Quitting doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means that you need to work on your mindset and habits to stop yourself from quitting. Our minds are used to taking the easy option; choosing to sit in front of the TV after a long day at work instead of doing some exercise or seeing friends. We’ve evolved to avoid pain and seek comfort so when we try something new our brain freaks out a little as it recognises that what we’re doing is hard and uncomfortable. This is when we often give ourselves permission to quit.
Here are 4 common reasons why we quit and how to overcome them:
1. Lack of commitment. The first reason for quitting is a lack of true commitment to whatever it is that you’ve started. The idea to quit stays present in our minds as long as we have a reason to quit, but the likelihood that we will quit only increases if you start to pay attention to those reasons. Before you set a goal, think about whether it’s something that you really want, not just something you think you should do. If it is, then commit to it and take it seriously. Write the goal down, create a plan with little and big steps, and tell people what you’re doing so that you feel accountable. Remember to set dates to check in with yourself about where you are with your goal.
2. Life takes over. It’s so easy to decide you want to do something and then day to day life takes over. You may think about your goal every now and again, but you slowly lose your momentum and drive to achieve the goal and before you know it 12 months have passed. Make time to follow your plan, even it it’s just an hour a week. Put reminders up around your home and check points in your calendar. These reminders will stop you pushing your goal to the back of your mind.
3. Thoughts of failure. When you want to achieve something new, there’s a good chance you will mess up along the way. This is usually the point where you would quit. We tell ourselves it wasn’t important and you weren’t that bothered about it anyway. We shouldn’t give into thoughts such as “I’d like to,” “I want to,” “I should,” or “I need to”. Instead we need to separate ourselves from them and commit by saying “I will” or “I can”. We often tell ourselves we can’t do something but if you keep listening to those thoughts you will never achieve anything in life. If I’d listened to my negative thoughts, I would never have started my Life Coaching business! Every stumble is a learning opportunity and it just shows that you are trying. Try to talk to someone who you trust about how you feel. Sharing a problem always helps you draw out the positives.
4. You forget why you wanted to do it. When things start to get tough, quitting seems to be the easy option, especially if you’ve forgotten why you wanted to do it in the first place. Before you start, take some time to write down why you’ve set this goal, why it’s important to you, and how you want to feel when you’ve accomplished it. Your “why” is the most important thing and will help you move forward even when you are struggling to find the motivation.
The key to success is simply to keep going. Even if you don’t reach your goal, keep at it. Don’t let it run away from you. The harder you work to achieve something, the more stronger you will become and the resilience you develop along the way will help you win in the end.
What are you waiting for? Take the leap of faith. Make the Change. Not tomorrow. Not next week, but NOW.