How to persevere, when all you want to do is quit

By Caroline Winter

Being mentally strong isn’t about never being tempted to quit. Perseverance is about pushing past the doubts and setbacks, and going on even when you really want to stop. But learning to do this is tricky, because the desire to just give up usually comes when we are feeling at our lowest and can’t even remember what originally motivated us to begin with.



It isn’t easy, especially when you're at the beginning of your journey. It might take longer than you were expecting for your business or life goal to truly get started. But what about in the meantime? You have to persevere, or you will never get to where you want to go.


Below is some great advice for how you can stay on track when all you really want to do is crawl into bed and give up.


Set an achievable pace


This goes for your day to day life as well as during slumps. If you put too much on your plate, you will inevitably fail to achieve everything, demotivating you further. This will also cause you to overstress yourself, thereby turning what was a passion and a dream into an insurmountable series of tasks.


But in particular, if you are experiencing a rough patch, where you feel like you simply want to give up, set a consistent but achievable pace for yourself, so that you continue to tick things off your to-do list, but in a way that enables you to still avoid burnout.


Think back to how much you persevered in the past


It might seem easier said than done, but thinking about the past hardships you’ve overcome truly can help you persevere. If you can highlight instances where you refused to give up, then this can signal to your brain that you can do it again.


In particular, try and pinpoint the actual feeling you had of purpose and focus when you kept going, and how you felt the moment you succeeded after a rough patch. These memories are your inner reserve of strength to get you through the day. Use them.


Baby steps


If you have big aspirations, then your goals are probably far into the future. Long-term aspirations are often tricky to persevere with as they can feel unachievable. Don’t focus on the future, think on a day to day basis and set smaller milestones for yourself to achieve.


Achieving these will give you a more regular boost of confidence you can use to push forwards when times get hard. Little steps, even baby ones when you’re feeling truly unmotivated, can get you through the day.


Accept the situation


This one is important. People often fail to recognise when they are facing a difficult situation, but accepting and understanding what you are going through is crucial to successful perseverance.


Surviving difficult situations is all about moving through the stages of grief as fast as possible, overcoming denial and reaching acceptance quickly.


Because only then can you take steps to improve the situation.





Never make hasty decisions


Okay, so maybe you’re feeling down. Maybe you have zero motivation to keep going, and nothing seems to be going your way. You’ve had no new clients or nobody has bought from your business in weeks.


You need to quiet that voice that’s telling you to give up and avoid making hasty decisions. Because rash decisions rarely deliver optimal results.


Being resilient is also about remaining calm and making rational decisions during times of adversity. Resilience is key to the long-term success of any personal or professional venture.


Prepare!


Things might be going well now, but it isn't a given that you will continue to succeed indefinitely. It is only natural that you will suffer rough patches and bumps in the journey.


Preparing for these is one of the best ways you can ensure that you will be equipped to tackle a situation properly, using your resilience and good planning to overcome adversity.


Always hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. And of course, you won’t be able to prepare for exact scenarios, but you can predict potential situations, and how you might feel as a result of them. And you can definitely prepare for how you might tackle said rough patches.


This is really about learning to understand yourself and how you react to things because, when all is said and done, the only thing you can truly control is yourself.





It’s hard to keep on track, especially when you are “hearing crickets” and achieving little progress for big goals that will take a lot of work and time to come to fruition.


Practising good habits and learning to understand yourself and how you react to given situations is always a good start. As is reminding yourself of what you have achieved in the past, and looking after yourself on a day to day basis. If you don’t oil the machine, it won’t run properly, so this is always step one.


And be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your business won’t be either. Slow and steady always wins the race.




Caroline Winter is a current MA student in Creative Writing, based in London. She has experience working as an editor, translator, and writer on a series of different projects and topics.


She is excited to be collaborating alongside The Industry Leaders as a content creator and can be found on LinkedIn.




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