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6 Ways to Keep Yourself Going When You’re Almost Ready to Quit

6 Ways to Keep Yourself Going When You’re Almost Ready to Quit

No matter who we are, there are times when we will feel down, when things will feel difficult, when things will feel tough and we will want to give up. Successful people have the same problem too. They face times when they feel down, stuck in life and want to quit. The only difference between successful people and ordinary people lies in how they deal with this situation.

Here are 6 ways to keep yourself going when you’re almost ready to quit:

1. Revisit Your Purpose

Why do you do what you do in the first place? Why do you want to achieve your goal? Why do you want to be financially rich? Why do you want to be a millionaire?

Remember, your reasons behind your goals will become your driving force. And how strong that force is will be determined by how emotional and how strong your reasons are. Most people are not truly committed to their goals simply because they don’t have a strong reason behind them to drive them. It doesn’t really matter to them if they don’t achieve their goals.

When your purpose behind doing something is strong and emotional, you will do whatever it takes to accomplish the task. If you read the biographies of successful people, you will notice that it was when life hit them the hardest that they were able to bounce back and achieve even more. They created amazing results after facing big failures. This is because when you leave yourself with no other options but to achieve what you are set out to accomplish, you will definitely fulfill your desire.

What you can do: Before you give up and quit, think about the reason why you started. Revisit your purpose and make sure the reasons behind it are strong, emotional and able to push you to achieve what you want in life.

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2. Remember Your Accomplishments

When you are down and want to quit, think about all the things you have accomplished before. No matter who you are and what you have done, you should have some accomplishments to look back on. If you say that you have no achievements, think harder.

If you are reading this right now, you are doing much better than those who are not aware of wanting success and something more out of life. At least you dare to dream and somehow came across this article. Therefore, you must not let obstacles stop you. Think about all the great things you have done.

Learn this technique called “celebrate all wins.” Regardless of whether your win is big or small, just celebrate it. This is how Tiger Woods creates his anchor state and changes his feelings. Every time he swings his golf club to hit the ball to the location he wants, he will celebrate it with a ‘pump’ with his hand and his fist. This is how he celebrates his wins.

You have to celebrate your wins too. This is important because when you are down and feeling like you want to quit, you will be in a lousy state and thinking negative thoughts. You will never feel good about anything if you are in this state. When you change your feelings, you will change your thinking and your state. And when you are feeling good, great things will come to you.

This is why you have to constantly remind yourself of your accomplishments and celebrate all your achievements, big and small.

What you can do: Get yourself a note pad where you can record all of your accomplishments. You can write them down, draw them, or even cut out relevant pictures and paste them into your note pad. Go through your winning note pad often, especially when you need it most.

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3. Understand That Setbacks and Obstacles Are Necessary

This is just a natural law that you need to understand. We learn the most through failures and obstacles, not through success and winnings. Often, it is only when a relationship breaks down that we learn to appreciate each other. We learn the importance of money when we have none. This is why success is a lousy teacher; you learn the most from failures.

If you have never failed before, you have to work smart and learn from others’ failures and experience. Look at Michael Jordan, he missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. His team entrusted him with the winning shot and he failed, not only once, but 26 times. Jordan said that he failed over and over again, that is why he succeeds.

Remember, rocks can be turned into diamonds given enough pressure. Just like there will be a rainbow after the rain. Tough times are necessary to test your tenacity. Obstacles are there for you to overcome because they are your greatest learning experiences.

Every great leader and every successful person will have to go through this process. You will be the same. You need to understand that setbacks and obstacles are necessary. So press on and just get through it.

What you can do: Never lose hope, keep on working and improving your strategies, learn from your setbacks and obstacles. Most of all, never give up.

4. Focus on What You Do Best

Stop thinking about quitting or worrying if things will ever work out. Instead, think about what you do best and just do it. This is exactly what happened to Donald Trump, the real estate billionaire, many years ago. When the economy goes down, many businessmen go bankrupt, and many people worry about their finances. What Donald Trump did when this happened to him is a little bit unique from the rest. When most people were worrying about how bad the situation would be, he was out there doing what he did best; negotiating real estate deals. Guess what? He did manage to turn the situation around for himself and made a comeback. He got himself out of millions of dollars of debt and went ahead to earn billions of dollars more.

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When you are facing tough times, you should never worry or think about how bad the situation is going to be. Worrying cannot get you out of the situation, and focusing on the problem is not going to help either. What you have to do is to get out of the trap by focusing on what you do best.

Bill Gates consistently focused on developing the best software, he never really worried so much about handling objections and complaints from his customers. This is because he knew that developing software was what he did best. He just needed to focus on creating the best software that added value to people’s lives. Customer complaints would be handled by other people, his staff.

You don’t have to give up on your dreams or goals. Let go of the negative thoughts and feelings that make you miserable and think you want to quit. Change your mind-set to a positive one and feel great by doing what you love.

What you can do: Take action and focus on things that will get you out of the negative loop. Do not focus in the problem. Instead, think of the solution by working on things you are passionate about and are meant to do.

5. Clear Your Head

When the world around you seems to crumble, maybe it is time for you to get out of it and stay clear. You cannot think if you are stuck in a blurry thought pattern. What you have to do is to get out of it.

So clear your head. When you are worrying about things not going smoothly and you are considering quitting, maybe you should take a walk, go for a trip, get a good sleep, or do something totally not related to the problem.

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This can be a great strategy to overcome the obstacles you face. If you were lost in a jungle and you didn’t know which direction to follow, what could you do? Perhaps trying to get to higher ground so that you can see the bigger picture and which direction you should go might be a good idea, right? This is exactly what you do. Get yourself out of the maze by doing something unrelated.

Stop thinking about the problem. And when you stop dwelling on the problems, the solutions may automatically appear to you.

What you can do: Do something that can clear your mind. Take a walk in the garden, get some sleep, get your favorite beverage, watch a movie, go window shopping, go cycling, go hiking, go diving, take a swim, go for a jog, etc. You can even go for holiday, travel to other country, or do something out of the norm if you want to.

6. You Are Not Alone

Always remember that you are not alone. There are so many people around you who are waiting to assist you and support you.

One of the wisest ways to get back up when you are down and want to give up is to read motivational books. If you haven’t read any of these books before, try to read Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography, Richard Branson’s success story, read about Nick Vujicic, read about Steve Jobs, and read books by Anthony Robbins. There are so many great books out there waiting for you, and you only need to spend 30 minutes to an hour a day to read them.

Beside books, you can look for mentors or people who can give you mental support. When you talk to these positive people, you will get influenced by their positivity and your thoughts will become brighter. If you mix with negative people, you will give up sooner and quit faster. Hence, mix and network with people who think positively.

There is a saying, if you want to know how much your income is, try to figure out your close friends’ incomes and get the average. Your income will never run too far from that figure. Who you talk to and who you mix with count.

What you can do: Go to your local bookstore, get yourself some motivational books and commit 30 minutes to an hour a day to read them. Network and talk to positive people who can support you. Get yourself a mentor and immerse yourself in the positive energy pool.

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Shawn Lim

Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Motivation Expert

No Motivation? 7 Great Ways To Overcome Loss Of Motivation how to live a happy and successful life How To Live A Happy And Successful Life: 7 Simple Tips To Enlightenment personal productivity The 3 Most Controversial Tips On Personal Productivity 6 Steps On How To Build Success Habits In 2017 6 Ways to Keep Yourself Going When You’re Almost Ready to Quit

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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