How to Overcome the Desire to Give Up?
Sometimes your spirits hopes, and even your doubts about your skills fail you. It’s true, striving every day to achieve your goals isn’t easy and, sometimes, you even think it would better just to throw in the towel. If you’re dealing with the desire to give up right now, we want to give you a series of basic strategies to overcome the urge. It’s always worth trying a little more…
Despite this, don’t forget that you’re human and that surrender shouldn’t be seen in all cases as defeat. It’s just a way to reset and put aside what’s not useful to you to set new, brighter goals. In the journey of life, the most important thing is to move forward, set new dreams daily, and work on them.
Take note below of these basic tips that will allow you to recover the desire to keep going. We’ll give you tools to help you overcome the desire to give up and help you with your personal development.
One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again
– Abraham Maslow (Motivation and Personality, 1954) –
Keys to overcome the desire to give up
We’ve all ever felt the temptation to abandon a project. Studying in the face of challenges, training in order to get a better job, publishing a book… Human beings are driven by the motivation to achieve goals, but sometimes that internal impulse fails.
A study published in Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences indicates that this may be due to psychological or even biological variables.
Low self-esteem, fears, poorly regulated anxiety, or nutritional deficiencies can make you lack the desire, the strength, and even hope at any given time. The good news is that these are circumstances that you can change. With good self-care and new psychological strategies, you can overcome that desire to give up. We’ll explain how.
You may be interested: How To Overcome Resistance on the Path to Progress
Self-motivation: Remember why you started
When you’re feeling down, look inside yourself and do an exercise in introspection. Ask yourself the reasons why you started the job and tune in again with that emotional component.
Self-motivation is an exercise that’s related to self-discipline and goal orientation, according to a study published by the Asian Research Journal of Arts and Social Sciences. Thanks to this mechanism, you’ll recover your strength and enthusiasm. Let’s take a look at the keys to achieving it:
- Write in a notebook the reasons why you started this journey of work and self-improvement.
- Ask yourself if those goals are realistic and if they continue to motivate you.
- If so, connect with that emotion and strengthen your motivation.
- If one of those goals no longer inspires you or seems unrealistic to you, rephrase it.
- Get excited about the objectives you’ve set.
- Visualize yourself achieving them; think about that future you who has been successful.
Strengthen your mentality: Activate the components of success
One way to overcome the desire to give up is by applying a new mental focus; a more resilient one. The PNAS journal published an investigation where it spoke of the strategic mentality. It consists of asking questions that promote progress, problem-solving, and self-motivation: How can I help myself? How could I resolve this issue?
Likewise, it’ll be very useful for you to develop the following equally interesting components:
- Be disciplined and avoid procrastinating.
- Keep a positive and hopeful approach.
- Deactivate your limiting beliefs and question your fears.
- Cultivate an open and flexible mind; Look for ten solutions to the same challenge.
Developing these strategies will take time, but the most important thing is to persevere and understand that these tools can change your mindset.
Giving up at a given moment isn’t synonymous with failure. Sometimes, what we do is put aside goals that are useless in order to adopt more realistic and motivating ones; those that will allow us to achieve success and happiness.
Self-compassion: Be patient and learn from your failures
Are you afraid of failing? Do you doubt yourself daily? Do you think that, at any moment, something will happen and you’ll have to abandon that goal? When it comes to overcoming the urge to give up, you need to practice self-compassion and be kinder to yourself. It consists of a healing exercise with which you can strengthen self-esteem, stop punishing yourself, and practice a more empathetic internal dialogue.
Works such as the one published in the journal Human Development emphasize that being compassionate with yourself can act in a more positive way than your own self-esteem. Thanks to this construct, we treat ourselves better. Let’s take a look at how you can develop it and use it to your advantage to overcome the desire to give up:
- Be empathetic with yourself.
- Talk to yourself like you’re your best friend.
- Be more patient with yourself and reduce your self-demand.
- Don’t judge yourself for your failures and mistakes; They’re learning opportunities.
Avoid comparisons: What others do or say doesn’t matter
One of the causes that most induce the desire to give up is focusing too much on the figures around you. Your family, friends, or partner may doubt that you can achieve your goals. Moreover, you may compare yourself with certain people and tell yourself that you don’t have the same skills or qualities. There are social variables that can induce the desire to give up.
