5 Tiny But Powerful Reminders For When You Want To Give Up
I recently experienced some Instagram beef with a friend of mine.
He posted a quote on his story by James Dyson that read, “The moment you want to slow down; that’s when you accelerate.” I chuckled to myself and replied, “the moment you want to slow down, you take a break.”
See, my friend and I have different outlooks on achieving success. I believe that your mental and physical well-being matter most, and that aids your goals. Yet my friend believes you need to work hard and always go go go.
Neither of those matters much to our Instagram disagreement since Mr. Dyson’s quote referred to long-distance running, but my point stands.
Who is wrong? Neither of us. They’re simply different definitions of obtaining success. But they’re both solutions to a problem everyone feels at some point.
Whether you’re building the next vacuum empire or trying to change a habit you don’t like, you’ll come to the point that you want to quit. What you do in those moments will set you apart from success, and those who stay stuck.
So when those moments of doubt inevitably arise, I want you to have some words of wisdom. Write them down on sticky notes. Type them into your notes app on your phone. Bookmark this article.
Whatever you have to do to make these reminders easily accessible, do it because they could be that extra push you need to not give up.
You’ve come this far, and that’s something.
Your mindset is key to keep you going through the hard times that come with trying to achieve something new. What most people do wrong is they focus too much on how far they need to go to get there.
Dan Sullivan, an author and coach for blossoming entrepreneurs, coined this concept called “The Gap and The Gain.” Through his work coaching people with their businesses, he found that people who were unhappy along the way to success tended to have the same mindset.
The unhappy people focused on how much of a gap there was between where they were and where they wanted to be. But the happy people focused on how much they’d gain from when they started versus where they currently were.
When the idea of quitting crosses your mind, turn your attention to how far you’ve come. Write down everything you’ve accomplished and learned. Just because you haven’t obtained your goal yet, doesn’t mean you haven’t accomplished anything.
If you need a break, that’s OK.
Contrary to my friend I described above, you’re not a bad person for needing a break. In fact, it’s going to be better for you in the long-run if you take breaks now and then.
If you’ve hit an emotional wall, that’ll damage your well-being. A slew of effects could happen, like losing out on sleep and your mood being down. Once those things begin happening, you’re going to find it hard to do your best work.
So while I don’t suggest you take a month off from pursuing your goals, I do suggest a day or maybe even a weekend where you let your brain turn off for a bit.
No one can keep running on empty.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
In 1994, the first black man was elected president of South Africa. His work ended apartheid in the country and instituted multiracial democracy. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard his name: Nelson Mandela.
Mandela was famously quoted as saying, “It always seems impossible until it’s done,” something that, in the context of his achievements, seems wholly a concept that’s hard for us to grasp.
Ending deep-rooted segregation in a country is a feat that most likely felt impossible to achieve. But then it was. In your moments of doubt, remember that.
Whatever your goals are or changes you want to make, remember that they are possible. Don’t psyche yourself out to think that what you want is miles away. Instead, focus on the tiny steps that can get you there.
As long as you’re moving forward, the impossible can be obtained.
Most people never try.
Think of all the times you’ve heard, “I need to diet,” or “I have this great business idea!” but the person saying them never followed through. You can probably think of at least several people.
That’s because the hardest part of achieving something new or different is simply starting. People become paralyzed by the fear of failing or altering their lives. They stay stuck where they are.
I hear this all the time from people who admire my writing career. People say they want to write but never publish an article. No matter how much I encourage them, they’re just too damn scared to make any moves.
The mere fact that you tried at all is something to be proud of. I want you to stop at this moment and give yourself credit for taking the first step. Even if it was months or years ago, be proud.
The difference between you and the people who never start is this: you won’t wake up one day wondering, “what if?” You’ll have lived a life where you weren’t scared to chase something that you wanted.
Tiny steps are better than staying stuck.
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
There’s nothing like ancient Chinese philosophy to get your mind thinking. It can be hard to give small changes the value they deserve, but it’s important that you do.
Take building a house, for example: laying down one brick might feel like you’re barely moving the needle, but keep doing so, and, soon enough, you’ll have an entire house.
When all you feel like doing is throwing in the towel and retreating to your old life, don’t. Figure out what small step you can take forward that feels doable. Then repeat that the next day, and so on.
Though I didn’t agree with my friend’s sentiment that I talked about at the beginning of this article, I agree that even the tiny movement forward is better than giving up altogether.
Everyone experiences that moment when they think, “maybe it’s time to quit.” You’re only human. You can only climb so many obstacles before you wonder if it’s all worth it in the end.
But if you want something bad enough, the answer is that it’s worth it, without a doubt. The moments that you want to quit will test you, but they’ll also define you.
Choosing to keep going, even when you want to give up is a sign of someone who’s destined to succeed.
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