Life can present us with a lot of challenges and problems. It can throw us off course. It can put roadblocks and hurdles in front of us that we must overcome. It can even bang us up every now and then. And sometimes, sometimes…it can knock us completely down.
Despite all this, it’s not what happens to us that actually makes a difference in whether we succeed or not.
No, it’s something else.
You see, it is our reaction or what we do with what happens to us, that determines where we will end up, what we will have in life, and how we will be transformed by our experiences.
Would you give up?
Heather Dorniden is a highly successful runner with an impressive record. But what’s most impressive was what she did once in the middle of a race, after tripping and falling… falling flat on her face.
It was a rough fall that immediately forced her to the back of the pack. Now, she could have become discouraged. She could have given in. She could have accepted the idea that her race was over.
But she didn’t. Watch what she did below:
It’s easy to make progress on our goals when the ship is in the harbor and the water is calm. However, if we’re not ready for the moments out at sea when the boat is rocking from side-to-side, the inevitable water coming over the bow can sink an unprepared ship.
These problems and challenges can seem larger than life. Discouragement sets in. Followed by heartache. Which is usually followed by quitting. Which is usually followed by convenient excuses.
And that’s what they are, excuses.
I’m not saying that the hardships aren’t real. They are. I’m not saying that the tough times aren’t discouraging. They can be. I’m not saying that we can always control what happens to us. We can’t.
However, we can control what we do next. We, and only we, control what we do next – whether we quit. Nobody else. Only you can hit the eject button. Only you can give up on your dreams.
So, how can a person stay on track mentally and physically when life throws them a curve ball? Below are four common reasons people give up on their dreams, and what to do in each scenario to ensure you keep running and ultimately win the race of success:
Reason #1 To Quit: Things Got Difficult – There’s no escaping it. Success requires hard work and everything that requires work is instantly going to weed-out the wannabes from the people who are determined. Many want success to come easy – that’s why diet pills and lottery tickets are sold in the thousands. There is a hope that riches or a great body can be created instantly. Neither is true, because both require a lot of hard work. When some people discover this, they simply give up. The people who give up, get nothing. The people who don’t, get the rewards.
Solution #1: Be the person who perseveres. Don’t let hard work surprise and then discourage you. Leave surprises for birthday parties. Proactively accept that there will hard work to achieve your dreams. Develop a plan of attack for this work and get busy getting it done. Don’t look for the easy street. It’s a dead end.
Reason #2 To Quit: You Got Scared – No one likes to fail, but failures make the news because they are sensational. The problem is that failures become glorified and can then discourage someone from trying. They doubt themselves. They don’t want to take the risk of being embarrassed so they stop taking chances, and stay where they think it’s safe. But this mentality doesn’t build castles. It digs graves.
Solution #2: Know that you are stronger than you think. One little setback is not enough to stop you from achieving your goals. Neither are 10 or 100 or 1,000 setbacks. You don’t want to be known as someone that is weak and gives up. Go out there and prove yourself to the world and to yourself. You CAN and WILL achieve what you set out to do. The only time you fail is when you give up.
Reason #3 To Quit: You Got Discouraged – Let me give it to you straight. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Everyone faces obstacles in the pursuit of goals. It’s easy to think you’re on the right track but realize later you’ve chosen the wrong approach. Tenacious as we may be, we all have our breaking points—that moment when the potential rewards seem too far away to justify the effort today. Usually, that’s the hump that separates those that make it and those that have excuses for not making it.
Solution #3: Remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s easy to lose the big picture in the busy everyday life. But if you feel like giving up, then try reconnecting with the reason why you are doing what you are doing. Here’s another tip-write down on paper your reasons for why you must be successful. Maybe it is to support and keep your family safe. Maybe it is to be in control of your time. Or you may do it to see the world and explore new things. Then, whenever you feel like giving up, pull out that piece of paper with your most powerful why(s).
Reason #4 To Quit: You Decide To Settle – This is a curse. It’s the comfort curse of the mediocre majority. They ring the bell of resignation and say those infamous words of a quitter…’This is good enough.’ I have news for those people – settling in any area of life steals a little bit of your soul. Did you ‘settle’ for the person you married? Your job? Your income? There is never a guarantee for success, but there’s at least one guarantee of failing, and that is to settle.
Solution #4: A little bit of success can be a bad thing. It can lull a person into complacency. Ask yourself if finishing half-way towards your goal is what you really want—and has anything changed? You had a good reason for committing to this plan. Maybe you visualized a financially free future once you started? Odds are, you still want that life as much as you did before. Now remind yourself of this fact – If you will push through this discomfort, it will be worth it in the end. Good enough is the language of the quitters. Rise up and continue the journey. How long must you work? Until. Until you have the life that you demand.
Before you consider throwing in the towel and quitting, remember the time, energy and sacrifices you’ve already made to get to where you are. Remember that you’ve always wanted to do this. And once you do, you’ll experience things as you never could have imagined.
Setbacks, struggles and disappointments are all part of life. Every happy and successful person will tell you that he or she endured a fair share of hardship. Nobody is immune to suffering.
Thomas Edison said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Try again. Keep going until you’ve reached the finish line. Don’t quit.