8 Reasons to Never Give Up


Never Never Give Up

I’ve accomplished quite a few things in my life.  Over the years, I’ve learned to set big goals and take solid actionable steps in order to make them happen.

But as I look back on everything I’ve done, I can’t help notice how many of them I had seriously considered giving up.

In fact, some of my proudest accomplishments were nearly tossed aside simply because I didn’t know if I could keep going anymore.

Yet in each case, I persevered.  I kept going despite the doubts.  I kept pushing past the fear and ultimately reached my goals.

Whatever goals or dreams you have, you’ll inevitably feel like giving up.  It’s a fact of life.  If you pursue something long enough, you’ll give it serious consideration.

As someone who has gone through that doubt, I can honestly relate to how tempting it is to throw away a big goal.

But those who reach the finish line push past that feeling.

Here are eight reasons you should keep going.

1. Giving up is the only way to truly fail

“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard

A friend of mine once told me that there is no such thing as failure, only feedback.

If you can analyze your mistakes, learn from them and retry, you’ll eventually find your way to success.

It’s too easy to see yourself as a failure when things don’t go right.  But there are many examples of people who didn’t get what they wanted at first, but went on to reach their dreams.

Need proof?  Here’s a shot list of famous failures.

  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
  • Beethoven was told by many teachers that he was hopeless at composing and would never be good at it.
  • Marilyn Monroe was let go from a movie studio early in her career because they told her she wasn’t pretty or talented enough to be an actress.
  • Stephen King received 30 rejections for Carrie, threw it in the trash and gave up.  His wife fished it out of the trash and told him to keep trying.

Imagine all the things these people would have missed out on if they had given up.

2. You might be closer to your goal than you realize

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison

Success might be just around the corner, but if you give up, you’d never realize just how close you actually are.

Things are often the most difficult near the end; frustration can be high.  This is the time when you’ll feel most like giving up.

But you might be just on the verge of a breakthrough as long as you don’t end things too soon.

3. Anything is possible

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m Possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

Don’t discount something because you think it’s impossible; it doesn’t help.  Only think about the practical steps you need to take to reach your goal – that’s what matters.

Many great things people have done were once regarded as impossible.  But those people kept going because they knew impossible only meant no one had done it before, not that it couldn’t be done at all.

Don’t misinterpret something difficult as impossible.  It might just take a little more work to accomplish it, but you can do it as long as you don’t give up.

4. Reaching goals is a marathon

“Life’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Phillip C. McGraw

Reaching goals means working over a long period of time and waiting things out over the long run.  Overnight success doesn’t happen.

Don’t think in the short term.  Don’t be on shortcuts.  Realizing your goals means thinking like a marathon runner.  Just put one foot in front of the other enough times and eventually you’ll reach the finish line.

5. Everyone experiences setbacks – no exception

“You have to keep pushing towards those dreams no matter what setbacks happen.” – Anthony Hamilton

The wrong lesson to take from a setback is to see it as a sign you shouldn’t be going after what you want.

A writer-friend of mine once told me that rejection letters were good for him.  It’s a sign that you’re sending things out and putting yourself out there.  He hung them up to motivate him to do even more.

We all have to go through it.  See at as proof that you’re working towards your goals and taking chances.

6. You are strong enough

“You have power over your mind – not outside events.  Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

Thoughts about giving up doesn’t mean you’re weak.  It doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to persevere and get what you want.

There will be times when you think you don’t have what it takes to reach your goals.  But as long as you keep going, you’re strong.

It doesn’t matter if you think about giving up 1000 times.  If you ignore the thought every time and persevere, you’ll still get there.

Find your strength to keep going – whatever it happens to be – and hold onto it.

7. If it’s been done before, you can do it too

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” – George Bernard Shaw

Look at what you’re trying to accomplish.  Has anyone else done what you want to do?  If so, what makes you think you can’t do it too?

There’s no reason why you can’t do it too.  Someone in this world has removed all doubt that your goal is realistically achievable.  Don’t give up…they didn’t.

8. Do it for yourself

“I’m not trying to prove anybody wrong, I’m just trying to prove something to myself.” – Mike Piazza

Believe in yourself and your goals.  Don’t listen to the nay-sayers who say you can’t do something.

Prove that the faith in yourself was justified.  Prove that all the hard work you put in was worthwhile.  Do it because you know you can do it.

Self-confidence is a powerful attribute.  With enough of it, you can overcome almost any obstacle.
photo credit: joey zanotti

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  1. Hi Steve,

    I love this – particularly your closing line.

    What I’d add to everything you’ve said here is that today more than ever we are empowered to do great things for ourselves. It’s easier than ever before to communicate, to network, to learn, to start a business, to build a house, to write a book, to travel… – yes the competition may be greater (because of low barriers to entry) but so are the possibilities.

    • You’re right that barriers have come down. It’s easier to learn things online, traveling, writing books – it’s easier for people to do now. Yes, the competition is tougher, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want. With opportunity comes possibility.

  2. What I have learned best from disappointing events is how dedicated I am to what I am doing. I participated in speech and debate for all four years of high school. I never made it into a final round my first two years. I loved it, though, and quitting never even dawned on me. During those two years I was obviously learning my craft because after that, I was in almost every single final round of every tournament where I competed.

    There are times, however, when I’ve discovered that the goal just wasn’t worth the effort I’d have to put in to it to make it happen. That is fine with me, too. Knowing that my efforts would better be served down a different path is an excellent outcome as well.

    • I’ve found that dedication and passion can be powerful forces. If you’re passionate enough about something, you’re more likely to work past any disappointments. You loved debating so the thought of quitting never dawned on you. If you have the ability to tap into the mindset, nothing could stop you.

  3. I would agree 99% on the time. It’s the determined that suceed and giving up comes with regret. There is though the situation when you realise you’re pursuing a goal that’s not yours but someone elses’s dream. There are many well meaning people who can set us off in the wrong direction. Sometimes turning your back on their path is part of funding to your own way.

  4. Good stuff man. Just, I like to think about self-confidence as less of an attribute, and more as a skill or a muscle. If it was an attribute, I would be equally confident across all areas of my life. Instead I’m very very confident in some areas, and have no confidence at all in other areas. Typically the difference lies in experience.Now I’m starting to be confident while blogging, but when I first started I had 0 confidence. It might not be THAT black and white, but there seems to be a very strong connection.

  5. Fantastic post!

    Love point #2 we can never know how close we are until our breakthrough or success. We might be closer than we think so we should never stop pushing forward. The story 3 Feet from Gold found in Think and Grow Rich is a perfect example. The person in the story gave up right before they would have struck it rich.

    • I remember that story from the book. It’s so true. You might not know how close you really are. If that person had kept going, they would have struck it rich.

  6. Yep, never give up – that is the formula to success. Only when you give up is that you fail. Great article Steve!

  7. Regarding No. 2, I recall a story in Napoleon Hill’s book about a man (forgot the name) who bought a gold mine. He was digging for gold for months but couldn’t find anything. Frustrated, he gave up and sold the mine to someone else. The new owner started digging, and after digging for three feet, finally struck gold! Now, imagine if the previous owner just kept on. Nobody really knows when success will really come. The important thing is just to keep going at it.

  8. #4 is big for me.
    #1 is my paradigm.
    #7 is OK for things others had accomplished. I have a few things in my mind that as far as I know no one had ever did before. I’m not going to give up on them anyway.

  9. Loved this quote ““Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison”. It is very motivating. Thanks so much for sharing .

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