Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on April 22, 2020

Giving up Is Not an Option! How to Not Give up and Stay Motivated

Giving up Is Not an Option! How to Not Give up and Stay Motivated

We all get them – those feelings of doubt, fear, lack of self-confidence and lack of self-belief. Whatever it is we want to achieve in life, no matter how much we want it, there will always be times when you hit a challenging period, your motivation hits a wall and you feel like giving up.

You’ve heard it, “giving up is not an option”, but when it comes to how not to give up, it could be difficult sometimes.

In this article, you’ll learn that tough times make even the most motivated person consider giving up and this is completely normal.

Despite the overwhelming feeling of wanting to just give up, it’s actually the most important time not to.

Video Summary

What makes you want to give up easily

Identifying the reasons why giving up seems like the best option is so important. There are many reasons why people want to give up and each is driven by different motivations. However, there are a few human instincts that come into play here.

  • Mistaking lessons for failure: Not being able to see the roadblock for the lesson it is and keep going anyway.
  • The outcome is more important than the journey: Putting more emphasis on the end result and dismissing the importance of how you’re getting to the end goal and growing along the way.
  • Seeing the failure before it’s even happened: Self-sabotaging yourself by creating the thought that it just won’t happen. This is usually down to limiting beliefs and lack of self-belief.
  • Lack of discipline: Realizing that achieving your dream won’t just fall into your lap within a few weeks but will actually take hard work and determination.
  • Not adjusting to changes: Not embracing changes in direction, the need to tweak ideas or finding things evolve differently to how you originally imagined it and taking it as a sign it’s not meant to work out, are showing you that you’re not open to changes and the natural evolution to something even more amazing.

People often say, the moment they almost decided to give up was the moment just before they had a breakthrough. While demotivation, failure and giving up feels horrible, there’s a reason for this: it’s because you’re giving up on something that deep down you know is possible.

Why you should think twice about giving up

The power lies with your mindset and shifting this is key to keeping up the motivation you need when the going gets tough. This is why it’s important to realize why you shouldn’t give in and give up.

Instant success is a myth.

It is a generation of instant gratification which creates the illusion that everyone needs what they want. People look at other successful people and assume they got overnight success but in reality it took hard work and a lot of failing to get where they did. Most never see the journey but only the destination, and they fall in love with this idea that they don’t need to work hard to get it.

Understand this is a myth. Don’t be deterred by this because actually the journey is where the magic happens and makes your end goal ever more sweet.

A different approach maybe needed.

People judge themselves so harshly and assume that they are just not capable if they seem to be failing at something they want. It could simply be resolved by trying a different approach.

People are often so focused on the end goal and believe there’s just one or two ways to get there. In fact there may be a hundred more avenues that their mind isn’t opening up to.

Advertising

Open up and change your perspective. Are there other ways you can do it that feels better to you?

You’ll always wonder ‘what if’.

That feeling of regret can hit you hard. What if I’d just stuck with it? I could have achieved it by now. What if I hadn’t given up, how different my life would be?

While regret is the number one thing you shouldn’t waste your time doing, before you quit your dream just imagine how your life could transform and where you could be in a year, two years or five years.

Don’t give your future self the chance to become regretful because of the one decision you make in the present moment.

You could be quitting right before your success.

Many times, when people give up, they’re actually just a step away from success like this:

    The toughest times are a precursor to a major breakthrough to success. Think of it as being tested just to make sure this is exactly what you want.

    Decide yes, I still want this more than ever! You’re pretty much saying yep, give it to me now I deserve this after all I’ve done and this is usually the time it happens. Keep going! It’s all about trust that it’s going to work out.

    It’ll happen again and again.

    Do you find yourself quitting things a lot?  By default, your habitual mindsets and thought patterns play out over and over again throughout your life if you don’t identify and change them. Don’t think, ‘I’ll have another go in a year’s time’ because you are really likely to repeat exactly the same pattern again.

    It’s important to sit down with yourself and identify why you have a tendency to give up. This may feel uncomfortable and you may feel resistance to doing the process. But once you actually work through your limiting beliefs, they can be released really quickly and help you to remove mental obstacles you didn’t know were stopping you.

    Struggle does not equate to failure.

    We’ve been led to believe en mass that struggle is something to be ashamed of. It’s somehow a negative representation of our core character and ability to move through the world. I’m here to tell you it’s not. Never think of hard times as failure. In fact, just take failure out of your vocabulary. Stop caring about what others think and just know and believe you are capable of getting through it and coming out the other end.

    Advertising

    Struggle actually builds character. It’s there to serve you – to help you learn something you’ll need to use later on. Stop assuming struggle is negative but see it as a blessing on your road to great success.

