Stop chasing, and walk away.

I often wonder what it would be like to not be in pursuit of something. It’s difficult for me to imagine this, as I have always been the type of person who is pursuing something. Yes, it takes energy and drive to pursue something, and sometimes it is a team pursuit. The team pursuits can provide as much satisfaction as solo ones, but it takes more coordination and someone to lead the effort.

This morning I was really excited about the pursuit of a conversation I was going to have with someone. Someone I really admired, and was looking to provide me with some advice. However, the conversation went in a completely different direction than I anticipated. In fact, instead of it being an inspirational conversation, it was the exact opposite experience. Was I caught off guard by this? Absolutely. Did it make me think about whether the outcome could have been different? Yes, but it also made me rethink what I was pursuing, in a good way.

Consider a time when you were pursuing something. Did you have an air tight strategy of going after what you wanted to achieve? Perhaps you did, or maybe it was a casually thought out plan. Or, one with a limited amount of focus, potentially not setting you up to succeed. Regardless of which of these scenarios your example falls into, it is a strong reminder of the importance of understanding how much or how little of an outcome you might have the ability to impact.

In the case of my intentionally vague example above, I’m not sharing the details for a reason. My reason is I want you to be open to thinking about why and how you chase people, opportunities or any other thing that can be chased. This isn’t a topic which is often or overtly talked about, but instead it is inferred during conversations, especially business, sales or romantic ones.

When you think about having been pursued or chased by someone or something, were you relieved when the chase was over? Or, did you in fact enjoy the pursuit and attention? If you have been the pursuer, has it always been worth it once you achieved your goal or the pursuit you were after? Of course, this could be a rhetorical question, but I’m asking it for the sake of consideration.

It’s entirely possible some people are unaware of the fact they are chasing. Worse? The person or situation they are chasing after isn’t interested in what they have to offer, either now or ever. Sometimes it’s a timing thing, which is why the pursuit doesn’t end up with the results the pursuer was hoping for. Other times, there simply isn’t a strong match between what is being offered, and what is needed. Again, this could be a timing issue, and you will need to be a good judge of which it is.

So, would I suggest to someone they should stop chasing what it is they are pursuing and walk away? The real answer is that it depends. It depends on so many different things. Here’s my take on some of the reasons to think about, or questions to ask yourself to determine whether to keep pursing or stop chasing.

  • Have you done enough research to know whether what you are pursing is something you could be successful at?
  • Have you invested enough time in understanding the person, activity or opportunity you are pursuing? Only you know the answer to this, and it might be hard to face up to the fact you have not.
  • You are going to need to trust your gut instinct on whether you should keep pursuing and going after what you want, or determine it’s time to stop doing so.
  • If money, love, family or good health will be negatively impacted by what you are pursuing, it might be time to reconsider your pursuit.
  • Is what you are pursuing a dream?
  • Does your pursuit only make sense to you? If required, would you be able to rationally explain your pursuit?
  • Are others in jeopardy of your pursuits, or are your pursuits intended to make your or others’ lives or circumstances better?
  • Consider what is really driving your pursuit. Is it ego, money, happiness, pride, passion for success as defined by your own definition of it, love or something else?
  • Is the person or situation you are pursuing going to have a significant positive impact on your life or circumstances? Be realistic, as only you can answer this question.
  • At what point will you realize you need to stop chasing and pursuing the person or opportunity? Give yourself a timeline to give your best shot at having success, and if the time comes to the point you said you will end your pursuit, do so. Yes, this will be really hard to do, but it doesn’t mean you can’t pursue your opportunity again in the future.

As an eternal optimist, it’s difficult for me to tell someone not to pursue someone or something they are passionate about. However, I’m also a realist and understand that sometimes in order to achieve what we want to, we need to stop chasing for a while. Even walk away to improve our timing or other factors which are preventing us from being pursuit successful. The saying “timing is everything” has a great deal of merit. Let it work in your favor.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of two business books (e.g.,  Wisdom Whisperer, Evolve! With the Wisdom Whisperer), and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances. She also is the creator and Host of a TV Show and Podcast called Murf & E Unfiltered – Zero BS Biz Talk.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

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