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We’ve all quit something at some point in our lives, right?

Take your New Year’s resolutions for example. How are they doing?

Many have already called it quits.

No big deal, really.

But I want to make you aware of something you may not know: our minds play tricks to convince us to quit.

Been There, Done That: The Quitting Pattern

Most people follow a pattern of quitting. The story goes something like this:

“I ate a salad and walked 3 days in a row and didn’t lose any weight, so I guess it didn’t work. It’s not worth it. I quit.”

Sound familiar?


Here’s what happens:

  • We create a goal and a plan for something that we want to accomplish.
  • Maybe our minds weren’t 100% on board. There was some resistance along the way.
  • Then we began step 1, day 1. All good.
  • We continue with additional steps, checking off days. All is good.
  • WHAM. At some point, something happens that doesn’t go the way we wanted. We quit.

Can you relate? Our minds want to protect us. They send out warning signs saying what we’re doing is unsafe and potentially dangerous.

The discomfort gets higher, creating fears that things could get really bad.

No worries. Your brain is just doing its job: protecting you.

That example is over-simplified, but it highlights the most common way that people end up quitting on their goals. Those uncomfortable feelings, like: fearful, embarrassed, scared, humiliated, or disappointed are usually enough to raise the white flag of surrender and walk away.

We’ve experienced similar situations.  We’re aware of what our brains are doing, and we don’t quit from that. We already know that the cost involved in achieving our goals is discomfort, fear and feeling negative emotions.

But our protective brain doesn’t stop there. It ups the ante.

Your Brain Can Cast Down a Great Business Idea

brain, quittingOne of my clients had an incredible new business idea.

He knows that it’s powerful, would be an incredible service and one day could be sold to a large company.

He begins working on that business plan.  His protective brain that wants to prevent him from being at risk is already hard at work behind the scenes.

What happens first?

His brain nudges him and lets him think that he doesn’t feel very fulfilled lately. His full-time job, everyday life and working on his plan aren’t fulfilling his real passions. He doesn’t feel great about what he is accomplishing.

His brain offers a ‘safer’ solution and tells him:

“Take that same energy and put it into your job, work toward a promotion and take the easier path to fulfillment rather than spending all these hours on this plan that won’t come together for a couple more years…”

It can be very convincing.

This is the brain’s way of:

  • keeping us safe from that bigger risk
  • offering some more immediate reward that he could get now, rather than put in hard work for a bigger reward later down the road.

Our brains know that we love instant gratification. Many times, we bite.

This client has a history of many great ideas. He prides himself on his ability to come up with amazing business ideas that could have been really successful.

But in the process of planning for this new business, doing the research, coming up with the business plan, exploring the funding, etc., guess what inevitably happens?

Another great business idea jumps in his head, begging for his attention. His brain tells him if he would try this new, better plan, all the hard work and planning that is just no fun on the other plan will quickly go away: he’ll be safe and out of harm.

The brain’s mission will have been accomplished.

It could be easy to fall for that one, right?

Avoiding the Brain’s Tricks that Make You Quit

We usually don’t quit because one thing goes wrong. Its far more complex than that for those of us who have achieved so much in our lives.quitting

I have several businesses ventures and opportunities occurring right now, but building the business of Strive is extremely important to me.

When something doesn’t go as planned, I get over it and keep going. When something else happens and I hit the guardrail – hard, I bounce back, a bit bruised. Everything is still ok. Nothing has gone wrong, even though it doesn’t feel very good. I know this is part of the package.

But then a distraction occurs.

A shiny object that looks pretty in the distance catches my eye and tries to convince me it’s just so much better and I would be so much happier. But because I do this work on myself so much and have become very familiar with my mind, I know what’s happening, so I ignore it.

But…I know that because I have several very successful businesses, what my brain is telling me might be true.

I don’t let my brain trick me.

I keep my eye on the distractions and give them a bit of space. With every little bump and bruise that happens while pursuing my goals in this business, that pretty, shiny object in the distance continues to glimmer just enough to remind me it’s there.

As the sting of discomfort turns into a throb as I work toward my goal, the opportunity of the potential emotions I could feel are luring me, telling me I could just walk over to the shiny object and enjoy an escape becomes more and more enticing.

 The moment that I allow the emotion of what could be to become more powerful than what I am currently experiencing, the scales are at risk to tipping toward the quitting.

 Whenever we create thoughts that fuel us more in one direction than another, we will create a new path and the new necessary emotions and fuel toward it.

What to Do When You Feel Like Quitting


Quitting the path I am committed to for the lure of a shiny object requires nothing of me to grow or learn.

Escaping a feeling, a negative vibration, is never a reason to quit. I will not choose to quit because my brain decided to play tricks on me with the intention of keeping me safe. These are not reasons to quit. None of the tricks our brains play on us are reasons to quit.

When this happens:

1. Be on to your brain.

Have conversations with yourself that allow you to be the boss of the decisions you make, and that you won’t be easily convinced through trickery.

2. Separate your emotions from the facts.

Deciding to change course, or to learn from the failure of a particular direction or path, is its own opportunity. That requires and deserves its own process and strategic, wise evaluation. We get to create any emotions and fuel that we want to generate from there.

3. Ask yourself:

Why did you decide to create this goal going in? What did you hope to accomplish? Knowing your why for everything will allow you to generate the long-standing sustainable fuel through the hard things along the way.

If you decided to pursue a goal because you believed you would feel better, guess what? That was a lie you told yourself going in. Because first- you need to feel a lot worse to get to the other side. If you’re not willing to feel the whole experience, you won’t ever achieve your goal.

We have good and bad; hard and easy; positive and negative no matter what our circumstances are. When we pursue a goal for how we think we will feel, we will ultimately be disappointed and not be able to sustain getting there.

4. Decide to move on from a goal or idea…

This can be a perfectly accurate decision. It may even be exactly what is needed for you to move into a new decision that is your best next move.

Do it from a place of knowing that you like your reasons and that you’ve done the work on yourself and know your mind. That allows you to create opportunities for new goals to achieve.

Pursuing anything new should never be an escape from something else. It is an entirely separate decision that requires a strategic and wise evaluation of its own.
It deserves a WHY, a plan and a willingness to feel the negative feelings that come along with it. The only way it can be done is from a clean and fresh place.

Giving Strive the attention it deserves does not mean that I can’t give other business pursuits my attention, resources and commitment. Serving one of them does not mean neglecting the others. And, more likely, serving one means serving all of them.

If staying on track with your goals is something you want to work on, spending this next year with me will arm you with all the tools you need to getting there. We work together, you and me, toward what you really want.

See how you’ll benefit & get in touch here.

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