    How to not give up and stay motivated

    The thing people tend to forget when all they want to do is give up is that failure doesn’t fix anything. Maybe for a moment you’ll feel relief because you no longer have to face that challenge, but the satisfaction will be fleeting.

    Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, drinking, or any kind of bad habits; or whether you’re trying to achieve a goal; the misery you were experiencing will be back, one way or another if you choose to give up at the most difficult time.

    The real challenge you’re experiencing in that moment is your own weakness manifesting in a physical form. When you accept that you aren’t worthy or good enough, that’s the mind set you will keep.

    No matter what challenge you are facing (be it work or play) you will struggle with maintaining your optimism, dedication and will power because you haven’t addressed the real issue: yourself.

    Imagine the Great Challenge as a big rock in front of you.

      If you choose to give up, you work around the stone just to go around it.

        Yet the fastest way to get over it is to break this big rock and go right through it.

        Advertising

          It’s the same with your weaknesses. You could continue to adjust your life to fit your fears (i.e. no longer job-hunting because you’ve accepted you will always fail), or you could keep sending out applications and calling to follow up and schedule interviews.

          No matter how great the challenge is, breaking it down is a must.

          In order to truly stay motivated, no matter how great the challenge is, you’ve got to learn to break the Great Challenge down.

            To truly overcome your weakness, you need break down the big rock into smaller pieces and deal with the small stones piece by piece.

              Right now it may seem impossible. It may seem like this is the hardest thing you will ever go through. But remember how often your threshold changes.

              Below are some tips that can help you take those first steps in keeping your chin up and truly facing the difficult choices in your life:

              1. Figure out what you lack

              No matter what the challenge you’re facing may be, there’s a reason it’s challenging to you. If it’s a job, why is it you aren’t getting hired? Go back through the job listings and skills required and find the common thread your resume doesn’t have. Is it not listed because you don’t have it? If so, work on doing something to give you that skill. Be it an online course or a volunteer project, do something to help push you closer to the “perfect candidate.”

              2. Be patient with yourself

              No one becomes a CEO overnight. If you have big dreams, you’re going to have to do big work to accomplish them. It’s okay to take time figuring out the best way to proceed, but it’s not okay to walk away because it’s challenging.

              3. Be proud of yourself for every small win

              Have you ever noticed how a small mistake can weigh on you for days? Whether or not you categorize yourself as a dramatic person doesn’t matter when it comes to the guilt we so often put upon ourselves. But when we make small strides in achieving our goal(s), we never seem to give ourselves much respect.

              Advertising

              When we fail to pat ourselves on the back for little victories, it decreases our motivation and makes it much harder to achieve big goals.[1]

              4. Remember that you aren’t the first to feel this way

              When we face difficult choices or events in our lives, we often forget that we are not the first/only/last to experience this. Everyone faces hard decisions – be it deciding to end a relationship, changing careers, moving to a different place and leaving friends behind. We all go through it.

              So don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends or family for a sounding board. In some cases, they may even be able to offer you advice you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

              5. Know that you will grow as a person just from going through it

              We build character through those hard times. The old cliche, “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” is true. When you go through something challenging, you learn from it, regardless of the outcome. Recognize the opportunities for learning and personal development.

              6. Remember that you have choices

              No matter how hard the challenge you’re facing may be, one of the best things you can focus on is that you have choices. Only you can decide how you handle something and the steps you take. More so, only you can decide how you take the next step.

              You have the power to stand in your own way and to get out of it. Allow yourself to stay motivated by choosing to be stay motivated.

              Choose to see obstacles as lessons. Ask yourself, what is this showing me? What is it bringing up for me? In most cases, they’re there to point you in a direction you’ve previously not considered. Trust in this and keep going.

              Final thoughts

              Great things never come easy. When difficult times do stop you in your tracks, you need a way to push through.

              Learn and understand what it is that’s truly demotivating you. Adjust your mindset, learn to deal with challenges and you’ll come out the other side a strong and successful person.

              Featured photo credit: Vecteezy via vecteezy.com

              Reference

              More by this author

              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

              How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster Productivity Can Be Improved By These 10 Actionable Steps 13 Common Life Problems And How To Fix Them 6 Ways to Finish Strong (When Your Momentum Is Low)

              Trending in Mental Strength

              1 How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today 2 How to Not Take Things Personally for a Happier Life 3 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 4 How to Fight Your Irrational Fears And Stay Strong 5 Feeling Frustrated in Life? 8 Ways to Get Back on Track

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on July 10, 2020

              How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

              How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

              As human beings, one of our deepest-rooted desires is to have a meaningful and happy existence. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Live your best life.” It’s good advice.

              We all want to feel connected to both ourselves and others. We want to feel that we’re part of something important and that we’re making a difference in the world.

              We want to look back at our lives and our achievements and be proud. In short, we want what the saying says: to live our best lives.

