and, and attack us because we have windows and doors and locks. We no longer have to be careful when we walk outside generally that some something’s going to eat us or chase us. Right. Okay. It’s very, very different because after divorced, you know, when you get past.

Well, when you’re ready to emotionally get going on things and to start rebuilding your life, and there’s episodes we talk about that, but the first thing you gotta do is clean up your own mental hygiene and be ready really to achieve great things. You’re gonna be dealing with a lot of emotional discomfort, which the primitive brain will associate with pain, and it can easily turn into quit.

when you don’t even notice it, right? Yeah. So you go into a stage of denial. It’s like you’ve never, ever even had the, the goal to begin with. Yes. And everything is irrelevant, right? And I always know that someone’s going into that denial stage or is there or been there when I’m saying like, Hey, you know, I saw that you planned this goal, and you know, so what happened with that?

Like, did you ever go back to school? Did you ever do whatever it was? And it’s almost like they respond as if it never exist. So, and that’s the denial part of it. So I wanna be clear here, there are two things that are, that generally stop people from reaching goal one that we’re talking about today, which is when you don’t even realize that.

you quit, right? One day you look back and you go, when did I stop writing in my journal? I was just thinking like, I used to write in my journal every single day, and all of a sudden I just stopped writing. Like, when did that happen? But then there’s when you can stop because of a reason. Meaning that that primitive brain says, you know what, you’re tired wait till tomorrow.

So one, you kind of know it’s happening because you make a conscious choice to get, go sit down and watch Netflix and the other one, it just happens. Yeah. We call that justification. It’s like, uh, well, you know, I had to move or my daughter got sick, or, uh, I’m talking to someone completely unrelated to the thing that we wanted to do, and the justification to explain is why we are quit.

Right, exactly. Like you’re, and the reason sounds really good at the time. Yeah. I guess there are those excuses. It’s kind of the same thing. It’s like making excuses for why we can’t follow through and do the things that we actually really, I know most of us generally wanna do. And that’s the important thing to distinguish here, that there’s the permitted brain that wants what it wants right now.

Kind of like the toddler, right? Mm-hmm. . And then there. The prefrontal, which is the coach that’s saying, let’s go for our long-term goals and you know, do something different to stay on track instead of letting you go sit on the couch. Right, right. So we’re always feeding, think about this now, but really, really think about this.

We’re always feeding one or the other. because if we are sitting on the couch instead of, let’s say, going to the gym, then we’ve made the decision to feed the primitive bra brain. If we decided to go to the gym, then we made the decision to go to the gym. And so you have to make a conscious decision about your long-term goals and how important they are You.

You know, one of the, the sayings in, uh, building muscle, like you said earlier, was if you don’t use it, you lose it. And it’s very, very important that you don’t neglect your prefrontal cortex and you always keep it active. You want it to always be thinking of the future and make decisions ahead of time.

And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s so vital for long-term success. Oh, for sure. So the question, I’m sure a lot of people, You know, out there, our listeners thinking is how do we overcome this? You know, how do we control this? How do we do this? How do I work on the solutions? And guess what? It’s really as easy as just listening to your prefrontal cortex and letting it find the solutions.

Yeah. And the prefrontal cortex is, you know, the highest part of the human brain. has created so many amazing inventions, uh, in the world, and that’s because they’ve activated that part of their brain. and I was thinking about that with, um, we just watched Austin Kutcher play Steve Jobs, you know, on net, speaking about Netflix and Netflix, uh, film and I think it was Netflix, was it?

So, believe so. Okay. And Steve Jobs, you know, such an amazing brain, like definitely using his prefrontal cortex to create all the inventions. He did Apple computer, you know, starting from my garage, but he lack. Balance and he, he lacked his prefrontal cortex, was unable to grasp the concept of intentional enjoyment of life being close with people, which also, you know, I taught, I, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, you can make decisions on purpose for downtime.

It’s just you make that decision and you know it’s gonna happen too. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s when you let that decision from your primitive brain take over and stop you from your goals. But getting back to, um, you know, the subject at ha hand, I wanna talk about consciously and unconsciously quitting because there’s two very different things and I think that.

That our listeners need to understand that. Have you ever like had a goal and then let’s say months later you remember the goal and you were like, whatever happened to that? Like, why didn’t I pursue that? That happened with me when I was, um, like I said, I was journaling and all of a sudden then I wasn’t journaling like I was, and I was like, when did I stop doing that?

That was really like an unconscious decision, right? . And that’s different than having ex an excuse not to do something. Like, I don’t wanna journal today because I’d rather, you know, do something else. And that would be like, I would know it, it’s conscious. But I look back and I’m like, why did that ever happen?

Well, when you quit quietly behind your own back, you, you can’t quite pinpoint when it, when the changed. Uh, but when you purposely quit or you decide to, to, to make that change, uh, it’s not even quitting. It’s really just you’ve made a decision and with your prefrontal cortex and, uh, that’s just making a decision, right?

