February 8, 2013 by Diana M
Today I was seriously debating whether to show up at an exam or not, knowing that I was completely unprepared for it. As a side note, yes, I am still in school, in graduate school to be exact.
I always have this gripping feeling inside of me when I know I am going into the lion’s den with no weapons at hand: what if I fail, what if I embarrass myself, what if everybody else studied but me and I’ll end up looking like a fool? But as these thoughts were going around in my head today, there was this other voice saying: if you fail, you’ll do 10 times better next time because it will motivate you; if you embarrass yourself for a moment, you’ll forget about it by next week; if you end up looking like a fool then you probably are one because you chose to care what others are thinking about you and belittle yourself like that.
I also knew how bad I would feel if I wouldn’t go. So I went. And I wrote what I remembered on the subject. And towards the end of the exam, when others were furiously writing ahead with 5 minutes to go on the clock, I stepped back knowing that no new information was going to magically appear in my head and I wrote on a blank paper the following: I’m happy I didn’t quit. Fail or pass, I’m happy I went there today and gave it a shot, and now I am happy it’s over and I can relax.
We’re always going to have to face similar situations. We’re always going to hit against walls, be afraid of things and want to quit. But I think it’s important to remember to not give up, not until you give it your absolute best, no matter what.
So here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t quit at whatever it is you’re doing:
1. Learning from mistakes
Even if you do fail, you can find 10 new ways of giving it another shot and succeeding. Quitting will help you find none. You try, and you stumble on your way, and you make mistakes, but you keep on trying and eventually you get it. And the moment that you do get it is so precious and important, that it’s worth so much more than if you have succeeded the first time.
As Thomas Edison said: I have not failed. I’ve just found 10.000 ways that won’t work.
2. No regrets to worry about
One of the hardest things to do in life is live with regret. Not kissing your crush when you had the chance to, not being more active growing up, not trying new things, not going on a new adventure when you wanted to travel so bad, not doing what you really wanted in life until it was too late to make a difference. Quitting on your dreams, on your way of life, on yourself and then living with the consequences of those choices for the rest of your life are some of people’s worst unrealized fears.
Read the top five regrets of the dying.
3. Facing your fears
And speaking of fears, quitting means giving in to them and to added pessimism, sadness and misery. What you should do instead is love your fears, feed on your fears, argue with your fears, and show those fears who’s the better man (or woman). Let them fuel your motivation and determination in becoming better than the you who would give up and resent himself/herself later for it.
I always love this quote about fears, I think it says it all. (it’s number 13 in the list, btw)
4. Finding inner strength
You’ll never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. When you make that decision to give it a shot, and put your vulnerable self out there, it’s amazing what you discover about yourself. Teenage girls facing the responsibility of raising a child and doing their best at it, people losing their spouses but still moving on, basically anybody who has been through hardships and are still here, still breathing, still living, did NOT quit, and found the strength to not only go on, but to also enjoy this wacky ride called life.
5. Gaining experience
When you do something over and over and over again, you become better at it. You win some, you lose some, but you keep going until one day you wake up and find yourself being somewhat of an expert at it. But there are so many people out there who start something new, being completely enthusiastic about it, then they hit an obstacle and just stop. So many of us could become great guitar players, writers, entrepreneurs if we could only learn the important lesson of not giving up.
Listen to Alan Watts’s speech What if money didn’t matter?
6. Encourages optimism
People who don’t do something with their lives tend to end up being caught in this miserable rut they can’t seem to get out of. And as they swim around in circles they just become more pessimistic about their lives and they choose to overgeneralize and blame it on anything but themselves. Their job sucks, their love life sucks, their actual life sucks, this world sucks, etc. It’s like at some point they just quit trying to…live. Not giving up on things that you want to do, to change, to be, means bringing more joy and optimism in your life.
7. Being different from those who did quit
Do you want to be just like everybody else out there who’s a quitter or do you want to be one of those people who succeeded? That’s all I’m saying.
8. It brings some awesome, wacky memories
Remember when you used to make all those crazy experiments when you were a kid? How about when you first learned how to bike, to swim, to skate? I bet you fell down a couple of times. Bet it hurt a lot too. But if you are at the moment a bike rider, a swimmer, or skater, or if you still have your science projects next to you or your awards on a shelf, then that means that you didn’t quit. And those memories are there to last for a lifetime, and to help you teach someone else what you learned at one point.
Speaking of memories, let’s see if any of these 10 shows that shaped my childhood will ring a familiar bell.
9. Defines who you are
It really comes down to this. It comes down to who you are: a quitter or a winner; someone who gives up easily or someone who doesn’t rest until he has accomplished what he has set his mind to. Which one are you?
10. The best is yet to come
It’s the scariest thing when you face that wall head on. You feel like it’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done, the hardest thing you’ll ever do. But truth is, once you get over it, once you push yourself and make it to the finish line, it will get better. In the end, the best is yet to come. You feel like your world is falling apart after a break up, just to end up finding your soulmate some time later. You get kicked out of school for something stupid that you did, just to find your way and have a successful business later. You feel like you want to die from loneliness and misery just to find your true happiness later on in life.
We’ve all been through rough times, and we’ve all made it this far because we didn’t give up. So next time you think about quitting, think about the ten reasons why you should keep going, and most of all, think about that one specific reason why you held on for so long.