              But what does it really mean to live your best life?

              You are a unique individual, so living your best life is exclusive to you. Your best life will reflect your true values. It will be made up of what makes you happy and will be colored by what making a difference means to you.

              What Stops You From Living Your Best Life?

              While living your best life is all about you, what other people think can have an impact on your quest to live your best life.

              Social media, for example, puts us under a lot of pressure. There are specific expectations of what “happy” looks like, and we’re under pressure to conform to what society expects.

              For example, we are pressured to look a certain way, wear the “right” clothes, have exciting adventures with eye-catching friends, eat ethical and healthy food, and do charity work.

              These are only a few of society’s expectations. It’s a long list.

              Social media claims to connect us, but often it can do the opposite.

              We can spend so much time worrying about what other people are doing, trying to live the life that society expects of us, that it can be easy to lose track of what makes us happy and what our best life actually looks like.

              Start the Journey

              What does it look like to live your best life? The following are some practical tips and tools to move from living your current life to living your best life.

              1. Be the Best Version of Yourself

              To live your best life, you must be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone else. Don’t try to be what other people want you to be.

              Focus on who you want to be. Play to your strengths and be proud of what makes you different. You are brilliant.

              Gretchen Rubin, in her book Happiness Project, created her own commandments. The first one was “Be Gretchen.” This gave her permission to follow her gut feeling and make up her own rules.

              For example, she stopped forcing herself to enjoy parties, cocktails, and fashion just because that’s what she thought society expected.

              So, inspired by Gretchen, create your own commandment: “Be more YOU,” and remind yourself of this every day, unapologetically.

              Advertising

              2. Observe Yourself

              To work out what the best you looks like, you must get to know yourself better. It’s your best life after all – not anyone else’s.

              Start to notice how you respond to various situations. What are your habits? What makes you happy? What frustrates you? How do you behave under pressure? What gives you energy? What drains you?

              Spend a week simply noticing. Write your observations down so you remember.

              3. Identify Your Bad Habits

              As part of your observations, start to notice your bad habits. Consider the things that don’t ultimately make you feel good.

              Does scrolling mindlessly through Instagram make you happy? For 5 minutes, perhaps, but for longer?

              That last glass of wine was delicious, but do you pay the price later?

              That chocolate was enjoyable at the moment, but now that the sugar high is over, are you feeling regretful?

              Observe yourself first. Then, start to deliberately do more of the things that make you happy and give you energy.

              At the same time, work on reducing then eliminating the habits that squander your time, drain your energy, and ultimately don’t make you happy.

              Need help conquering your bad habits? Read How to Break Bad Habits Once and For All.

              4. Set Intentions

              After having thought about what makes you happy and what drains your energy, focus on what living the best life looks like for you.

              One of the keys to this is being intentional about it. When you deliberately set intentions, you are more likely to act with purpose and drive.

              Setting intentions is different from setting goals. Goals are your list of things you want to achieve. You can set them daily, monthly, yearly, or a combination.

              A common practice is to define goals and write them down. This makes them more tangible and makes you more accountable, therefore, making the goals more likely to happen.

              The subtle yet important difference between goals and intentions is that when setting intentions, you decide what kind of positive feelings and emotions you are seeking.

              For example, “This week, my intention is to approach my admin tasks with gusto in order to complete them more quickly.”

              Intentions can be more motivating than goals because if you don’t achieve your goal, it can feel like a failure and can ultimately hold you back.

              Advertising

              If you don’t achieve your intention to approach something in a specific way, you can more easily regroup and have another try.

              Write down your intentions every month, week, or day, using whichever time frame works best for you.

              For example, “I intend to enjoy going swimming three times this week” or “I intend to assertively build my network in my local area this month.”

              Setting intentions gives you something to focus on, and it also helps to manage the feeling of being overwhelmed that often happens when we set ourselves goals.

              5. Visualize Living Your Best Life

              Visualization can help you to cement your intentions. It involves visualizing how it would feel to live your best life once you achieve it.

              It can help you to further establish what you want and allow you to settle into a positive mindset.

              To visualize, first choose your focus. Choose a specific intention and how you will feel once it is accomplished. Then, take the time to daydream and allow your imagination to wander.

              For example, if your intention is going swimming three times a week, imagine what you will look and feel like:

              • What will you wear?
              • How do you get there?
              • What time of day do you go?
              • How do you feel when you’re in the water?
              • How do you feel afterward?

              Ask yourself these little questions and allow yourself to feel the same feelings you would feel if you were currently fulfilling your intention.

              10 Ways to Live Your Best Life

              Now that you’ve decided and visualized what your best life looks like, let’s look at some more practical steps you can take to achieve it.

              1. Focus

              Whatever you do, focus. If you swim, swim. If you study, study. Multitasking is a myth. It’s not possible to do more than one thing at a time well. Focused work is the least tiresome and the most productive type of work.

