dont give up girl

When You Feel Like Giving Up Most: Please Don’t.

We know how it feels. Nothing seems to be working. There is no productivity hack or motivational speech that can make you feel better at a critical moment like this one: The moment where you feel like there is no hope.

Too much time has elapsed with no results. Too much money was spent on useless tasks and acquisitions- such as multiple domain names and web hosting for “coming soon” pages. People are encouraging you to give up, saying things like “it’s OK to quit now.”

Family members are saying thing like “isn’t there a better way…?” or “maybe this is just a phase.”

You hear people talking about hubris, ego, and delusions of grandeur – and for one tiny second of your life, you start believing them. You start believing everything.

You begin to think your idea is too big for you to take on, you begin to doubt your own responsibility in it and you begin to actually- feel a little better letting go.

This is dangerous.

You know deep inside that you were meant to do great things. Why is it so easy to give up sometimes?

Resistance is a b*tch.

Steven Pressfield talks about resistance in this amazing little book called “The War of Art.” In it, he describes resistance as coming up against any endeavor a person might attempt that aims to better oneself, better society, and create something good or amazing for mankind. If you don’t feel resistance, then something is wrong. If you feel resistance- that overwhelming urge to give up- this is a GOOD THING. Take it as a sign from the muses and keep on going.

The more resistance you feel in a project, the more likely your project is a life changing one, or world changing one- benefiting many people. Resistance is like a natural force of nature. If it were easy to change the world, it wouldn’t be a worthwhile goal, don’t you think?

Without going too deeply into science or meta-physics, I would like to mention- if the world is naturally tended toward destruction, or chaos, or expansion- isn’t it obvious that people striving to make positive changes in the opposite direction would feel a lot of resistance?

That said, let’s move on. The best way to beat resistance is with a system. Most artists, writers, and even bloggers use a system. An organized, scheduled, rule filled system that does not leave room for excuses and “bad days.” Just let the resistance pass through you and then sit down and keep going.

You need to have a system.

Hans Fallada had a system. If you don’t know who he is- I’ll tell you- he’s a famous German fiction writer who made a vow to himself to “never write less than the day before.” Wow. He didn’t care if he was not “in the mood” or even inspired. He did not care if he was writing about the same thing each day or not. Perhaps he would write nonsense one day and absolute genius the next. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that he would write more today than he wrote yesterday. So if he had a wonderful day yesterday and wrote 20 pages, he would have to write 21 pages (at least) the next day! Good bye to “bad” days forever!

Do you know what the number one rule for any successful entrepreneur is?

If you really look at all the success stories throughout history- there is always one blindingly clear and simple answer- the one thing that every success story has in common no matter who it was, how famous they were, and in which field of work they succeeded in.

They never gave up. They had an overwhelming tendency to persist.

Giving up is the stupidest thing you could think of doing when you really want something. If you’re excited about your project and committed to your idea, you would think this is a no-brainer. Why would I give up! It’s my project!

And yet…

When the going gets tough, most people do give up on their projects. Most people do compromise their passions for the easy road. Most people do stop believing in themselves.

Don’t be one of those people. Be one of the success stories.

Martin and I have been working on our start-up idea for a couple of years already. We made all the mistakes you could ever dream of making as a founding team, and we are still making the mistakes every-day…. But the one thing that makes me sure of our success: nothing can EVER EVER EVER stop us, or make us give up on our dream- our Idea.

You absolutely need to adopt this attitude with your start-up. No matter how long it takes, no matter how many casualties, changes, pivots, obstacles, haters, and more… no matter what, you cannot let yourself give up.

Put a system in place for those tough, resistance ridden days.

Put a system in place so you can continually experience those small, quick wins.

Keep on learning about the mistakes others have made so you might avoid some of them.

Don’t be discouraged because you’re too slow, or getting too old, or not techie enough, or anything else for that matter.

Just keep going, put one foot in front of the other. Don’t let naysayers tell you who you are and what you are capable of. Only you know that, deep inside.

You can make it happen!

Have you recently felt like giving up on your grand idea? Did you overcome this, and if so, how?

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Jesicka Labud

Jesicka is a writer, Co-Founder of Tipabl, world-traveler, and loving wife. Her two cats follow her wherever she goes in the world! She's put on hold her past life as a project manager and architect in order to pursue of dream of living life on her own terms while learning how to program.

28 thoughts on “When You Feel Like Giving Up Most: Please Don’t.

  1. Katherine Harms

    Anybody who loves cats and has cat pictures on her business blog has to be a fabulous person.
    This post is full of thoughtful encouragement. No hype. No fluff. Just hard-headed perseverance. I like that. I need that. Thank you.

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Katherine! Thanks for your comment~ I love that- “no hype, no fluff!” I am glad it was so straightforward, and encouraging, and I am so glad that it was there for you when you needed it. And yes, aren’t cats so great?!! They are my light and joy those little guys.

