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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

8 Things To Do When You Want To Give Up

8 Things To Do When You Want To Give Up

Like a lot of people, I have felt the urge to give up on something. It’s easy to get to a point where it seems as though the time you’ve invested in a dream or goal and the time of fruition can be very daunting.

There are cycles of excitement, enthusiasm, creativity, and they are followed by despair, discouragement, and the desire to quit.

Why Do We Give Up Easily?

Our brains are wired to giving up easily, it’s normal. Human beings are believed to act upon the “Pleasure Principle,” the instant gratification:[1]

Instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfilment without delay or deferment. Basically, it’s when you want it; and you want it now.

Our brains are wired to immediate rewards in return. We’re born to look for instant gratification because in the ancient times, getting immediate benefits was essential for survival. We are very much present-oriented, and so when we’re not getting what we want immediately, we get anxious and want to give up.

Yes, so once in a while, wanting to give up is normal. But giving up is not okay.

Maybe you’re disappointed or tired because you haven’t succeeded yet after lots of trials, or maybe you’re experiencing one of these: Why We Lose Motivation Once in a While and How to Fix It

But don’t you give up yet because nothing worth having comes easy.

The Consequence of Giving Up Too Early

Instant success is a myth, always. Many successful people failed hundreds of times, if they chose to give up instead of working harder to reach their goals, they would never succeed.

For example, Walt Disney had been fired by a newspaper editor before because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” If he gave up imagining and dreaming about big ideas, he wouldn’t have found the successful Disney business.

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And let’s take the famous soccer player David Beckham as another example. He had a down time after he received a red card in the World Cup match against Argentina in 1998. The England team couldn’t make it to the next round and everyone hated him and blamed him for that. If Beckham gave up playing soccer, we wouldn’t see the successful player leading different teams and becoming one of the most legendary players in history.

If you give up now, you’re giving up the very bright future and great results you will get.

Find out in this article why Giving up Is Not an Option.

8 Things To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

Do what your future self will thank you for, not regret. Here’re 8 things to do when you feel like you want to give up.

1. Remember Why You Started and How Much You Really Wanted It

Think back to the moment that this project, goal, or concept was conceived. Remember the joy and thrill of the adventure ahead? At the beginning, you had a goal in mind; a beautiful picture etched in your mind of the finished task. Beginning was simple; carrying through has become difficult.

Going back to the beginning brings into focus the purpose of your endeavor. The memory of anticipation of the job accomplished is stirred up again when you begin to contemplate the reason you began in the first place. Breathe in deep and recall your purpose.

Use a little help from this Worksheet For Instant Motivation Boost for free and clear your mind. So you can refocus your mind and regain your lost motivation. Grab your free worksheet and keep moving forward!

2. Look Into the Reason Why You Want to Give Up.

The feelings of wanting to quit can be overwhelming. The generalized feeling isn’t clear; look at the reasons why you want to quit. Are you physically tired? Have you been consumed with things and not taken care of yourself in the process? Do you feel little support? Are you lacking ability? Have you come up against some difficulties that you are unprepared for? Do you need to just take a step back before continuing on?

There are many reasons why you may want to quit. Be diligent in figuring out what the real issues are and tackle them specifically. Once you see what is causing the feeling, you can address it.

Try to do an audit of your life and figure out the reason: How to Get Your Life Back on Track When Things Are Out of Control

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3. Picture in Your Mind the Ultimate Result

Keep in your mind the picture of the end result. A visualization of what you want to accomplish will keep you moving forward. I mean, seriously, you don’t want to stop partway through. The feeling of being a quitter isn’t pleasant. You are a winner! Remember the slogan: the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat!

Whenever you want to quit, ask yourself, do you want the thrill of victory? Or would you rather the agony of defeat? Press on; you can do this. This is how you can stay motivated and persevere even during the difficult times.

To learn to always stay motivated even during the difficult times, join the Fast Track Class – Activate Your Motivation for free. It’s a focused 30-minute session that will help you build your own motivation engine and keep yourself motivated. Join the free class here.

4. Make a Plan and Have a Backup

Before you undertake anything, always have an outlined plan of action.

There are various ways this can be done. You can write a list, make a breakout chart, or form a checklist for tasks completed along the way. By having a plan in place, when you feel like giving up you can look at the plan and refocus on the steps needed to reach the goal.

Also, have a backup plan in mind before beginning; this way when you are frustrated and want to give up, you will have an alternative plan to put in action.

Life will knock you down sometimes, but don’t give up!

