What to do when you want to give up


Kevin Mangelschots

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

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

Before giving up, though, it is important that we go through some important steps in order to decide if giving up 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 thinking about why you started in the first place Who knows, it might even be a good 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 not feel as motivated as others. We might even feel like giving up from time to time.

    Figuring out the reason, or multiple reasons, why one started in the first place might help you to rationalize, calm, and consequently put your thoughts in order.

  • Do you have a good reason for wanting to quit

    Figuring out the reason(s) why you want to quit 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 quit without a valid reason. And even if the reason is valid, you should seriously reconsider giving up. Because sometimes, we might come to regret that decision in the end.

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

  • Is the end goal worth the sacrifice

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

    That’s why we need to figure out if the goal is worth the sacrifice. Maybe 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, we should also figure out the reasons why it is beneficial to continue. Because chances are large that even though you might want to quit, not everything is all that bad when looking at the big picture.

  • Will you regret giving up

    We often come to regret giving up before reaching our goals, before things started to turn around for the better.

    If you think you will end up regretting giving up, then you shouldn’t quit. It might be better to take a break, change the ways you do things as a more positive substitute to giving up permanently.

  • Take some time to think about it

    Taking some time to think about things is never a bad decision. It is certainly much better than hastily deciding to give up on a whim.

    Thinking about giving up, why you want to give up, and if you would come to regret it over time is better than simply deciding to quit. Because once you’ve quit and that button 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 find the lost motivation that got you started in the first place.

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

  • 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 the mistakes and setbacks, we wouldn’t be forced to learn new things. And because failures force us to become introspective and to learn in order to improve, it allows us to reach even 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 stress.

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

    Look after your own 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 really want to quit when they find out things didn’t turn out the way they wanted to. Sometimes reality is more disappointing than it was in our imagination.

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

    There’s no shame in giving up when you’ve considered all the possibilities, and if you have a good reason (or multiple reasons) to give up. 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.


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 you want to quit is looking at things from another angle.

    Just because things don’t immediately work out the way you want them to be is not necessarily the end of the world or even bad.

    Instead of getting down on yourself for failing or for going through a negative experience, be grateful for having the opportunity to improve and being healthy enough to be able to even attempt to reach your goals. 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 find not particularly exciting. However, it is all worth it in the end if the goal is something we really find worthwhile to pursue.

  3. Find another way to reach your goals

    Another thing to do before giving up is trying 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 open up your mind and allow you to gain new experiences that you wouldn’t have had if you never had the courage 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.

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

    Realizing and accepting that life isn’t perfect and is 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

    Good habits fulfil an important reason. In other words, they serve a vital purpose.

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

  6. Drop the ego

    Ego is a silent killer. It diminishes all our experiences quietly. Often times, we don’t even notice it until it is are too late.

    Never feel too good about yourself or for the things that you have to do in order to be successful. In the end, every individual is still human, no matter how rich, smart or popular one might be. As a result, one shouldn’t feel better nor worse than another.


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.

It is however a shame if it is something that we will regret in the future. That’s why we should never walk away due to the result of an emotional, impulsive reaction or because we might have temporarily lost motivation.

Consider your options. Often times, quitting is not necessary, and steps can be taken in order to resolve the problems, failures, or negative experiences in question.