              Michael LeBouf, the author of The Millionaire in You, said,

              “Winners focus, losers spray.”

              2. Take Responsibility for Taking Action

              Taking action can feel scary. We fear failure, but we can also fear success. It can be easy to feel too busy to achieve your intentions.

              However, you have the choice to take action and live your best life or stay the same. It’s up to you, so take responsibility to take action.

              3. Live in the Present

              Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. We so often get stuck because we put things off.

              We can think, “When I’ve lost 10 lbs I’ll go swimming,” or “When I feel more confident I’ll look for a new job,” or “When I get my new running shoes I’ll start running.”

              Advertising

              How about starting from where you are? How about using what you already have?

              We often put off taking action until we have the newest phone/camera/game/course/book/shoes as if they are the keys to happiness. In the process, we forget about what we already have.

              Grab the camera that you have, put on your old running shoes. Go and do something interesting today with what you’ve got. Fancier gadgets, better clothes, or a slimmer body won’t make you better.

              Action will.

              4. Declutter

              This applies to the environment you live in as well as the people you spend time with. Use Marie Kondo’s decluttering method of asking, “Does it bring you joy?”[1]

              If your answer is yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out. Simple.

              This also applies to people. If there are people in your life that make you feel bad, drain your energy, and don’t bring you joy, let go of them.

              Instead, spend time with the people and activities that give you energy and make you feel good.

              5. Relish the Simple Things

              When we’re busy, we can forget to appreciate what we have. Take time to focus on the simple things. Even when you’re feeling low, there’s always something to be grateful for.

              In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.[2] Be deliberate in being grateful for what you do have, rather than resentful of what you don’t.

              6. Journaling

              Journaling

              is simply writing your thoughts down.

              According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper not only helps you get your thoughts in order, but it can also help ease symptoms of depression and manage stress and anxiety.[3]

              In the chaos of life, it is easy to overthink, feel anxious, or not appreciate what you do have. Journaling can help you manage your thoughts and feelings and productively cope with life.

              Be curious and keep learning. Ask more questions and keep pushing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and learn.

              What are you interested in or curious about? Perhaps it’s learning more about where you live, or reading up on a particular topic? Maybe it’s traveling to a new town or country?

              According to Dan Pink’s research, learning is a key motivator.[4] Whether you feel like you’ve gotten stuck in a boring routine or you’re stressed by the tasks of daily life, learning something new is a way to step outside yourself and your comfort zone.

              Advertising

              Create a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do and learn and the places you’d like to go to, and start ticking them off.

              7. Make Someone’s Day

              Being kind to others makes them feel good, and it also releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good. Think about a time you gave someone a gift that they loved. How did you feel?

              You don’t have to start giving people gifts to make someone’s day. Think about small, thoughtful gestures: a genuine compliment, opening the door, offering to help someone.

              All these things can make a big difference in someone’s day.

              8. Look After Your Body

              Eat what nourishes you, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and food that’s natural and unprocessed. Drink plenty of water.

              Exercise because you like it, not because you’re supposed to go to the gym.

              Reject the idea that you have to push yourself really hard at exercise, and instead try out a variety of things – for example, walking the dog, gardening, yoga, swimming, or dancing.

              Find what you enjoy. When you enjoy something, you’ll be motivated to do it more.

              Get good rest! We’re all different in terms of the amount of sleep that we need. However, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.

              If you’re not getting that much, then check out healthy sleep tips from the Sleep Foundation.[5]

              More tips for staying healthy: Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You.

              9. Manage Your Inner Critic

              Most people have an inner critic that tells them they are not good enough, that they’re a fraud, and that they are going to be found out.

              This happens especially when we step out of our comfort zone and change things. If you are living your best life, your inner critic likes to jeopardize that.

              The next time it appears, acknowledge what’s happening and call it out. Whatever it is telling you, list all the reasons it’s wrong.

              10. Be Prepared to Change the Plan

              You may have set intentions to live your best life. However, life is not linear, nor does it work in lists. You must expect to be flexible and change the plan as life throws things at you.

              The end game remains the same: to live your best life. It’s just the route to get there that will inevitably change.

              Conclusion

              Live each day like it counts, and remember, it’s your choice. Your best life is unique to you. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on living your best life, and enjoy the learning, exploration, and experiences along the way.

              More Tips on How You Can Live Your Best Life

              Featured photo credit: Juliana Malta via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Kon Mari: Tidy your space, transform your life
              [2] Harvard Health Publishing: In Praise of Gratitude
              [3] University of Rochester Medical Center: Journaling for Mental Health
              [4] Daniel H. Pink: Dan Pink on Motivation
              [5] Sleep Foundation: Healthy Sleep Tips

              Read Next