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Last Updated on February 16, 2021

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

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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.

In addition, understanding your motivation style will help you better figure out what works best for your motivation. Take this free assessment: What’s Your Motivation Style? and identify your motivation style and play to its strength. Take the free assessment here.

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.

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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.

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.

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    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.

    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.

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

          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.”

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              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.

              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.

              If you want to learn more about this and build a sustainable motivation engine for yourself, join our free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation. In this free session, you’ll learn how to dig deep into your inner drive and always stay motivated. Join the free class here.

              Final thoughts

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

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              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

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              Last Updated on January 19, 2022

              What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

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              What Is Fear-Based Motivation And Does It Work?

              If you’ve ever thought or said something like this, then you are using fear-based motivation:

              • “If I don’t get that promotion, I’m going to be seen as a failure so I better stay up all night to work on this proposal.”
              • “If I speak up for school reform, the internet trolls are going to get me, so I better be quiet even though I care a lot about this issue.”
              • “If I don’t exercise enough, I’m going to look like crap, so I better go to the gym six days a week, even if my body is killing me.”

              Fear-based motivation is exactly what it sounds like—getting yourself and others to do things out of fear of what will happen if you don’t do it and do it well.

              What you might not know is that while fear-based motivation might work in the short term, it can have long-term detrimental effects on your performance, relationships, and well-being.

              Is Fear-Based Motivation Helpful?

              If using fear as motivation comes naturally for you, you aren’t alone. Our brains use fear to keep us out of trouble. Normally, you want to move away from what feels harmful towards what feels safe.

              This brain function is important when there is a genuine threat to your well-being, like if there is a rattlesnake on the hiking trail. Your brain will use fear to motivate you to move away from the snake as quickly as possible. But when you use fear-based motivation to accomplish your life and career goals, the constant state of fear puts unnecessary stress on your mind and body and can end up working against you.

              The Darkside of Fear-Based Motivation

              Take, for example, when your trainer at your gym motivates you during your workout by yelling things like, “Bikini season is coming! You don’t want your cellulite to be the star of the show!” or “Burn off that piece of birthday cake you ate last night!”

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              Sure, you might be motivated to do ten more burpees, but what is going on in the back of your mind? You probably have an image of a group of people standing around you at the beach laughing at you in your bikini, or you feel guilty about eating that piece of cake and criticize yourself for not being able to control yourself.

              Reliance on Negative Thinking

              For most of us, this type of thinking causes stress and can bring down our energy levels and mood. The reliance on negative thinking is the problem with fear-based motivation. It forces us to put our attention on what is wrong or what could go wrong instead of anticipating and celebrating what is right. This, in turn, narrows our focus and prevents us from seeing the bigger picture.

              When your brain senses a threat, whether it’s a rattlesnake hiding in the grass or the possibility of being laughed at in your bikini, your brain will move you into a protective stance. Your vision narrows and you prepare to fight, flee or freeze.

              You can probably imagine what this looks like in the case of a rattlesnake, but how does this impact your bikini experience?

              The High Cost of Fear-Based Motivation

              Imagine that you plan a beach vacation with your friends three months from now. The first thing you picture is sitting on the beach with your tummy rolls and cellulite. You immediately sign up for three months of boot camp classes at the gym and banish all sugar and booze from your diet. You are determined not to make a fool of yourself on the beach!

              Will the fear of not looking like a supermodel under the beach umbrella motivate you to get in shape and eat better? Possibly. But at what cost?

              For three months, every time you picture yourself looking “less than perfect” in your bikini, you feel fear of being ashamed. Shame makes you want to hide, and that makes it harder to find the motivation to go to the gym instead of sitting on the couch eating ice cream.

              You become so focused on how you are going to look on the beach that you lose out on all the fun and joy of life. You pass up on going shopping with your friends for new outfits because you aren’t at your goal weight yet. You stop doing the things you love to do to spend more time at the gym. You avoid family gatherings where you will be confronted with tempting food. You over-train to the point of hurting yourself.

              The Healthier Alternative to Fear-Based Motivation

              Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to feel good in your bikini! If that’s important to you, keep your goal in mind but change the way you motivate yourself. Instead of using the fear of feeling ashamed to motivate you, try using love-based motivation.

              Love-based motivation uses love instead of fear to lead and inspire you. It comes from a different part of your brain than fear-based motivation. Love-based motivation comes from the part of your brain that is responsible for joy, creativity, and passion.

              5 Questions of Love-Based Motivation

              There are many ways to deploy love-based motivation. The trick is to use one or all of the following to motivate you towards your goal: empathy, curiosity, innovation, vision, and heart-centered action.

              Here are five questions you can use to motivate yourself using love-based motivation.

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              1. What Would You Say to a Friend?

              Chances are that you talk to your friends in a much kinder way and with more empathy than you talk to yourself. You wouldn’t tell a friend, “you better starve yourself and hit the gym three times a day to look good in that bikini!” Instead, you would probably say something like, “I’m so excited to go on this vacation with you! I can’t wait to spend time catching up while sipping margaritas on the beach.”

              Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your friend.

              2. What Are You Curious About Learning That Might Help You Get to Your Goal?

              More often than not, achieving our goals is more about the journey it took us to get there than the goal itself. Curiosity makes journeys more fun. Perhaps you are curious about doing a triathlon but you don’t know how to run. If you spend three months learning to run, you would get into better shape and learn something new.

              3. How Can You Get to Your Goal in a Way That Feels Good?

              Using the “Yes, And” game is a great way to come up with innovative ideas for working towards your goals. If your first instinct is to go to the gym six days a week but you aren’t jazzed about it, find something that you like about that idea and make it better.

              For example, if what you like about going to the gym is that you work up a sweat, what if instead of the gym, you join a dance class where you can learn some new moves to show off on your vacation?

              4. What Is Important to You About Your Goal?

              When you dig into your goal, chances are that you’ll find a deeper meaning. If your goal is to “look good in a bikini,” ask yourself why that’s important to you.

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              For example, “I want to look good in my bikini because I want to have fun on vacation.” Then, ask yourself how much having fun on your vacation depends on how you look in your swimsuit.

              5. What Heart-Centered Action Can You Take That Will Help You Reach Your Goal?

              Whether your goal remains bikini-focused or changes to ways of having a good time on your vacation, choose an action that you can take that feels like it is coming from a place of love instead of fear.

              For example, suggest to your friends that you take scuba diving classes as a group before vacation. It will get you moving and bring your friends together.

              Long-Term Happiness and Satisfaction

              Fear-based motivation may help you achieve your goals in the short term, but it won’t lead to long-term happiness and satisfaction. Fear isn’t designed to be used for long periods, and you will eventually tire of the fear and give up on your goals. Love, however, is designed for longevity.

              Finding your motivation in a place of love will fuel you to reach your goals, whether your goals are about feeling good in a bikini, getting a promotion at work, or speaking up for what you believe in.

              More Tips on Boosting Motivation

              Featured photo credit: Jeremy Perkins via unsplash.com

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