If there was an anonymous support group for quitters, I’d join.
Longevity of the group might be in question, as we all would most likely quit.
It’s not usually about laziness or pride, but most often a culmination of fears embedded in our self-esteem. Below is a list of techniques that have helped me to succeed in the past. Quitters unite! Or don’t, if it feels a little overwhelming.
1. Keep it quiet.
Most of the “How to be Successful” guides will suggest that you need to make a public announcement about your latest challenge. This is intended to keep you motivated by staying accountable. That method works for a lot of people, but not for me.
Quitters are different than the Average Joe. We start new things all the time. We tell people about it. We post pictures on our social websites, and call our parents. All of these actions are taken in the hopes that this time will be the last time because we make a public statement and will thus be held accountable for our actions or inactions. And then we quit.
Making bold displays of our intentions only adds to our anxiety of failure and expedites the process of stopping us on our path to accomplishment. Try taking the quiet route, and see how it works.
2. Calm your brain.
Your mind is a powerful source of encouragement but it can also be your worst enemy when self-doubt comes along. Find things to do that keep your mind from focusing on your challenge. Reading, yard work, yoga, jogging or outdoor activities.
3. Stop waiting for people to congratulate you.
Support from our loved ones is such an intense high. What happens when they forget about what you’re doing because they also have lives of their own?
Social websites are often filled with love and uplifting comments from our virtual friends and families. After a while, they stop “liking” your posts of daily accountability and affirmations. Does it make your quest any less important? When people that are closest to us don’t continuously congratulate us, we often become silently bitter with the person. They’re innocent. This is your task, not theirs.
4. Don’t allow your mission to consume you.
Allow it to be a part of your life, but not the only thing in your life.
5. Love the skin you’re in.
Self-hate spreads like a cancer. It affects everyone around you. Negative thoughts are a slippery slope that you don’t want to find yourself on.
6. It takes effort to achieve your goal.
Thinking about doing something is not enough. You have to actually do it. Many times we quit because our task becomes too difficult or we don’t see results quick enough. Fear of the unknown can be scary and uncomfortable. So is living a life of regret.
7. Don’t be afraid of what others think.
This is your journey and no one else’s.
8. Your closest ally can be you.
Journaling can be a fantastic way to not only track your progress but to uplift yourself as well.
9. A successful person will often say that before they succeeded, they failed many times.
We all fail. That’s how we are able to learn and grow. What sets us apart are those who get back up and those who stay on the ground, lying in fetal position.
10. Keep going.
You hear about something exciting, you want to do it, you start it, you tell people about it…your fear of failure sets in and then you quit. That’s the rotation of things. Quitters are habitual. It takes time to change. Look past what your mind is telling you will be an inevitable failure. It’s okay to think you might not succeed. Accept that thought and move on.
There’s no magic bullet.
Most of us quitters are impractical and impatient. We want to be successful, wonderful people who make positive contributions to society. We want it yesterday, though. There’s only a small moment in time from when we decide to do something and when self-depreciating thoughts launch a sabotage, telling us that we can’t do that.
We have to act quick, before we have a chance to tell ourselves that we can’t climb that mountain. Fears of public humiliation, disappointing your loved ones and being hurt are only a few reasons why quitters ultimately stop what they’re doing. It doesn’t mean that they want it any less than the confident, self-starters.
As Dory delightfully puts it, “Just keep swimming.”
That’s the truth. Being a quitter doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish your goals. It simply means that you will most likely make several attempts before you do climb that mountain. Keep going, even if you have to start new each day. Feel better knowing there are other people in the world just like you. We’re all bound for something wonderful; we simply have to quit being quitters.
Author: Jennifer Cullum
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Jon Aslund/Flickr