By Roger Crawford. This was originally published on Roger's blog.
All of us have times when we feel like giving up. You’re discouraged, you’ve lost motivation, and quitting seems easier than hanging in there. When I experience those feelings, I remind myself of a couple of things that help me regain my inspiration.
Regret Can Be More Painful Than Discipline
World Champion Boxer George Foreman said, “Everyone wants to go to heaven; nobody wants to die.” That’s a great reminder that we all desire success but don’t always want the sacrifice. In coaching young tennis players, I found that all wanted to be a Grand Slam Champion, but few wanted to train like a champion.
During times when you feel like giving up, remember that staying disciplined is hard, but looking back and regretting that you didn’t keep trying is harder. Whenever you have paid a price to achieve something awesome, did you ever look back and say, “That wasn’t worth it?” Probably not.
Have you looked back at a time when you could have accomplished something worthwhile, but you didn’t even try? The remorse you feel for lack of effort is often more painful than attempting something and failing. Look at it this way, taking risks and facing discomfort are growth experiences, regardless of the outcome.
Perseverance Defines You
At times everyone feels like giving up because we are afraid to fail and risk disappointment. When you have those thoughts, remember that failure is simply an event; it does not determine who you are or what you are capable of. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that failing at something means you are a failure. Failure is something that happens to a person. Failure is not a person.
Reflect on the failures you’ve experienced in the past even though you refused to quit. Now ask yourself this question: Would I be the same person today if I had not faced those circumstances? The courage it took you to try, to do the hard work, and endure the struggle are victories, no matter the result. Let those experiences define who you are and be a reminder of your perseverance.
Discomfort Means Discovery
Have you ever made an excuse to give up because you wanted to avoid discomfort? When you sidestep challenges, you may miss the opportunity to discover how awesome you are. Leaving the known can be uncomfortable, but by trying something new you can discover your hidden gifts.
If you never push yourself, how will you ever know what you are truly capable of? To make a little progress you sometimes need to experience a little pain. If you want to increase your level of performance, you will have to increase your level of discomfort. When you do only what is comfortable, you limit both your life and your potential.
As we begin a new year, remember that you have a unique purpose to fulfill and the opportunity to realize your dreams. Don’t give up on yourself and allow excuses, discouragement, and doubt to hold you back from becoming your very best!
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