Woman on boat in yellow cape

“Not giving up” is the closest thing there is to a “recipe to success.” If you keep trying, you haven’t failed; you’ve just changed tactic. Each time you try, you create a new opportunity for success because you’re playing the numbers game – and eventually things are likely to go your way.

Often though, we fail to stick to things after the first or second failure. This is a huge mistake, so it’s important to analyze precisely what causes this behaviour in order to try and overcome it.

Here are some big reasons we tend to quit.

woman pointing to watchEffort and Time
One of the biggest reasons why we give up and stop being persistent is that whatever it is we’re doing takes time. If you’re writing job applications, no responses can seem like a waste of time. The same goes for starting exercise regimes that don’t offer results.

It’s important to understand that failures do not equal time wasted. Instead, consider them training sessions or practice rounds during which you will improve yourself and learn valuable things. The best way to ensure you keep trying is to pursue something you enjoy so much that you would be happy to continue working on it without any reward.

Another huge reason we stop trying is that it damages our ego to fail. If you’ve failed your driving test five times, you’re putting your ego through the ringer each time – especially when you have to tell your friends. As such, we often make excuses to give up in order to protect ourselves – even if we don’t know that’s what we’re doing.

The solution is to find ways to remove your ego from the equation. In something like a driving test, it might be better not to tell friends and family that you’re going for it. And from your own perspective, consider the element of luck involved and how each time you try you increase your chances of success.

In many cases, we don’t persist because we don’t want to be a bother to anyone. While this might sound reasonable on paper, the reality is that you’re giving up on your dream or career prospects in order to be less of a nuisance. Like it or not, being a nuisance is often what you have to do to make things happen!

The Journey Within: Why We Tend to Quit
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