Ever feel like quitting? “Are you kidding?” you ask, “A better question would be, ‘How many times TODAY have I felt like quitting?’ ” Sure. We’ve all felt like “throwing in the towel” at one time or another. If you haven’t, I suggest that you check your pulse quickly. And here’s a real shocker for you: the notion that “winners never quit” is a crock! Everyone – even “winners”- has not only felt like it, but has even quit at one time or another.
The “road of life” that we each travel isn’t one endless stretch of flat, paved expressway, but rather, is filled with curves, crests, valleys, detours, potholes and bumps. It is its very unpredictability that makes it so interesting and alluring. We just have to see what’s around the next curve. It’s that same unpredictability that makes for some real gut-tightening questions and fears as well.
Having said that, I do feel that we, too often, give up on our dreams too easily and quickly – perhaps, just one small step short of success. So what do you do when the going gets tough and you feel like quitting?
Here are ten strategies that you can employ when you hit those apparent “roadblocks” on your road of life:
1. Remember the reason(s) you started in the first place. What was the “spark” that caused you to begin the journey? Revisiting that may help rekindle the flame that helps you go on.
2. Ask yourself, “What would I rather be doing?” If nothing compelling comes to mind, then determine the next step you need to take to move you closer to your original destination. If something more compelling does come to mind, maybe you need to quit.
3. List 10 reasons why you CAN keep going. What strengths and resources do you possess that will help you achieve your desired outcome? Just the very act of doing this shifts your focus from the problem to the solution.
4. Give yourself permission to quit. Sounds crazy, but it works. When you set up an internal law that says, “I can’t quit.” Or “I shouldn’t quit”, it makes the desire to quit even stronger.
5. Give yourself a need to continue. Rather than focus on why you feel you need to quit, focus on why you need to continue. What’s the payoff, the reward waiting for you if you persevere?
6. Stop focusing on the struggle and start focusing on the solution. Whatever you focus on expands. If your focus is on the struggle you are experiencing, that becomes the biggest (and maybe even the ONLY) thing on your “horizon” It blocks out many, if not all, of the creative opportunities and solutions that may be trying to present themselves to you.
7. Take a hard look at your methodology. Tired of getting poor or less than optimum results from your efforts? Then why keep doing things the same way an expecting something different to happen? That’s the classic definition of insanity! Ask yourself, “What’s the most radical or unorthodox action I could take right now?” Try it.
8. Make a contract with yourself. Write out what you intend to accomplish and how you intend to accomplish it and then give yourself, say, six months to achieve your goal. Sign and date it and keep it where you can see it. You might even impose some kind of “penalty” for breaking the contract – no chocolate for a month, maybe.
9. Get real. Were you enticed by the “illusion” that success is easy? Maybe you were enamored by the “fluff” that if you just want something badly enough, it will find its way to your doorstep. Success is WORK. Pure and simple. It is the result of a certain mindset as well as a set of deliberate actions. If you want to quit something, then quit fooling yourself by thinking it’s going to be a “piece of cake”.
10. Walk away. Sometimes looking at something too hard or long obscures the solutions. It’s the “can’t see the forest for the trees” phenomenon. By simply walking away or taking a break from the struggle to solve, you often free your mind to see new options and opportunities.