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When Things Get Tough, Do You Give Up, Or Do you Get Up?

Oct 19, 2021

This is a good question for you to ask yourself and chances are that when things get hard, sometimes you give up, and sometimes you get up. There is no judgement either way, however, having a process that helps you get really clear about whether you want to give up or get back up, can be helpful.


Typically, when we stop working on something or have thoughts of wanting to quit it is because things are not going according to plan and/or things get uncomfortable. It is human nature to avoid pain and discomfort, so this makes perfect sense from a human evolution perspective. Our brains are wired to alert us when something is making us uncomfortable and will try to tell us to stop because its job is to keep us “safe” and comfortable. This is really helpful when we are in physical danger, however, that is not the experience of most of us today. Instead of highlighting physical danger, it highlights anything that causes us to feel difficult emotions, that challenges us in new ways, that may cause us to be embarrassed, may cause boredom, or that may physically challenge us.


It tries to talk us out of doing the hard stuff, or the uninspiring stuff, and instead encourages us to focus on what is comfortable, fun, and/or exciting. This explains why your plan to organize your cabinets stopped as soon as reality television came on. This explains why you did not finish your work and instead scrolled on social media for forty-five minutes at the end of the day. This explains why you stayed in bed and did not get up and work out. This explains why you had pizza delivered instead of cooking the healthy food that is in your refrigerator. This explains why you opted for the easy workout when you could have challenged yourself more. This explains why you are avoiding a certain coworker or friend with whom you need to have an uncomfortable conversation. This explains why you stopped taking the massive action required to make your business or side hustle successful. I could go on but hopefully you get the point. Your brain will choose the things that are safe, known, and comfortable all day long when given the choice.


So, what do you do about this challenging situation? You have already won half the battle by knowing what you now know about your brain wanting to keep you in your comfort zone. The second part of the battle is knowing how to challenge it. If there have been times where you got back up instead of giving up when things got hard or there were setbacks, you likely wanted what you were going after enough that it allowed you to push past the discomfort. If you are really clear on WHY you want something and it is a powerful WHY, you will be able to remind yourself of why it is worth it and will likely stay on track, despite the challenges. However, if you are trying to do something and you either do not feel strongly about WHY you want it or you don’t believe you are actually capable of achieving it, you will likely give up.


If you are trying to do something new and challenging and are starting to feel uncomfortable and question if you want to continue pursuing it, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I wanting to give up? What am I thinking about this? What am I feeling right now?
  •  What is my WHY for wanting to do this? Why did I start in the first place?
  • What will my life be like if I continue moving forward? How will I feel? How will it impact others around me?
  • Am I willing to tolerate the discomfort and/or face my fears to get the results I want?


If you determine that this is not a goal that is a priority or worth pursuing at this time, that is perfectly okay. Going through the questions above will help you feel certain about your decision to stop pursuing it because you will like your reasons for doing so. You should not view this as a “failure”, just a pivot or a change of plans. If you determine that you do, in fact, want to continue to pursue your goal despite the discomfort, try doing the following.


Each morning, write out the answers to the questions below. It may feel redundant or tedious, but it will help you reprogram your brain to not want to give up, despite things feeling hard.

  • What is my WHY for wanting to do this? Why did I start in the first place?
  • What will my life be like if I continue moving forward? How will I feel? How will it impact others around me?
  • Am I willing to tolerate the discomfort and/or face my fears to get the results I want?
  • What is my brain trying to tell me that makes me consider stopping? What thought am I going to think to replace the old thought that is making me want to quit? Some examples are:


Old Thought: I am not seeing the progress I should be seeing, it’s not worth it.

New Thought: If I am being consistent, I am making progress. One day I will wake up and start to notice it and I will be so happy I kept going.


Old Thought: You can get to organizing the house later, nobody is going to see it anytime soon anyway.

New Thought: I said I am going to do this, so I am going to do it. I deserve to have an environment that makes me feel calm and proud.


Old Thought: You don’t have enough time or resources to make this business successful.

New Thought: This will take time, but it is the dream I have had for so long. I am going to take action every day and create the life I want.


Old Thought: I will start eating healthy next week since half of this week is already ruined.

New Thought: Everyday counts, and I am worth it. I am going to make a choice today that my tomorrow self will thank me for.


Knowing what you are thinking and why will allow you to see what is happened and then decide if you would like to see something different. You’ve got this!

Live your best boss lady life.

~ Karen

Karen Vincent Solutions

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