I’m not a Quitter – or am I?

We all want to believe that we are not quitters – but the reality is, most of us are very used to quitting and we do it on a regular basis.  Quitting can be sneaky – do any of these phrases sound familiar to you?

I’m too busy right now.

I’m too tired to do it today.

I’m overwhelmed.

This is too hard.

I’m not good at this.

I’m not sure.

I’m confused.

I’ll do it later.

I don’t feel like it right now.

How many of these have you thought in the last week? Maybe even today?

These little quits add up, and by the end of the week you feel like you didn’t get anything accomplished and your to-do list is overflowing.  Over time, the bigger goals you have for yourself fall by the wayside and you may not be able to see why that happened.

For some of us, quitting is a way of life – it is the way that we get through our day with a minimum of discomfort.  In the moment, it feels like a relief, but in the long run it turns into discontent with your life.  Do you know what I mean?

The next time you find yourself saying one of these phrases to yourself, ask yourself some questions and take note of the answers:

What is the thought that makes you feel like quitting?

Are you in a hurry to quit?

How will you feel tomorrow if you don’t take this action? 

How will you feel in a week, a month, and a year from now if you never take this action?

If you knew that success was right around the corner, would you still quit?

If you don’t quit now, do you think you will just quit later?  Are you quitting now in anticipation of quitting later? (Doesn’t that sound absurd? But it happens all the time to so many people!)

Being a quitter is not a reflection of your character – it is usually the result of feeling anxiety, fear, or indecision. These are all feelings that can be changed by choosing different thoughts – remember that your thoughts create your feelings.  Start by paying attention to where quitting occurs in your life, and then ask yourself the questions to figure out what feelings are driving your actions (or inaction!) and then what thoughts are creating those negative feelings.  Once you identify the thought errors you replay over and over in your brain, you can change them to thoughts that serve you – thoughts that create positive emotions like excitement, dedication, competence – and you will take action in your life instead of quitting.

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Anusha Streubel

about the author

My name is Anusha Streubel, MD, MPH, and I am a certified life coach. I help clients with the more mundane aspects of organizing your life: Time management tools, how to clear the clutter from your mind and your environment, and self-care to create more physical energy.

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