Have you ever started something new but quit before you finished it? A new hobby? Fitness regime? Diet? Online study? You clearly started it for a reason, with the best of intentions in mind, so what made you give up before you’d achieved your goal? We’ve all done it. But what if you can list more than just one or two examples of similarly unfinished business? What if this quitting thing has become a bit of a regular story. What if this is “who you are”? Maybe it’s time to look at how you quit the quitting habit.
Whose Fault is it Anyway?
Imagine you’re driving on a long desert road. You have your dream destination in mind and it’s at the end of that road. You don’t know how long the road is, and you haven’t seen another car for hours. The cars you have seen were all better than yours. Faster, shinier, more expensive. You’re alone, you’re bored, it’s hard to stay focussed, you’re tired and hungry. You know if you just keep going you’ll get there and have everything you ever wanted. So are you going to quit? If you simply stopped the car and got out, what would happen to your dream? And who would you blame if you never achieved it?
The path of my life is littered with projects started and never completed. University degree courses….barely off the ground. Exciting new career paths….abandoned. Wild adventures promised, even planned, but never experienced. There were “justifiable” reasons for all of them – lack of funds, lack of experience, lack of support, lack of results. I managed to talk myself out of every single one, and inevitably convinced myself that it was always somebody else’s fault. I failed to recognise (or, more accurately, admit) that the common denominator every single time was….Me! I needed help identifying why I had fallen into this habit, and what I could do to break it.
Quit the Quitting Habit
There are infinite reasons why people quit, in life, work, business. It’s often easier to give up than to carry on. For the entrepreneur it’s often even harder to keep going, especially in the early days. I struggled a lot early on in my new business venture and often felt like giving it all up. But, irrespective of the situation, if you give up too soon the cause of failing will most likely circle back to the same origin.
In his video “10 Reasons Why People Quit“, Entrepreneur and Business Mentor Patrick Bet-David takes us through 10 key reasons why people give up. No. 1 on his list is overwhelm – that feeling most of us will have experienced at some point in our lives that we “just can’t do it!” Whether it’s competitors having better success, feelings of inadequacy, lack of self-belief, this can be a killer if it’s allowed to propagate.
And that’s just the first on the list. From lack of results (no more than a reflection of lack of activity), bad decision-making, to procrastination (a bad angel on many of our shoulders), self-doubt to “selective hearing”, allowing these factors to become the reason we give up will, eventually, become a habit. And a hard habit to break at that.
To Quit or Not to Quit
Of course sometimes there is a right time to quit. Pursuing something indefinitely whilst achieving nothing positive, for all the wrong reasons, is as damaging as giving up on something too soon. It can seriously sap your time, energy and financial resources. But that’s for another article. Getting into a habit of quitting is easy. Breaking that habit is not. But by changing our mindsets, saying “no” to the negative chatter in our heads, and hanging out with and being influenced by the right people, you can break this habit.
As Patrick says, all you need are two people who believe in you….YOU and just one other! And we can all find one person who believes in us, right? And with that you can change the world!
Author’s note: This year I committed to a 16-week Body Transformation Challenge, something I know I would not have completed just 12 months ago. I have one week left to go! How? I linked in with like-minded people who have encouraged and supported me. I focussed on each individual training session and broke it down into smaller goals for each coming week. I celebrated every result, no matter how small. I didn’t compare my results to others. And I believed I could do it!
Related: My Isabody Challenge