We all have those days when we get discouraged and it seems like life is trying to drag us down. Whether we are running a business, our family, or our own lives, some days just make us want to quit. To throw in the towel and walk away.
And yes, quitting isn't always a bad thing. If you are in a destructive relationship, that should be quit. If you have unhealthy eating habits, those should also be quit. If you love creating drama in your life, that needs to be quit.
But we must remember that the best things in life come out of the hardest times. Breakthrough lies on the other side of our struggles. And just when it makes absolutely no sense to keep going, then is the time to give it your best shot, to fight the hardest you have ever fought.
So the next time you want to throw in the towel, instead say, "Let's try again tomorrow." Here are four reasons not to quit the next time you feel like it.
1. Everyone sucks at first.
We all start out producing total crap, in whatever it is that we are trying to do. Don't try to get around that, because if your first project is perfect, you've waited way too long!
This is one of the first photos I took and was proud of when I started pursuing photography in 2013. And trust me, I've taken much worse. But looking at this photo, looking past the bad editing, I still see a piece of me in there. I see some heart and life to it. The emotion and feeling and mood of a precious moment captured.
And that's all that matters.
If you put yourself into what you're doing, if you put your heart into it, you will succeed, eventually. Even if you suck right now, if you can find a little piece of yourself in your work, you will someday be good at it.
Don't quit now. It's just getting good.
2. The middle part is hard.
Starting something is easy, and exciting. The beginning is exhilarating, and so much fun. But what comes after the start, the middle part, is much different. This is the grind. These are the sleepless nights, the uncertainty, the hard work. Not easy, nor exciting.
My personal experience points to this with my Photography business. There have been the fun "a-ha" moments and good feelings, but also many times when I wanted to quit, and days where it didn't seem to make sense anymore.
I love starting things, but the middle part of "the thing" has always been my downfall. But I know that now is not the time to quit.
Sometimes all that we can do is put our head down, strap on our big boy pants, and keep plowing on. Even when we don’t how or why it will make any sense, still we must keep plowing on, never relenting.
3. The Process: slow and steady wins
Trust the Process is a phrase that most of us are likely tired of hearing over and over and over again. The Process isn't fun. It's not glamorous. It's not pretty. But it works. Slow and steady works.
Trust is hard. When it's absent, we don't want to go on anymore. But we must go against our intense desire for complete and total control, and learn to trust. Learn to trust in what we can't see, learn to trust that everything will turn out okay, learn to trust that we'll come out the other side stronger and better for having gone through.
In our impatience, we want to speed up the process and make it happen right now, today. But it doesn't work that way, and that's okay. Slow and steady always wins.
4. The best things come from the hardest times.
The struggles are where we grow our thick skin. It's where we learn the hard lessons that make the rest of our life easier. And it's where the most beautiful things are birthed.
The truth is that the best things come from the hardest times. The most beautiful people are those who have been to hell and back, and still have a smile on their face. If you feel like quitting today, keep this truth in mind.
You are being prepared for greatness, for awesome, for unbelievably good things in your life. Get ready.
But in meantime, our job is to keep plowing faithfully on. To keep going. To put our heads down, and do the hard work. Don't give up now.
Practical Next Steps
What's something that you feel like quitting today? Write down 5 reasons why you want to quit, and 5 reasons why you can't quit now. Ask yourself, "Am I quitting this because it's inconvenient and I'm scared, or because it's not benefiting (or even hurting) my life?" Answer honestly.
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