  2. Michaela Cristallo

    I love your determination Jesicka! It’s inspiring! I feel like giving up sometimes too, when things just aren’t working out and the reality of exactly how far I am away from my goal sets in. It never lasts long though because I want this so bad I WILL persevere!

    The other issue I have is that I’m impatient for the results, when I don’t see things happening quickly enough I feel demotivated. I think it’s important to remember that most great things take time. I try to remind myself of this every day and remember that every little thing I do each day gets me one step closer.

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Michaela those are very true words. We’re all so impatient for results in this day and age when everything is sped up 10x or even 100x or 1000x times! One thing that hasn’t changed is that our perception of how fast we should be seeing results versus the reality of it – this has always been very different. The sooner we realize that, the easier it will be for us to march forward with the work itself. The little steps we take every day do make a huge difference! I love your determination. Yes, you WILL persevere! If you don’t love the journey itself, you won’t likely make it to the finish line!

  3. Michael Knouse

    Very inspiring message! It’s so true and yet I don’t think we can ever be reminded enough that we must persevere and keep moving towards the desire that keeps pulling us forward. I was recently teased with the idea of going back to work in the corporate environment. Someone got me an interview for an exciting software company and a job where I would be making great money. But for what? So I could go back to days filled with email responses and endless meetings? I took the interview but was immediately reminded of why I am pursuing my own business in the first place. It’s for the freedom and the ability to create exactly what I want and to add value to others.

    I also love your reminder about resistance. The following statement is gold; “The more resistance you feel in a project, the more likely your project is a life changing one, or world changing one- benefiting many people.” I love this so much! It’s so true and important to understanding why we need to recognize the resistance and keep moving forward.

    Thank you!

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hey Michael! I totally had the same experience as you! In fact, part of the inspiration for this article came from my own experience of being “teased” into a cushy job prospect! Like you, I snapped out of it quickly, but for a moment it seemed so easy and stabilizing to just give up on my crazy business ideas and get back into a cubicle. So glad we totally connected on that level. As for resistance, YEP, it’s crazy to think that more resistance felt is good, but I actually really believe that. Resistance is a barometer for us to keep moving forward. Loved hearing from you!

  4. Jo

    Jesicka! Great post! Digital high-five back to you 😉 I know that feeling too well of wanting to give up, taking the easy way out… and I’ve been guilty of doing it.

    I can only congratulate you for having a strong partner by your side who seems to live by the same rules that you do – and whenever one of you wants to give up the other one can resist to resist… keep on working like this! It’s kind of similar for me, working together with my brother gives me the same kind of accountability and support when I need it. This is how you overcome resistance: by surrounding yourself with the right people who won’t let you fail!

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hey Jo! Nice to see you here. I totally agree- the support system is so important. We all have our good and bay days, and usually we complement each-others’ needs so when I am down, he helps me back up and vice versa. It’s just great that you are working together with your brother. It must be so fun. I’ve worked on projects with my sister- and it’s always a wonderful feeling. Keep up the great work!

  5. Khrystle

    I really needed to hear this today! Thank you 🙂
    Sometimes I talk too much about my dreams with my mother and people close to me, but the person who affects me the most is my mom. Just the other day she was suggesting that maybe I should get a full time job because then I would have the money that I think I want and security in some ways. Luckily, she never pushes me one side or the other – she is really good at supporting me, but sometimes I do feel like why not just sell my soul to corporate America. Then I remember how miserable I will be and ultimately I want to be happy. Sacrificing for a year in order to make my dream come true is worth it in my eyes so I keep on going, writing, and sharing with the world. I also have some great people around me who continually support what I am trying to do.

    Your post reminded me of something I read years ago, but I don’t remember what book it was or who the author was. The point of the story is that many people quit right before they make it. It is like the universe gives challenges along the way and so many people stop at the final challenge. If they were to keep going they would have hit the jackpot. Sometimes it isn’t easy to keep on going, but you are right – just keep swimming!!
    Thank you for the motivating post!

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Khrystle, you’re absolutely right. Too many people do quit before “hitting the jackpot” and we’re not talking gambling with the lotto here. The challenges and obstacles take over the importance of the goals and persistence needed… like you said- sometimes we even consider selling our souls back to the corporate world. Watch out for that! It’s so sneaky how our minds work sometimes. I am glad to have helped you on a day you needed to hear this!

  6. Susan

    I love this post, Jesicka, so much! I’ll be bookmarking it and coming back to read it over and over again as I work on my dream project, which truly is a needed thing in this world, and is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

    Someone else quoted these words, but they are so profound: “The more resistance you feel in a project, the more likely your project is a life changing one, or world changing one- benefiting many people. Resistance is like a natural force of nature. If it were easy to change the world, it wouldn’t be a worthwhile goal, don’t you think?”

    You are absolutely right here. If it was easy, it wouldn’t benefit many people. I want to change the world, or at least change the world for some people. Thank you for this!

