One of the biggest factors of success in life is perservance – continuing to press on even when you want to give up.
But figuring out what to do when you want to give up to encourage yourself to push forward can be difficult for people who haven’t trained that habit in themselves.
And in some ways, it is a habit.
Sure, it’s a mindset shift, but it is also a habit or a reaction you can learn!
For me, this applies to both my blogging career and the efforts I take to exercise and lose weight.
Both are long term ventures and success doesn’t happen overnight.
In blogging, sometimes you don’t even see success on a new website until 6 months to a full year after you start it.
And in weight loss, of course, even if you eat healthy one day, you won’t notice any changes and it can be so, so hard to not want to give up.
So how do you find motivation when you want to give up?
Here’s everything I’ve learned.
1. Pause Before Stopping
When you want to give up, pause.
You don’t have to keep moving forward, but you shouldn’t immediately stop or give up.
Sometimes, we just need that breather and that pause to pull ourselves together to keep going.
I know when I had the task of losing about 60 pounds, I had to pause losing weight at about 30 as I was just tired of it and wanted to eat all of the cake in all of the world.
I maintained for a few months, and then got the energy to lose the rest.
A pause doesn’t have to be a few months long, either.
It could just be that you need a day off or a week off and so you’re going to “pause” what you’re doing rather than tear down all of your hard work in one fell swoop.
This also gives you the time you need to make use of the other tips below.
2. Find Someone Else’s Success Story
Pick a person who has accomplished what you want to do.
In 99% of cases, you’ll be able to find someone unless you’re planning on climbing an uncharted mountain or something (and even then, find someone who accomplished something similar!)
Being inspired by other people is a great way to push ourselves to keep going.
You might read up on how they did it, like how they make an independent film and then it jumpstarted their career or how they ate to lose the weight, or you might just remind yourself that they got to the end goal and so you can too, in your own way.
Other people chart the ways for us to succeed, and reminding yourself that it is possible is a great way to not give up.
3. Reflect on What You’ve Accomplished So Far
One of my best tips on how to keep going when you want to give up has to do with evaluating your own success and what you’ve achieved so far.
It can be hard in the day to day slog to remind ourselves how far we’ve come, but chances are if you look back at when you started, you’ll be able to pinpoint the progress and know that you’re not in the same place.
It doesn’t have to do with looking back at the “success” you’ve had related to your final goal either.
If you want to make money blogging, you might have still made $0 3 months in, but you can point to the 25 articles you’ve published and things you’ve learned about blogging that you didn’t know 3 months ago.
Stop to give yourself some credit and remind yourself that you have already come far.
4. Weigh the Reward versus Risk of Stopping
Sometimes, you want to give up and that’s totally fine.
I’m not saying that you should just keep going no matter what.
Not all business ideas are good, not all things bring you joy, and not all things are worth it.
But you have to weigh up the risks and rewards of continuing to try or giving up, and in an honest way.
If you’re trying to reach new athletic heights, but you have a nagging injury that’s getting worse and is going to permanently disable you if it gets too bad, you’ve got every right to give that up for something else right now!
This is a personal decision and comes from you being able to be honest with yourself about your own regrets and what you’re comfortable with.
5. Tell Someone When You Just Want to Give Up
Using other people for motivation is a great idea if you’ve lost it all yourself.
Tell a friend or family member who supports you, or a business partner or colleague, and let them give you some encouragement and motivation to keep going.
It can feel so refreshing to hear something like, “what! You want to give up?! But you’re doing so well!” and then remind yourself of how well you’re doing and feel lifted up and able to keep going.
If you don’t have someone to confide in about your desire to quit, there are plenty of online forums and complete strangers who would be happy to listen to your goals and hear about your story and give you some sort of push.
You don’t have to do it all alone.
6. Rekindle Your Joy For It
If you want to give up on something that you started for the love of it, you’ve got to rekindle that joy.
Maybe you started your mission of being a screenwriter because you love telling stories, but along the way you got bogged down in all of the extra stuff like structure and characters and overanalyzing every single thing you write.
Remind yourself why you started and find a way of bringing that love and joy back into your life.
Ditch all of the rules and do it for awhile just because you love it.
7. Repeat Positive Mantras
Have a go-to positive mantra that you can come back to when you need it.
Repeat it every morning, repeat it when you want to give up, repeat it in the shower, repeat it before you go to bed at night.
It can be something you read somewhere, or it can be something that just naturally comes to you.
For me, mine is, “I can do hard things.”
I think I heard it somewhere, but it’s a basic phrase that reminds me that even if the task in front of me is hard, there’s no reason that I can’t do it.
It will help get your mind to that positive state and, more importantly, when you hit that fork in the road where you just want to give up, having already conditioned yourself to think postively can help you break through.
8. Chunk It Down into Smaller Segments
Sometimes, our goals are too big for us to achieve without breaking it down into smaller chunks.
It’s going to take a long time to lose 100 pounds, but much less time to lose 5 pounds.
So all you have to do is lose 5 pounds 20 times!
Or 1 pound 100 times!
Break down what you’re trying to achieve into smaller goals, as that will help you feel like you’re actually achieving something as you go along rather than defining it as “failure” if you don’t reach a big goal and success if you do.
You’re having constant successes along the way, but you won’t be able to celebrate them if you haven’t broken it down to be able to say what those smaller sucesses are!