To avoid this type of psychological dynamics, we suggest you develop some keys that will provide you with self-protection:
- Appreciate words of support, but don’t give value to those that criticize or question you.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. Remember that each person is unique and has their own history and circumstances.
- When someone doubts you or belittles your goals, do a visualization exercise. Imagine your future self showing these figures what you’re capable of. A study published in Basic and Applied Social Psychology emphasizes the benefits that this technique offers when it comes to achieving your goals.
Celebrate your small everyday achievements
You may be familiar with the book Atomic Habits by James Clear. This work is a magnificent example of the importance of small steps, of those daily habits that lead you to success.
When you fight daily for a purpose, you may feel like giving up because you don’t see significant breakthroughs or great achievements. In those cases, it’ll be useful to reformulate that perception, something that you can achieve through the following recommendations:
- Give yourself a prize for each problem you overcome.
- Write down your small achievements in a notebook. That way, you’ll become aware that you’re on the right track.
- Don’t wait until the end to celebrate your successes. Everything you do every day to achieve that goal, however small, also deserves to be celebrated.
In life, you’ll fail several times and find success many times. Therefore, the best decision is to get up after each fall and find the strength you possess to continue conquering new dreams.
Get inspired by people who’ve been through the same thing
Social modeling is a form of learning that was described by psychologist Albert Bandura. It consists of observing what other people do. In this regard, to overcome the desire to give up, it’s helpful to look at other models, such as figures who can inspire us with their experiences and approach to life.
What’s more, an article from Frontiers in Psychology describes how useful this strategy is in sports settings. To carry it out, you can resort to the classic TED talks on YouTube or spend time with people you know who’ve gone through the same difficulties and have overcome them. These can provide you with high-value strategies and inspire you to move forward.
Also discover: 7 Tips to Gain Self-Motivation
Find the courage to move on
It’s true that there are days when it’s hard for you to find the strength not to give up. And it’s normal for this to happen because motivation, encouragement, and desire aren’t always there when you need them. In these cases, give yourself a mental and physical break and spend time with the people you love. These simple actions will allow you to adopt new perspectives and reset yourself.
Also, keep in mind that there will be times when surrender is the most reasonable alternative. Understanding and accepting it also says a lot about you. It’s an exercise in courage and opportunity. These are moments in which you must reformulate goals, and that’s also exciting. The decisive thing is to have the courage to go ahead in any circumstance; that’s the primary key.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Blankert, T., & Hamstra, M. R. W. (2017). Imagining success: Multiple achievement goals and the effectiveness of imagery. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 39(1), 60–67. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5351796/
- Chen, P., Powers, J. T., Katragadda, K. R., Cohen, G. L., & Dweck, C. S. (2020). A strategic mindset: An orientation toward strategic behavior during goal pursuit. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(25), 14066–14072. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7322028/
- Clear, James (2020) Hábitos atómicos. Barcelona: Planeta.
- Lee, S., Kwon, S., & Ahn, J. (2021). The effect of modeling on self-efficacy and flow state of adolescent athletes through role models. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 661557. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.661557/full
- Neff, K. D. (2009). The role of self-compassion in development: A healthier way to relate to oneself. Human Development, 52(4), 211–214. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790748/
- Odanga, S. (2018). Strategies for increasing students’ self-motivation. Asian research journal of arts & social sciences, 6(4), 1–16. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326556176_Strategies for_Increasing_Students’ Self-motivation
- Simpson, E. H., & Balsam, P. D. (2016). The behavioral neuroscience of motivation: An overview of concepts, measures, and translational applications. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 27, 1–12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4864984/
- TEDx Talks. (2017, noviembre 8). Por los sueños se suspira, por las metas se trabaja. | Humberto Ramos | TEDxCuauhtémoc[video]
. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NTM8gVauY0
- Vercet Revert, A. (2019). Autocompasión en una muestra de estudiantes universitarios: relación con variables psicológicas [trabajo de fin de máster]. Universidad Miguel Hernández. Valencia. http://dspace.umh.es/handle/11000/5911