Here's a concept not many consider. Don't quit before you start. It is worse to quit before you start, than to start something and then quit. Your first reaction might be that it doesn't even make sense. You might have been living all these years with the wrong belief: that you can only quit something you already started. In fact, most of us do the opposite quite often. Unfortunately, the majority of people have a bad tendency to quit before they even start. This is one of the main obstacles that holds us back from having success, from following our dreams, and especially from living a happier and more fulfilling life.
In my opinion, there are two fundamental truths that people don't want to admit to or even acknowledge: 1. we are all quitters, and 2. we all want to start something.
Let me explain.
Quitting is a process that we already have programmed into our brains from birth. Granted, it takes a few years to fully develop, but we all get to the point where we do it automatically without even realizing it. Take a look at any upset child and you will quickly notice that they don't quit as easily as adults do. They whine, cry, throw tantrums, and even play with our emotions to try and get what they want from us. And more than 90% of the time they do. Adults, on the other hand, give up way to0 easily and sometimes even prematurely.
There are three reasons why quitting comes so naturally to any adult: it's a survival mechanism; it's easy and it doesn't have an immediate negative outcome. It makes sense that we were born with certain survival skills and defense mechanisms for preservation. Quitting is one of the core commands ingrained in our brain and it is triggered by sending out feelings of fear, self-doubt, shame, and uncertainty to the rest of our mind and body. These feelings need to be released in order to elicit strong emotions, because without emotions we would not able to receive this automatic command to quit.
A major quality of quitting is that it's easy and doesn't requite much energy. We often use it as the simple and fast solution to problems or decisions that either seem too difficult and overwhelm us, or they don't inspire us into action nor do they provide instant gratification. Instead of going to the gym on a rainy day, we choose the easy alternative and quit, before we even entertain the thought for too long in our minds.
I wish I didn't have to waste half of this post talking about quitting since it's not exactly too motivating. If you hang in there for a few more lines, I promise it will turn out inspiring. Making sure that we understand the psychology behind quitting will help us identify it and prevent it from happening in the future. One of the advantages of any of us quitting something, is that we would not see any significant and immediate negative result. Think about it, we stop from putting our hands into the fire because we know we'll get burned, but it's harder to stop from sunbathing without sunscreen because the negative result is not immediate.
I'm sure that by now your thinking of all the things you want to quit for the new year and how difficult it is to just quit. Well, I've been talking specifically about things we would quit before starting. If you are thinking of quitting smoking or drinking or eating junk-food, then it's obviously harder since all those are bad habits that you have already formed over the years. It is hard to actually stop a habit, and sometimes almost impossible. When we are trying to get rid of bad habits, we are actually trying to form new ones to replace them. Thus, it requires doing something new. Starting something new takes a lot more than energy and dedication. Deep down we all want to start something new.
We first need to get out of our heads. Quitting is all in the head: logical, mathematical, used to defend our survival and keep us the same.
Starting, on the other hand, it is all in the heart, the one organ that starts up our body and constantly pumps life energy into us. The core principle that makes us want to start something is because of the belief we hold in our hearts. We often want to start something new because we believe it will make us happier, yet there is no hard evidence or logical calculations. We feel the benefits of starting something right away, because at the same time, there is faith in the unknown and the unpredictability that fills our minds and overtakes our brains.
Starting something means that we take initiative to bring into our lives the passions of our hearts, the imagination of our dreams and the future we desire. Thinking about trying to make all these happen not only brings us instant joy and happiness, but also fulfillment. When we take actions using our strong emotions, the pleasure is instant and we enjoy the process.
I'm sure there are so many things you would like to start, but often find yourself stuck thinking with your brain and not with your heart. Your heart might be literally screaming at you how fun and exciting it would be if you just did this, or that! Then comes your logical senses and stops you right in your tracks. I'm not encouraging you to skydive without a parachute. By all means, be careful and safe in everything you do, but start doing more of the things that initially scare you to death.
Here's a great quote for you to check who you are listening to when the internal voice speaks:
"It's impossible," said pride. "It's risky," said experience. "It's pointless," said reason. "Give it a try," said the heart. ~ by Unknown Author.
I have one more important quote to leave you with:
Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but never quit. ~ by Conrad Hilton.
A successful person doesn't quit. And more importantly, they don't quit before they start.
Here's an inspirational poem to keep you going on the path of success in those instances when you already started something but feel like you want to quit. I hope you don't quit, because you haven't really started pushing yourself that extra mile. Give yourself that secret drop of strength and dedicate yourself a little bit more. Don't quit before you start!
I would love to hear from you! What are you starting this year? What are you NOT quitting? Make sure you comment below and if you enjoyed my blog post, please share it with your friends! I really appreciate it!
With all my heart,