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If there was ever a sure-fire formula to feeling shitty about yourself, it would be starting something good – working towards your goals – and then quitting.
Nobody wants to be a quitter.
I’m not talking about people who smoke or do drugs or other terrible vices that nobody should do – I’m talking about the things in life that make life worth living. Things that make life vibrant and awesome.
Quitting is worse than never starting because of a few things:
- You’ve had a taste of success and fulfillment from doing the thing, and now all you taste is the ash in your mouth from giving up.
- People who have seen you doing the thing will now see you as a failure or a quitter – it’s not just self-image. It’s social image, too, even though I believe that social image shouldn’t matter for most things.
- It eats away at your mind as something you should pick up again, but –
- you don’t, because that would be admitting that you never should’ve quit, and you’ve lost all that time on it already anyway, so why even bother?
I quit this blog after three posts in 2017.
I felt terrible about it all year, knowing it was there, just sitting and not doing anything.
Not once did I go in to even look at my Google Analytics, to see if anybody was even reading it.
It ate away at me.
Finally, when I stumbled across the Work At Home Summit, hosted by Caitlin Pyle, the spark re-ignited.
I felt alive again, and the ideas just started to flow.
I quit because I didn’t feel like I could carry it for any significant length of time, so why bother? The stupidest part is it’s because I got stuck writing article number four (a topic on which I have not published yet, so at least that’s consistent) and just…never…finished.
Today, I have a set schedule and routine to churn out articles and posts, but back then I didn’t make myself stick to it. There weren’t any consequences for quitting besides my own feelings about it.
Now, if I quit, then I have subscribers who would notice – I have Facebook Group Communities who would wonder what happened.
Putting myself out there has created accountability, and that dissuades against quitting at all.
Demir and Carey Bentley, of Lifehack Bootcamp, talk about this thing called 4-layer accountability. It’s really the only guaranteed prevention for quitting.
- A coach, mentor, or teacher who raises the bar for you
- A team of people at or above your level, and whom you respect
- A buddy who is not a friend or family member
- Public accountability
When you have even just two of these layers, your chances of quitting go down drastically.
Of these four, for this blog, I’m sitting at having number 4, and maybe a little of number 2 with the Facebook groups I’m active in.
So why should you care about any of this?
Well, take a good, hard look at your life.
What did you quit that’s bothering you?
Think back to a time in your life where you felt like you were knocking shit out of the park right and left without so much as slowing down? Didn’t that feel fantastic? And don’t you want that feeling back for whatever’s eating away at you?
When I was a kid I wanted to be a published author.
I would waste time in choir class with my best friend, trading stories back and forth as we both built our own fantasy worlds that we were so sure we’d be publishing within a few short years.
That was fun, but it wasn’t the right kind of accountability. I have half-finished manuscripts living sadly on my computer, just waiting for the day I dust off those file names and dive back in.
Speaking honestly, those are things I quit doing.
I quit working towards my dream of publishing a book because of several reasons, the most glaring of which is that I didn’t have someone to keep me accountable to it.
Quitting creates chaos in a life that doesn’t need chaos.
But it’s what you do about it that makes the difference. If you’re going to quit, be real about your reasons.
I don’t care if you fib to your friends about quitting.
Just don’t lie to yourself about why you gave up.Don't lie to yourself about your reasons for quitting. The last person you want to fool is yourself, because if you do, you'll never stop quitting. Click To Tweet
If you do quit, don’t make it permanent.
Take a break. Give it some space. And come back to it when your head is a bit clearer.
After all, that’s how you reach your goals – by keeping at it even when you don’t feel like it.