What to do when you want to give up

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Kevin Mangelschots

Giving up is something that we have all considered at some point in our lives. We have even acted on it, and as a result, quit in the process. People typically prefer taking the easy way out over the hard one, that much is a given.

Sometimes we have come to regret our choices over time. We might regret quitting, or perhaps we consider it the best decision we’ve ever made.

Before dropping out, though, we must go through some important steps to decide if withdrawing is our best option. Let me explain what to do when you want to give up.

What do you do when you want to give up

Image of the quote, “never give up on something you really want. It's difficult to wait, but it's more difficult to regret” written on a yellow note.

  • Think about why you started in the first place

    One of the first things to do when you want to give up is think about why you started in the first place. Who knows, it might even be an effective way to reignite the fire within you.

    It is normal for people to lose some of their motivation after a while. And even when we are driven to succeed, some days we will just not feel as motivated as others. Everyone wants to drop out from time to time.

    Figuring out the reason(s) why you started can help you to rationalize and calm your thoughts by putting them in order.

  • Do you have a good reason for wanting to quit

    Figuring out the reason(s) why you want to withdraw is important.

    Is it a valid reason? Is it an emotional reaction that might not be a smart decision in the long term? Will you regret quitting over time?

    Never stop without a valid reason. And even if the cause is credible, you should seriously reconsider giving up. Because sometimes, we can come to regret that decision in the end.

    A good reason for wanting to pull out would be wanting to leave your job because you don’t get any enjoyment from it, or because your coworkers bully you. If that is the case, then departing would indeed be the best solution.

  • Is the end goal worth the sacrifice

    Short term and Long term goals on opened notebook with glowing light bulb

    Trying to reach a lofty goal takes a lot of time, hard work, and perseverance. In short, no matter how you put it and how much you might enjoy the process, it is still a great sacrifice to make.

    That is why we need to figure out if the goal is worth the sacrifice. Perhaps it is, maybe it isn’t. That’s up to every individual personally to decide.

  • What are the reasons why you might want to keep going

    Just as we might feel demotivated from time to time, we also feel motivated and driven to succeed at different points in our lives.

    If we want to figure out good reasons for wanting to quit, then we should also analyze the grounds why it is beneficial to continue. Because chances are large even though you might want to withdraw, not everything is all that bad when looking at the big picture.

  • Will you regret giving up

    We often come to regret vacating before reaching our goals. Before things started to turn around for the better.

    If you think you will end up regretting surrendering, then you should not quit. It might be better to take a break, and/or to change the way you approach things as a more positive substitute to bowing out permanently.

  • Take some time to think about it

    Taking some time to think things through is never an unwise decision. It is certainly much better and more advisable than hastily deciding to give up on a whim.

    Thinking about quitting, why you want to give up, and if you would come to regret it eventually is better than simply deciding to stop. Because once you’ve withdrawn and that figurative button in your head has been switched, it becomes that much harder to start again.

  • Remember how far you’ve come

    Remembering how far you’ve come might help you regain the lost motivation that got you started in the first place.

    Not only that, but it also shows you the amount of progress you’ve made, even if you might not have noticed that advancement at first. Progression often happens slowly. And because of that, we might not always be able to track our evolution.

  • Realize that setbacks and negative experiences are part of life and necessary for growth

    Realizing and accepting that setbacks and negative experiences happen and are a necessary part of life for personal growth is important.

    Without personal mistakes and setbacks, we would not be incentivized to learn new things. That’s because failures force us to become introspective to learn and improve. If we don’t, then we’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes all over again. It allows us to reach greater heights, and perhaps, even our highly aspired goals.

  • Take some time to relax and wind down

    Every person needs some downtime. Some “me time” to relax, wind down, and do the things we want to do without too much tension.

    Being overly stressed for too long will undoubtedly lead to physical and mental problems. You might even want to give up because you are so over-drained and strained.

    Look after your health and remember to relax often.

  • If all the above failed, and you are still determined to give up, then quitting is not a shame

    Sometimes people want to withdraw when they find out things did not turn out the way they wanted to. Sometimes reality is far more disappointing than it was in our imagination.

    What to do if you want to quit your job is an example of why you should never decide to quit or give up without thinking it through thoroughly.

    There’s no shame in departing when you’ve considered all the alternative possibilities, and if you have good grounds to do so. Just mindlessly grinding and keeping at it is pointless if you don’t enjoy what you are doing and if you don’t believe in your end goal anymore.

How to stay motivated when you want to quit

Illustration of 9 ways to stay motivated.

  1. Look at things from another angle

    One of the first things to do before pulling out is to look at your experiences from another angle.

    Just because things don’t immediately work out the way you want them to is not necessarily the end of the world, nor bad.

    Instead of getting down on yourself for failing or for going through a negative event, be grateful for having the opportunity to improve and being healthy enough to be able to even attempt to reach your dreams. Not everyone in this world is as lucky.

  2. Figure out what the end goal is

    Figuring out what the end goal is might make the suffering that is the hard work and failures more bearable.

    To reach our goals, we will almost inevitably have to do some things that we dislike or that we don’t find particularly exciting. However, it is all worth it in the end if the goal is something we find worthwhile to pursue.

  3. Find another way to reach your goals

    Image of multiple train railways.

    Another thing to do before giving up is to try to find another way to reach your goals.

    There are often multiple different roads that lead to the same destination. And one road isn’t necessarily better or worse than another, even though some might be faster than others.

    Taking or even searching other pathways to success will expand your mind and allow you to gain new experiences that you wouldn’t have had if you never dared to try something new.

  4. Realize that no matter what you do, there will always be downsides

    Nothing in life is perfect, and the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence.

    Everyone has their problems. No matter how rich, smart, and popular one might be.

    Realizing and accepting that life is not perfect and quite hard at times will help to put things into perspective. It will aid in taking some weight off your shoulders.

  5. Create good/purposeful habits

    Image describing how a new habit is created.

    Good habits play an important role in life. In other words, they serve a vital purpose.

    Good habits are routines that will put you in a prime position to reach your goals and dreams. Not only are purposeful habits critical, but it is also vital that we try to minimize and/or eliminate our unhealthy habits as well.

  6. Drop the ego

    Pride is a silent killer. It diminishes all our experiences slowly and quietly. We regularly don’t even notice it until it is already too late.

    Never feel too good about yourself or for the things that you must do to be successful.

    In the end, every individual is still human, no matter how rich, smart, or popular one might be. As a result, no one should feel better or worse than another individual. No matter what their social status, gender, or race might be.

Final note

Lessons Learned statement on paper note pad. Office desk with electronic devices and computer, wood table from above, concept image for blog title or header image. Aged vintage color look.

Remember that if it was easy, everyone would do it. Thus, it would lose its value.

Giving up is only a shame if done for the wrong reasons. Thus, whether you should continue or walk away depends on the circumstances.

However, I would consider it a shame if it is something that we will regret in the future. That is why we should never withdraw as the result of an emotional, impulsive reaction, or because we might have temporarily lost motivation or sight of our previously established goal(s).

Consider your options carefully. Dropping out is rarely necessary, and steps can usually be taken to resolve the issues, failures, or negative events in question.