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hey Susan! Glad you love it! And I am getting bookmarked! What an honor. 🙂 I love how you describe it as your “dream project.” Don’t forget it’s not a dream unless you stop going for it. It should be called a reality project. But dream project is nice too! And yes, keep on going with changing the world. We need more people like you.

  7. Justin

    Hey Jesicka. Love this inspiring reminder of clinging to a system. Whether it’s a belief, a way of doing things, or the environment you put yourself in, having a solid support system can be the difference in giving up or continuing on. I completely agree with resistance. The more resistance we can break through, the greater the rewards will be.

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hey there Justin! Great to have you here. Yes, for me its all about system system system. Ramit Sethi also swears by creating systems. System and automation leads to more results, more focus and less stress. And I love how you go beyond just a physical system and add in the idea of a belief system, or an environmental system. Awesome. That is how to beat that pesky resistance right there.

  8. Amy Scott

    Ah, I love “The War of Art”! Definitely worth reading (and rereading).

    The resistance does indeed rear its head, no matter how successful you are or how long you’ve been working on something.

    What I find often helps is to stay focused on *why* I’m doing this thing. There’s usually some larger purpose that makes it all worthwhile, so if I can stay focused on why this work matters, it’s easier to push through the tough times when I want to give up (or at least stay in bed for a day).

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hey Amy- true words- focusing on the *why of it really does help. I use this technique on days when I am feeling particularly down. When it’s a morale boost I need more than anything. I have my big *why’s written down on paper so I can read it and remember it on those days.

  9. Paula

    Jesicka! My kindred spirit! Girl you have got this damn right! Thank you thank you thank you! I needed to hear this too. Everything you have said resonated with me so much. We are in the same boat and together we can ride the storms ahead! I won’t quit because I know there is nothing else out there for me to do. Keep blog posts like this up lady, I love them! Thank you 🙂

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hey there Paula! Glad to see you’ve stopped by and enjoyed this post! I love how you already realized this is it for you- you’re doing what you love and there’s nothing else to do. You just need to realize that even your life’s work will provide resistance sometimes and you need to stick it out in order to succeed!

  10. Wendy

    Wow what an inspirational post! You are absolutely right. Creators whether they are writers, painters, whatever are going to feel resistances and have “bad days” and it’s just sooo easy to give up and give in and go the easy route of the average day-to-day!

    But if everyone did that, nothing would change in the world, nothing new would be created, and it would be a very sad thing.

    Thank you Jesicka for the post, and the reminder to just *keep**on* *going*!!!

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hey hey Wendy~ yup yup yup, all creators have these days. Just keep your head up and get into your system of creation. Doing is the key on these types of days- not so much thinking or sulking or being sad but just plain DOING. Just do the thing and you’ll feel better already. Glad to inspire you!

  11. Kate

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.
    The people who get far are those who take action consistently. Period. It doesn’t have to be the perfect action, but moving forward is quintessential to getting anywhere at all! Thank you for the reminder that resistance is a sign I am moving in the right direction. This is very well written and such an important topic!

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Hello Kate! Your comment is very encouraging for me! I am glad you’ve gotten the right message out of my post and that it’s reminded you to keep going especially during signs of resistance.

  12. Paul

    Hi Jesicka the insight you share here is so true. I also believe that the quality of life is determined upon the quality of questions we ask ourselves. From a creative point of view I find that mind mapping is also useful for uncovering answers that are held within the subconscious mind. Xmind is a brilliant free tool for mindmapping. Whenever I get stuck in action I start a mindmap to create questions that start shifting my mind and ideas in new directions. It’s also healthy to always review our intentions everyday. Because what we focus upon is what we create. In the end creativity is about being flexible with life and the more allowance and practice we give to ourselves (through the quality of questions we ask) the more empowering and free flowing life becomes. I also find it helpful to get up and do something different to avoid too much routine. Inspiration comes in all types of forms to keep us moving in life. Nice one Jesicka : )

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Dear Paul- what great tips you’ve added to the mix. I love the idea of mind-mapping. I’ve done it a few time but I’d love to practice that more often. Your insight about quality of life being tied to the quality of the questions we ask in life- I 100% Agree with you there. I absolutely agree! For me, this is one of the most important things to do in life, not just as a creator but as a human being. You’re not really living unless you’re asking questions. Especially the hard ones. Thanks for your thoughts!

  13. Alysa

    Jesicka – what a brilliant post. It’s easy to talk about ‘never giving up’ but until there are steps in place to keep the momentum going – it’s all talk. I LOVE that you’ve paired pressing on with implementing a system. It’s surely the missing key. It’s what sets the ‘overcomers’ apart. Really enjoyed reading “The War of Art” too.

    I visited your site a few times after it launched, and just stopped in again today. Quite impressed with all your posts. Way to go!!

    1. Jesicka Labud Post author

      Dear Alysa, always nice to see you here! Yes- you need a system. I can’t stress this enough. I am sure as a creator yourself you understand the importance of this. Thanks for stopping by, and your kind words!


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