Although quitting is not always bad, when we do quit on something important to us, it can affect us in many ways.
There will be occasions when quitting on our goals can be the best choice for us at the time, however we have to be mindful it doesn’t become a repetitive pattern.
Reasons Why We Quit
Whenever we quit, we’ll come up with reasons as to why we’ve done so, which in our minds, can be valid reasons. Here are some of the common reasons why we quit.
- Not seeing improvement or progress.
- Don’t know what to do to move forward towards something we want.
- Lack of discipline or motivation because we find ourselves struggling in some way.
- Don’t have adequate skills or knowledge to make progress.
- Lack of support or not having a peer group.
- Lack of confidence or high levels of self-doubt.
If we’re not aware of the reasons why we quit, we may repeat our behaviours, without consciously knowing we’re doing it.
Many years ago, when I first started blogging, I found the process quite challenging because I was writing about topics I was just becoming familiar with. Not knowing how to write effectively and not having a proper writing process affected my ability to stay consistent.
My first attempt at blogging barely lasted a year and I stopped for about a year before I tried again with a different blog and a new focus. Once again, I struggled to create new content consistently and this time, I quit after only a few months.
Those two experiences affected my writing confidence and I did not blog again for a number of years. Had I stuck with it, I could have honed my writing skills and developed a higher level of confidence in my ability to consistently create new content.
When I restarted blogging again, I made a commitment to myself to do the best I could, and challenge myself to push through those periods of struggle that would cause me to want to quit. Thankfully I have been able to stay consistent for a few years now and intend to keep doing so until I feel it’s time for me to focus on something different.
The Costs of Quitting and 5 Reasons Why It’s Not the Best Option
There are many costs, both internal and external, when we quit on things that are important to us. Here are five reasons
- It will reinforce our old patterns or limiting beliefs. As most things we do are habitual, if we quit easily, it will become an unproductive or unhealthy habit. That habit will affect other areas of our lives as well.
- It will lower our self-confidence. Giving up on something will have a psychological effect on us. Our confidence level will often take a hit. This means we will be less likely to take new risks or set bigger goals.
- It will affect our mental strength or resiliency. Quitting is often an easy way out. In times of struggle, rather than looking for a way through our challenges, we’ll tend to look for an easy way out. This will often play out as excuses or justification for not continuing with something.
- It will not allow us to have proper feedback. Sometimes when things are not working out, it means we have to change our approach and do something different. Each time we take new actions, we’ll receive feedback in the form of our results. When we quit too soon, we don’t give ourselves the chance to get enough feedback in order to change our approach.
- It will prevent us from experiencing a new result. We do things to gain a benefit or experience a positive emotion. When we quit, we won’t reach the goal we had in mind when we first started the process. This means whatever benefit we had hoped to gain will not be achieved. That can result in negative emotions, which is the opposite of what we want.
Things to Do if You Feel Like Quitting or Want to Quit
Having some strategies or tactics we can refer to whenever we’re tempted to quit on something is valuable, as we’ll avoid the costs or the pain of quitting. Here are five things we can do when we want to quit.
- Find the gap. This means becoming more aware of what’s missing or what we thing we lack that’s causing us to want to quit.
- Reach out for help. Once we know what the gap is, we can seek advice from others or ask for support as needed.
- Refocus on the benefits. It’s helpful to go back to our initial intention and what we wanted to accomplish in the first place. Reconnecting to the benefits can help us get motivated again. Also knowing the struggle will help us grow as a person can be helpful as well.
- Be patient with yourself. Sometimes our desire to have something quickly can cause us to believe things are not happening or it’s going to take a long time. It’s normal to feel down and unmotivated at times, but it’s important that we pick ourselves up quickly.
- Celebrate any progress you have made. When our goal appears to be a long way away, it can be tempting to focus on our slow progress. Any progress is better than no progress. This means any wins we have along the way should be celebrated because that will help us stay motivated and on course.
Whenever we want to quit on something, we always should evaluate whether it’s the right decision for us at that time and whether we’ll have any regrets later on.
If we do give ourselves the time to pause and reflect on why we want to quit, we may well prevent ourselves from experiencing unnecessary stress or negative emotions, and still move towards what we want.
Question: What could be another reason why quitting on something is not the best option?
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