I have always struggled with starting projects and soon quitting and starting something new. Even with this blog, I have felt like I’m ready to quit several times because it is slow-growing. But why; why do we always want to quit?
Wanting to quit something is natural. There are many factors at play, including: confidence, self-esteem, fear, expectations, and patience. It is important to realize that if we just push through the difficult, we, humans, are capable to accomplish even the most challenging tasks through will and persistence.
In this life, we can get caught up in work, home life, social life, and general personal life. Personal life would include what we do in our spare time; exercise, hobbies, relax…
But what do we do when we get overloaded by something and want to quit? The option is ours. We can press on, or we can pack it in and move on.
Often, when we try something that is new to us, we are met with instant friction. This is when it feels like our intentions are good but all else is working against us. This is normal because it is not something that we are accustomed to. We must work at it, and in due time, we are likely to find success in it.
But what if it becomes too much? Let’s say we do quit. We say, “It’s not worth it,” or, “Maybe next time.” It is possible that next time might be the time that it all works out, but more often than not, next time doesn’t come.
This is because we move on and next time when we consider trying this again, we instantly remember the negative thoughts and emotions from last time and say, “Why bother? It probably won’t work out anyway.”
Obviously, this is a bit extreme and negative. But I am trying to get the point across that when we start something and then quit, we are met with the instant consequences from quitting, as well as, the reality that most of us won’t try it again.
So, if you are the person that just keeps pressing on until you hold the victory, then you are an inspiration to many of us. For those that struggle with this, I will list 6 things that I do when I feel like quitting.
6 ways to get back on track before quitting
When we are met with difficulty in life, whether in daily living or trying something new, it is easy to want to just quit. But, when we do this, we often are affected in more ways than we know. These ways can be in the form of being affected mentally, emotionally, financially, and even our reputation is at risk.
What do I mean by these? I will briefly explain.
We can be affected mentally and emotionally when we quit because it can hurt our pride, our confidence, and our self-esteem. Because we didn’t succeed, it basically means that we failed. So, the next logical step is to beat ourselves up, right?
We can be affected financially if it was something that required an investment. Many times, we can try to get involved in something; a lesson, a hobby, and even a new career path. When we start, we are excited, and will generally be okay with throwing some money at it. But, when we quit, we don’t generally get a refund. And, if it is a job or career that we quit, then we are faced with instant financial consequences.
Also, our reputations can take a hit when we quit something. People seem to always be watching. When we get in the habit of starting something and giving up too soon, we are left with many unfinished projects that others see. I suppose if we never tell anyone what we are up to, then who would know. But, in reality, we get excited about our new venture and tell people.
So, now that I have given some reasons why it is better to push through, now I will give a few ways to help make this possible.
- Analyze what you are doing
- Develop realistic expectations
- Get re-inspired
- Get support
- Engage with others who are doing the same thing
- Develop a new habit of self-discipline
1. Analyze what you are doing
When we realize that we are struggling, we need to step back and make sure we know what it is we are doing first.
What I mean is, “Did I take on too much?” or, “Does my skill set match the task at hand?”
Sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves. We want to run before we walk. When we do this, we are lining ourselves up for failure instead of success. If we want to try something that is new to us, we need to do some initial planning first, and re-assess as we progress.
By analyzing what it is we are trying to do, we can see where we will, or maybe, where we are facing the most difficulty. Then we can start looking for a solution to get back on track.
Instead of giving up, we press pause. Instead of putting it on the back-burner until a better time, we get to work looking for a way to get past the obstacle. This might mean that we need to seek consultation from someone who has done this, or we might need to do some other form of research to find out how the others are doing it.
This is the same for parenting, relationships, learning a new skill, and virtually anything that requires us to do something. If we are struggling, we must find help or useful information to get us past whatever is attempting to take us down.
And something to note here; if something feels too difficult, just understand that by doing this assessment and finding the help that is needed, we can often adapt, and move past. So, don’t quit prematurely.
2. Develop realistic expectations
When we do look at what others are doing, we must also develop realistic expectations for ourselves. What we must understand is that we all aren’t the exact same in skill and ability. We can all pretty much accomplish the same things through intense determination and effort, but what comes easily to one will seem difficult to another.
If we start out on a venture and think to ourselves that we will accomplish a certain amount by such and such time, what are we basing that on?
Have we researched how long it took others on average? Is there anything about us that causes us to either fall below or above average? Any differing factors will yield us a different result from others, and we must be willing to accept that.
Now, if we give it adequate time, which could be fifty to one-hundred percent more time then others, and have exhausted all help, then it’s possible that there might be a better thing for us. But we are very resilient and capable to learn and achieve, so it is unlikely that we won’t accomplish something with adequate time and effort.
In most instances, we give up before we even get to where the average had to get to before succeeding. We can literally talk ourselves right out of something because progress looks slow. It’s best to reach out first before giving in, as others who have succeeded have surely dealt with frustration in their venture as well.
3. Get re-inspired
When we got the idea to try something, we were inspired in some way, and by something. As time progressed however, things got difficult. Then, the inspiration turned to frustration, and the idea of walking away from whatever it was became the new thought.
This is where we need to find what inspired us in the first place, and re-visit it.