5. Find Support From Others

Don’t isolate yourself or hide your feelings of frustration, and don’t be afraid to seek support from others. Reach out to family, friends, co-workers or even online forums to find someone that you can talk to and rid yourself of what is dragging you down and causing you to want to quit.

I promise there are so many other people out there that are struggling with feelings of doubt, fear and frustration just like you are. Finding another person who has gone through a similar crisis will strengthen your resolve and help you get back on course.

Here’re more ways to help you feel inspired: How to Feel Inspired When You’ve Lost Motivation

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6. Be Grateful for the Good Things While Struggling.

Yes, you may feel like giving up. Yes, you are struggling. Yes, you are overwhelmed at the moment. I know this may seem like a strange thing to say, but remember to be grateful. This is essential in a resilient mindset.

Whenever you feel like giving up, stop and make a list of the things you are grateful for in your life. You have so much positivity in your life to be thankful for. When you shift your focus to becoming grateful for all things, tasks that seem overwhelming take on a new light. The way you look at the situations around you depends on the attitude with which you view them. Take on an attitude of gratitude and you will be amazed at the difference it makes.

Learn how to be more resilient: 17 Ways for Building Resilience and Staying Tough

7. Celebrate Your Victories, No Matter How Small They Seem

You deserve to acknowledge all the victories that you have made along the way. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at all that you have left to do, write out a list of accomplishments you have already completed, no matter how small they may seem.

By celebrating your progress, you will renew your energy to complete what you are doing. When you see all that you have done, it will excite you to take further action until the finish line.

Don’t give up!

8. Have Motivational Reminders Everywhere

Here’re some of my favorite motivational quotes, make them your wallpaper or just have the quotes stuck on your desk! Just don’t give up! Never, ever give up!

Never give up on something you really want. It’s difficult to wait but more difficult to regret.

    The expert in anything was once a beginner.

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      Everyone must choose one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

        Crawling is acceptable. Falling is acceptable. Pain is acceptable. Quitting is now.

          Don’t give up what you want most in life for something you think you want now.

            More Tips to Keep You Going

            Featured photo credit: Galen Crout via unsplash.com

            Reference

            More by this author

            Charlene Tops

            Charlene is a certified life coach who is passionate about writing, speaking and teaching.

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            Published on February 17, 2021

            How to Hack the Reward System in Your Brain And Stay Motivated

            How to Hack the Reward System in Your Brain And Stay Motivated

            How do we achieve our biggest goals in life? Hard work, learning new skills, and staying focused are definitely important things, but one of the most important things we need is motivation. Losing motivation can stop us in our tracks. It can make us procrastinate, doubt our skills and abilities, and take us off the path to success. In the worst cases, a lack of motivation can destroy our goals and kill our dreams.

            Where does motivation come from?

            It starts with thoughts and chemicals in the reward systems in our brains. It continues to develop in our brains and is further shaped by our behaviors. This is why neuroscience, which is the study of the function of the brain, is so important.

            When we understand the basics of neuroscience, we can hack the reward system in our brains so we can stay motivated to achieve our biggest goals.

            The Neuroscience of Motivation

            At the most basic level, humans want to avoid pain and experience pleasure. Our pleasure-seeking behavior is based on a mental reward system that’s controlled by our brains. This reward system is what keeps us motivated and helps us achieve our biggest goals and dreams.

            Neurotransmitters are chemicals in our brains that help shape our thoughts and behaviors. One of the main neurotransmitters in our reward system is the “pleasure” chemical dopamine. Dopamine is produced mainly in the mid-brain and then moves to other areas of the brain, such as the amygdala, which plays a big role in our emotional development. It also moves to the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for thinking, feeling, planning, and taking action.[1]

            When you do something pleasurable, your brain releases dopamine to make you feel good mentally and physically. This commonly happens when we eat our favorite foods, have sex, have a great conversation with someone, or do something else we really enjoy. Each time we feel pleasure from doing something, our brains remember what made us feel good. It actually assigns a reward value for everything we do.

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            For example, eating a slice of our favorite pizza may have a higher reward value than drinking a smoothie. Being on that tropical vacation will have a higher reward value than watching that water fountain downtown.

            Our brains even release dopamine before we engage in those things that make us happy. It’s the expectation of the reward rather than the reward itself that has the strongest influence on our emotional reactions and memories of what’s pleasurable.[2] Just planning that tropical vacation by checking out different locations on a travel site or looking at things we want to buy on Amazon stimulates our reward system by releasing dopamine.

