Never, ever, EVER give up
The tenacity you have in your business will help direct, focus and sustain you. But what happens when we lose our tenacity? How can we get it back?
I keep seeing those images and quotes on feel-good social media sites about never, ever, ever giving up. You know the ones. The words are either illustrated or paired with a picture of a woman running.
Some go on to say that the moment you feel you want to give up or quit is the moment just before the miracle occurs.
I actually love these little titbits and sayings, and I often live by these kinds of punchy, directional statements. But we all know they alone are not enough to keep us motivated in the long run. As a recent experience showed me, we need a bigger reason to keep our tenacity fired up.
Last year I entered a running and surf-swimming race called the 3 Points Challenge. I am a runner but I am not a swimmer, and the training I’d done beforehand did not see me in the ocean more than it did the pool so I was feeling unprepared. Turns out, ocean swimming is vastly different to pool swimming!
The first leg was a 500m swim and half way in, I just didn’t think I could go on anymore. The next wave of people were overtaking me, the swell was ENORMOUS (or perhaps that was just my perception) and my freestyle had turned into a combination of backstroke, breaststroke and even a bit of sidestroke. I was tired, so tired.
"Ask for someone else’s perspective – they may just offer you a shining light or the encouragement you need."
But then I remembered my aim. This was an interim meet, preparing me for bigger and better challenges in terms of fitness. This was something I entered quite last minute to experience as a stepping-stone to further competitions. It was one rung on the ladder.
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Something else that helped: I swam so far off the circle that I ended up near a volunteer official who encouraged me in a big way. I remember saying, “I just don’t seem to be moving.” And she said, “You’re moving, trust me, you’re moving. And you don’t have much further to go. Just change your course a little.”
So I dug in and kept going. And I got to the sand. And then I got to my shoes. And then I started running.
The experience taught me some techniques for staying motivated when it all feels too much. If you’re close to giving up:
- Remember the reason why you started. What’s your vision?
- Remember to focus on taking just ‘one more step’ instead of picturing the whole, possibly overwhelming challenge.
- Ask for someone else’s perspective – they may just offer you a shining light or the encouragement you need.
- Change your course just a little – it may just be that you need to adjust something so it’s not so hard.
Being reminded by a quote to “never give up” can help spark your motivation, but regaining that bigger-picture tenacity depends on your thoughts and actions in the moment – just before the miracle occurs.
What has helped you get through those times of wanting to give up?