As we endure and push through whatever it is that we are trying, we need to stay inspired. This is what gets us fired up each morning to give it some more; to push ahead.
Fortunately, there are many motivating individuals online, and even maybe right around us that can help us get back on track.
There are many people who have “been there, done that,” who could offer some inspirational words and ideas to help us get past our wall of difficulty.
It is also possible that by simply reflecting on any progress made and any obstacles overcome this far, we can create our own inspiration by realizing what we have already accomplished.
This is one reason that it is best to break a bigger goal down into several smaller goals. If we are working at something and are losing our inspiration and motivation, try breaking the goal down even smaller; try breaking the project up into daily challenges.
By having a smaller task in front of us, we are more likely to push through and get it done. Because it’s all we set out to do for the day, we will feel good about our progress at day’s end when we have completed it. This helps boost our confidence and ambition to get up and hit it again tomorrow.
It might be trickery of the mind, but whatever it takes, it is worth it to stay inspired and press on.
4. Get support before quitting
If you are at the point of giving up, I would strongly suggest that you find some external support.
Sometimes, when we involve others, they bring a fresh mind to the issue, and often, a different idea. What is generally the most difficult here is getting over our own pride enough to ask someone for help.
But, what if your moment of victory is closer than you think? Is pride important enough to throw it all down the drain? The answer would be “probably not” if we thought about it for a moment.
By lowering our guard and letting someone in to where we are most vulnerable, we can in fact become stronger together and bust through the blockage.
And, sometimes, we can come up with the answer we need just by telling someone. It’s like we hear ourselves, and then the solution starts to make sense and become clear to us.
One more thought here; if you are trying something and have made considerable progress but are running out of money before it starts yielding any returns, it is possible that you can find financial support in some way.
It is possible that whatever it is that you have invested in (for example; a business), the answer might be to bring someone in to help financially. This could be a silent partner, or an investor of some sort. However, you will have to trade some of the end-profit for overall success. I believe it is worth it though.
We must understand that the reward of accomplishment is often a better feeling then the feeling we get from earning some money. So, if we must pay for some help, just understand that the outcome will be of far greater reward than to give up altogether to save a few bucks.
5. Engage with others who are doing the same thing
In addition to reaching out to others for help and researching what others have done in our area we are struggling with, we can also engage in communities in this same area of interest.
On social media, there are often groups that have been formed and there are people in those groups who love to help others. Not everyone will always be helpful, but most will if we ask. We can get involved in participating in conversations and leaving comments.
Also, simply by frequenting these online communities, we can see what others are asking and dealing with; we often find that we aren’t alone in our battle. If we haven’t done something before, how can we expect to be perfect at it the first time, right?
These communities, or groups, are usually a great source of inspiration. Not only do we get satisfaction from finally breaking through and completing our daunting project successfully, we get massive satisfaction when we can teach someone and help them succeed too. This is why it’s a good idea to get involved in these communities.
We probably have already surpassed someone else who is doing something we are, and then we can even be of support to them. This too can help boost our esteem and give us some new-found ambition and inspiration to press on and try harder.
Reach out and ask some questions. Ask if anyone else has struggled with this and what they did. Sometimes just engaging in friendly conversation will trigger some new thoughts and inspiration.
6. Develop a new habit of self-discipline
Not everyone will like this portion, but it is important for me to touch on this area. The habits we have can be major limiting factors for us when we are trying to do new things or difficult tasks. If we have a habit of quitting often, this thought will start plaguing our minds; “Why don’t you just quit and try something else?”
We must resist these thoughts and break free from the habit of giving in to these thoughts. Do you know what the difference is between the guy who finishes the marathon and the one who doesn’t? Their thoughts.
Both are feeling pain from the race; both are fatigued and about ready to collapse. The difference is, one says, “Yeah, it hurts, but pain is temporary, and I will heal,” and the other says, “I’m not sure the win is worth the pain.”
Any time we venture to do something new, we will be met with resistance of self. Unless our habit is: “We will simply do whatever it takes,” we will surely be battling our thoughts because of our established habits.
Utilizing self-discipline is a habit the same way laziness and procrastination is a habit. Self-discipline is difficult because we take away the option of giving up. With self-discipline, we stop thinking about the current and start focusing on the end-result instead.
Instead of looking at how big the task is and how many days it’s going to take to get through it, look at what the end-result will be like; what it will feel like, how it will improve quality of life, and what can build on that because of the skills that were learned.
Self-discipline is doing something despite any thoughts of negativity that come to mind. When we get the thought, “This is hard, it will take a long time, and I might not even succeed,” self-discipline says, “Too bad; I’m doing this and I will achieve my goal no matter how hard it is or how long it takes because the reward will be great and worth the difficulty.”
In this article, my main purpose was to get the point across that it is better to keep at something than to give up. I could only give a few examples of what we commonly face. Your situation might be different, but overall, the steps for getting through and pushing on are the same.
If you find that you are struggling to succeed at something, or that something is just too much to handle, I encourage you to step back, look at the bigger picture, and reach out to someone for help. If you do this, and keep fighting, you will most certainly get past the blockage or difficulty and find victory and success.
If you have any helpful tips or ideas not covered in this article, please share them in the comments as there are surely others who can benefit from them.