            Thinking about starting a project at work that we’re really passionate about also activates our reward system. This act of feeling the pleasure generated by our mental reward systems is what creates reward-seeking behavior and is a big part of motivation.

            Vanderbilt University researchers discovered that “go-getters” who are more willing to work hard have greater dopamine activity in the striatum and prefrontal cortex, two areas of the brain that influence motivation and reward.[3]

            Hacking Our Brain’s Reward System

            Here are four ways to hack the reward system in your brain to stay motivated.

            1. Keep Growing

            When you do the same things over and over, that dopamine rush tends to get smaller and smaller. A great way to stay motivated is to keep growing by doing bigger and bigger things.

            Take on bigger, more challenging projects at work. Once you’ve reached a running or fitness milestone, start working toward a bigger one. If you’re fluent in a foreign language, learn how to have more complex, philosophical conversations. If you have your own business, find ways to acquire more clients so you can generate more profit. Keep learning new skills that will push you to the edge of your comfort zone.

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            Taking on greater challenges helps our brain’s reward system continue to assign high reward values to things we do. Start by accomplishing small goals. As you accumulate more and more small wins, work your way up to more challenging goals.

            2. Use Visualization

            “Visualization is daydreaming with a purpose.”—Bo Bennett

            A great way to stay motivated is to visualize accomplishing a goal—even though you haven’t completed it yet. Visualization actually causes the brain to release dopamine. This makes us see our future rewards more clearly and go after them more fervently.

            When our brains release dopamine and we feel that rush of euphoria, our hippocampus, which is part of our brain’s limbic system, records those pleasurable moments in our long-term memory. The more we visualize success, the more our brains associate this visualized success with pleasurable feelings.

            When we can imagine a better future, we’re motivated to keep pushing forward and overcoming obstacles in our path. This is why people work hard to get raises and promotions, invest their money, put their kids thru college, and do other things that help them or others prosper later in life.

            Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Jim Carrey, and other famous and influential people have used visualization to achieve sky-high success.[4] It’s a great way to use the power of your imagination to keep you motivated to succeed.

            3. Avoid Excessive Stress

            High levels of stress are associated with chronic inflammation, which can cause our motivation to decrease. Researchers at Emory University have theorized that chronic inflammation from stress may cause a chemical reaction in the body that decreases dopamine supplies in the brain.[5]

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            Low levels of stress can actually help us perform better by making us more alert. That adrenaline rush we get from stress can give us the energy and the edge to do our best. But when stress levels are high, stress can be damaging to our bodies, minds, and motivation.[6]

            High-stress can lead to burnout. In the worse cases, it can cause people to quit projects or quit their jobs. It can cause mental problems such as anxiety or depression. It can lead to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other illnesses. Reduce stress by doing deep breathing exercises, meditating, running, or exercising regularly.

            4. Reframe Challenges

            If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.—Wayne Dyer

            Another great way to hack your brain’s reward system is to change how you look at challenges in your life. A common problem is that many people see difficult work as an obstacle or simply something they don’t like doing.

            A good strategy is to look at difficult situations and obstacles as opportunities that will help you and those around you grow. This will help us look at difficult things in a positive light and actually look forward to doing them instead of dreading them.

            For example, if three employees on your team aren’t getting along with each other and two of them are thinking about quitting, don’t look at this as a very stressful, terrible problem. Instead, look at the situation as an opportunity to use your interpersonal skills to gather the angry employees together, let them voice their concerns, and then resolve the problem.

            It will help them improve personally and professionally. It will also help you and your company prosper as well. You can also apply this same way of thinking to your personal life. If your friends or family members aren’t getting along, use the disagreement as a growth opportunity that will benefit them and you.

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            When we can see difficult things as great opportunities, we’ll start to look forward to them. When we look forward to doing things, it makes the reward system in our brains reward us with more dopamine, and it increases the chances that we’ll look at future problems as opportunities to grow.

            Conclusion

            Motivation is a challenging part of personal and professional development. This is why motivational videos and motivational speeches are so popular. A central part of staying motivated, even during the most challenging times, is to understand how our brains work. Science has given us a good understanding of our brain’s reward system and the chemicals and pathways that allow it to shape our behavior.

            Hack that reward system in your brain by taking on bigger challenges, visualizing success, avoiding excessive stress, and looking at difficult situations as opportunities to help others and help yourself grow.

            When we begin to master our brains, we’ll be better able to master our lives and achieve those big goals.

            More Tips on How to Stay Motivated

            Featured photo credit: Giorgio Trovato via unsplash.com

            Reference

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