How to get motivated when you want to give up
Life can be rough and feel unfair. Sometimes giving up seems to be the best option, then you’d let go of the stress, overwhelm and anxiety. But what you don’t think about is that you’d also give up on your dream and deem all of your earlier work unnecessary.
But I’ve been there – I promise. Historically I’ve been a pro quitter. I’ve begun 4 different university programs, I’ve begun writing like a million books and don’t even get me started on working out.
Tho, quitting can be both a good choice and a bad choice. It all depends on the situation and if the thing you want to give up on is aligned with your core values or not. If you don’t know what core values are you can read all about them here in my post. Shortly explained, they are the reasons your dreams are your dreams.
So, in situations when you know you shouldn’t quit, how do you keep going when doubt and overwhelm are creeping up on you?
It all really depends on you and how badly you want it. But there are things to do that lets you realign with the core reason that made you want it the first place.
Here are my 5 best tips on how to stay motivated to keep going when you want to give up. When my motivation is lacking I always return to point 3.
5 ways to stay motivated when you want to give up
1. Focus on your Goal
This is the most obvious one and the one you hear over and over again. But it’s true nonetheless.
When struggling to reach a goal we often get so lost in the struggle that we forget what we are fighting for. Giving up seems 100% better than the struggle, but does it seem 100% better than the goal?
When we feel like giving up it’s often because we’re no longer in touch with our vision. So, the best thing to do when you want to give up is to revisit your goal and envision yourself reaching that goal.
One way to do that is by creating a vision board. You can make your vision board any way you want. The only thing that matters is that it represents your vision. It can be a physical board with pictures from magazines or pictures you print out yourself, or a digital board that you can make in photoshop, Canva, or my favorite, Pinterest.
2. Break it down
Often when we want to give up on our projects or goals it’s because we get overwhelmed and lose or direction. And when we look at the big picture everything seems daunting and impossible.
When looking at success stories or other people who have achieved what I dream of I often feel discouraged and anxious instead of inspired. And that’s because I just see this daunting mountain I’d have to climb to get there. But the thing is, if you just break it down there will suddenly be a path for you to climb.
So, to overcome the feeling of overwhelm and the urge to give up you need to make smaller goals to break the struggle. Plan for how you are going to get there, decide on milestones and do the research. When you know how to get there the road can seem a lot easier and achievable.
3. What would happen if you give up?
This is the one point in this list I always return to when thinking I want to quit and give up. Because, if the goal is truly important to you, you can’t imagine your future without it.
Tho, as I said earlier, you can lose sight of your future, and then it’s important to get in touch with that first. But when you have that vision and still struggle to move forward you sometimes need to look back instead.
What would happen if you gave up? Does it scare you or do it excite you? If it excites you, then you may need to reconsider your goal as it seems that another path maybe can make you happier.
But if it scares you, as it does me, then failure no longer is an option. Then you must keep fighting because that’s the only way to succeed.
I’d recommend you to write down a list of everything that you would do if you quit. If these new things resonate more with you than your current goal – change course, it’s never too late. But if they don’t feel as good as your current goal – then keep going (I know you can do it!)
4. Figure out what you’re afraid of
When you want to quit it’s almost certain that there’s something that scares you. Either because you don’t know how to succeed or because you’re afraid of what will come next if you succeed.
If you feel anxious and are self-sabotaging(negative self-talk, procrastination, etc) you need to pause and figure out what scares you. Write down everything that makes you want to give up, and be honest – no one but you are going to ever see that list.
Then try to break your list apart and figure out what you could do to make each of these things less scary. Because what is the worst thing that could happen? I promise you, there is more than likely nothing that could happen that you wouldn’t be able to solve.
5. Go back to the beginning
This is similar to the first point on this list but at the same time different. It’s all about getting realigned with your goal, but this time I don’t want you to look forward – I want you to take a step back in time.
I assume that, when you first started your journey, you were motivated and excited to achieve all of the things you’d set out to succeed. Now I want you to return to that state of new love and excitement. Why did you set this goal in the first place? How, when and where did you start to dream?
Revisit this place, if it was another person’s success story you should watch/read it again. If it was a movie, a book or a podcast – rewatch, reread or relisten. You get the point – embrace the things that got your passion flowing. If you journaled, read the pages where it all started.
You want to give up – don’t do it.
The bottom line is, don’t give up if it’s something that truly matters to you. You are stronger than you think, don’t let your fear decide your future.
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