So my suggestion is that if you’re going to quit something, you need to do it, you know, like on purpose out loud. You need to state it and you have to like your reason for quitting. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s how you know if you’re quitting on purpose, stopping something on purpose with intention because you’ve made another decision is okay.

You know, stopping a goal is. . You know, when you’re, when you change your goal, you’re not stopping your goal, you’re just adjusting the journey. And what happens is it keeps your mind involved in what you’re doing and it keeps, keeps the momentum moving forward. Well, I think what you’re trying to say is that changing your focus of your goal on purpose with intention towards another.

Okay. Like, for example, it’s a bad idea. I don’t wanna do that workout plan, but I’m, I don’t like it, I don’t like the way it feels. I’m gonna make a decision to stop that plan, which I decided to do before, but instead I’m gonna try this other plan. So you’re still like, you’ve still got the momentum going towards a goal.

You’re not just living like in default mode. Exactly. Exactly. Because there’s consequences if you do it, uh, behind your own. Uh, you lose the integrity with yourself and we stop trusting in ourselves. That’s true. But here’s the good news, you know, especially after divorce, the first thing is when you set a goal, you wanna decide ahead of time what the reason is.

Like, what is your reason for the goal? But then also if you’re gonna quit the goal on purpose, you want that reason to be. Right. You want it to be a thought out reason you decide ahead of time because if you get to decide in the moment, you’ll do it quietly. Like me, with the journaling right where I stopped journaling for a period of time, you won’t even need a reason cuz you never understood it.

And if you’re going to quit, you do it, like we said out loud, right? You wanna know it. You wanna be aware of it, not behind your own back, because then it’s gonna make it really more of a conscious decision and one that you’re really gonna have to think about. And usually you do that because you’re resetting your goals and that’s okay.

But I also wanna talk about, I’m gonna say thinking. , the reasons to quit in advance, knowing what would be considered a good reason to quit, so that when those primitive brain reasons come into play that aren’t good, you can identify them as being not a good reason. Do you have any examples? Let’s say I have an example of I want to get in this better shape, right?

And it’s my goal to get into the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Okay. So you’ve made a conscious decision and a plan that that’s what it takes. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you’re gonna go to the gym. Exactly. And I’ve consciously made a decision that the only reason I’m not gonna go to the gym, or one of the reasons is if I’m on my deathbed or.

that’s it. Okay. Well there might be other good reasons. Like let’s say, you know, you don’t have a train, unfortunately, you’re in an accident or something. Yeah. Where there’s a big networking event or there could, it could be other reasons, but I’m, no, I wouldn’t say the networking event, but anyhow. Okay.

Well, let’s say I’m sick. Okay, so if you’re literally, if you’re legit sick, that would be a good reason not to go to the gym. So what we’re saying is that you’ve made a decision, you’re gonna get in better shape. You decided that the plan is Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You’ve also decided at that point that the good reason, one of the good reasons, that you can not go to the gym is when you’re ill?

Correct. Okay. So what happens if you’re just tired that day? Well, I come home and I’m just a little bit of tired and you know the sofa looks is calling my name because your primitive brain is telling me, it’s telling me not to go to the gym because I’m tired. Right. What’s gonna happen is my prefrontal cortex is gonna tell me, no, that’s not on your list of excuses not to go to the gym.

Reason, good reasons, not excuses, uh, but it is not on the list. Right. And that’s gonna force my prefrontal cortex to get my butt in the car and go to the gym. Correct. But what about people that have been trying to reach the goal for some time, you know, like they’ve. It’s 10 years and they’ve been trying to lose weight.

Um, and they’re like, but nothing really ma. Nothing really works. You know, like I’ve tried everything. And I’m like, but that’s awesome because now those things that you’ve tried are all things that you can like put away and now you can really focus in using this work and this mine work on reaching the.

So many people try to do things just based on willpower. Mm-hmm. and willpower just doesn’t work, and that’s why really understanding your brain and understanding how it talks to you in different ways and setting it up for success is so key. . So anyhow, I think it was a great episode today. I, I hope it wasn’t overly confusing to people.

You know, talking about the prefrontal, the primitive, making decisions ahead of time as to good reasons to quit and really living on purpose. Isn’t that all what, what we’re trying to do? We’re just trying, especially after di divorce, put everything back in place and make it better than it was. And you can do.

on purpose. You can do that by using your brain, being aware of it, and just making it happen. So making decisions. Yep. Making decisions. All right everybody. I hope that you have a most amazing week. Please be kind to yourself, love yourself, love others, and until next time, have an amazing day and you too can have an amazing life.

After divorce. All right, we’ll talk to you next week. Bye bye.

You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching visit, At L A, that’s l a d as in life after Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day.

And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

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