How do I stop quitting when things get difficult?

The most effective way is to take the emotion out of it.

Easier said than done, right?

But that’s exactly what will help you to move ahead.

Next time you feel the urge to quit, let your analytical brain take over by considering these 5 steps:

ONE. Ask yourself what’s behind your desire to quit.

  • Is it fear of not being able to do something successfully?
  • Is it lack of knowledge you need to complete a task?
  • Is it because you find the work overwhelming (there’s too much of it) or it takes too long (you always run out of time)?

TWO. Find out what you can do to overcome each obstacle. For example:

  • If you feel fear of not being successful, what will it take to get rid of the fear (can you practice doing something daily to make it more doable and less vague and therefore daunting to you)?
  • If you lack knowledge, where and how can you learn what you need (which resources, books, films, or mentors can you ask)?
  • If you find the work overwhelming, how can you make it less so (which technique can you use to manage your time better)?

THREE. Take one small step every single day to make progress in your work.

  • Start your morning with this question: What is the ONE THING I am committed to completing today? This will force you to prioritize your tasks so that you focus on only one. The benefit: you can direct all your energy to completing one task, so you can benefit from small wins which will add up over time.
  • Use a timer to divide up your work: Set your timer to 30 or 60 minute increments, or use the Pomodoro technique (25 minutes of work, followed by a 5 minute break). The benefit: your brain can focus better when it’s working in shorter bursts, and you’re less likely to get tired and demotivated to continue.
  • Take frequent breaks: When you’re done with a segment of work, step away and do something that will give you a chance to get re-energized: take a short walk, eat a snack, listen to music, do a targeted 15 minute workout to get more oxygen flowing to your brain, read a few pages of the book you have on your nightstand.

FOUR. Always remain connected to your WHY.

  • Remind yourself of the purpose and the value of your efforts so far by asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Getting to the root of your why will help you keep in mind the bigger picture, instead of feeling lost in the challenges you are currently facing.
  • Make the connection with the initial reasons for starting to do something:you wanted to learn a new skill, you started researching a topic you’re interested in, you are studying for an exam so you can graduate and get a job, you are currently in a role that is challenging but can provide a step up in your career, you are an entrepreneur exploring a business opportunity, you’re trying to solve a problem that will open new doors of opportunity for you.

FIVE. Here’s a book recommendation if you find yourself struggling with when and if to quit. It’s short, entertaining, and gets straight to the point:


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