How Do You Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting?

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Imagine you’re a marathon runner. You’ve trained for months, running hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. When the gun sounds, you’re off to a great pace. But, once you hit mile 20, your body and mind start telling you to stop. 

But you’ve worked so hard! You’ve never been this tired, and you feel like each step requires a major decision and serious effort. You want to quit, but you don’t want to give up. What do you do? 

It’s time to start reminding yourself of a few things, like the fact that you’ve been in this state before, and your key motivating factors. 

When this exhaustion sets in on whatever you’re doing, whether it’s physical or mental, there are moments when you have to choose whether you keep going or stop. You hit the wall, and you don’t want to go on, but you’re so close to the end, you don’t want to stop. 

The first thing is to recognize what’s going on, and remember that you’ve been in this situation before. That you’ve been able to push through the feelings of wanting to quit, and made it out the other side happier. (And if you haven’t been here before, just keep going, because believe me, you will feel happier once you achieve your goal.) 

Also, remember what’s motivating you to accomplish this. Visualize those motivating factors and use those to push you on. Those visualizations are different for everyone, but a common example for many is family. Many athletes will use their family’s love and support to push them through those moments of weakness. 

No matter who you are or what you’re doing, there will be moments when you want quit on the spot. Just remember that you’ve done this before, and can get through it. Remember the things that motivate you, and use that to keep you going. 

Before you know it, you’ll break through the wall, and come out on the other side, much stronger, and certainly happier that you kept with it. 

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Dr. Alex Ledgister is not your typical “Success Coach.” The former Marine who holds a Ph.D.

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