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Why people give up

“You’re great for a beginner.” I love these words. 


I used to be the girl who always started new things. I personally love being a beginner because there are no expectations, and everyone is always so encouraging when you start.


I could speculate where this mindset came from, but I knew something had to change when I realised I enjoyed life, but that I wasn’t winning at it and became honest with myself about wanting to.


This week, people on Instagram voted pretty evenly on two topics, but as someone who has a lot of experience giving up, I want to tell you:


  • When it happens 

  • Why it happens

  • And how I stopped



When do people give up?


I mentioned loving being a beginner. A lot of people are like me because when you’re a beginner, you don’t need to commit to anything difficult.


When things become difficult, people tend to quit based on whether they have found previous success or not. It’s why if you lose 10 pounds quickly, you’re more likely to stick to a diet even if data shows it isn’t good for you long term.


Why do people give up?


A study on exercise motivation from Health Education Research found women who give up on excercise have: 


  • lower levels of self-efficacy (the belief they can control their behaviour) 

  • higher levels of depression


This is obviously just one study on a limited sample, but intuitively the results ring true for most people.


What this means for us


Harvard Business Review published an article debunking ego depletion and the myth of limited self-control.


The conclusion I’ve come to is, most things are in the mind.


If I don’t want to do something, it’s just a thought, and I can. If I’m sad, I recognise I can feel sad, but sadness isn’t what I am. If I want to quit, I can visualise a long-term reward and stick to shooting shots instead of worrying about the ones I missed.


I don’t look for quick fixes anymore, I just do what everyone knows works.


This approach is not new. It’s not mine and it should feel simple (not to be confused with feeling easy). This approach has allowed me to:


  • Delay gratification 

  • Be comfortably vulnerable

  • & most importantly, to “just do it” over and over again


If you’re reading this, you’re someone who is trying. You haven’t given up and I don’t think you will. I have never met a loser who is concerned with not doing enough. So keep at it, and keep trying. I believe in you. 


Thanks for reading!


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