There I said it, I am normal. If you are anything like me, the feeling comes and goes periodically. It was around mile 4 of my 10 mile run and my body just didn’t feel right. Every step was a struggle, a labor, and my legs felt so heavy. I was out of breath and began to ask myself, “do I really need to do this run today?” I wasn’t even half way done and my body was telling me, QUIT, GIVE UP, STOP! I just wanted to be done with this work out. EVERYONE has wanted to QUIT something at one time or another, and it was time to see how serious I was about training for this marathon.
Wanting to quit is normal and even healthy.
Have you wanted to quit lately? Maybe you have wanted to quit your job, your marriage, your workout plan, your day, your week. Wanting to quit can actually be a sign of great self-awareness and can be a powerful revelation of deep purpose and progress in your life. It may get tougher before it gets easier, but know that perseverance is where the power is…
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
How To Cope With Wanting to QUIT
1. Remember The Vision – When I want to quit I visualize myself crossing the finish line. I cannot tell you how many times in ministry, exercise, marriage, parenting or other big project, I have used this tactic. The finish line is a POWERFUL motivator in my life. It lets me know that pain is temporary, but pride is forever. I am talking about good pride, not self-indulgent arrogant pride. The self-satisfaction in knowing that I crossed the finish line and I did the best I could on that day propels me forward.
If you don’t have a vision, you better get one. How?
- Evaluate – This is where you compare where you are to where you want to be. You can’t get to where you want to go until you are honest where you are. I read scripture to understand what God wants from me.
- Motivate – What will propel you forward? For me there is always scripture behind everything I do. A HUGE motivator in my own life is 1 Timothy 4:12, “but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” I make OTHERS a key part of my motivation.
- Activate – You must be clear about the major action steps you need to accomplish in order to reach the vision. A good vision should be action oriented. By the way, if you can get there on your own, you may have what you think is a good vision, but it probably is not a GOD-VISION.
2. Retreat from Everything – When I want to quit, I get away and reevaluate. Let’s be honest, you need a break and probably more than you know. Many of us run a breakneck speeds and wear out ourselves and all the people around us. It becomes even worse when we have unrealistic expectations of the people around us. I DEMAND that my staff takes all their vacation time during the year. If they don’t, they don’t get to wear it as a badge of honor and hard work. I see it as a sign of life mismanagement and immaturity. If you feel like quitting, you better take a break in a hurry. How do you take a meaningful break?
- Disconnect from the technology – Laptops and phones are perhaps the biggest evil in our world. you can now take your work home with you. Somehow, we thought that was a good idea. being ALWAYS ON leads to being overwhlemed.
- Decompress emotionally – Exercise, take a walk, watch a TV show, put your feet in the sand, do a service project but don’t be s person who thinks you can run and run and run and never stop. You are foolish. The first thing that Adam in the bible experienced was God taking what is called a “Sabbath.” Learn to sabbath well!
- Deal with unresolved issues – What is the elephant in your life that you don’t want to deal with? Maybe you need to see a counselor? If you are one of those “guys” who is self-reliant and prideful, maybe it is time to man up and talk to someone about your issue. Put it off and the price to pay goes up and you will eventually pay it.
3. Refrain From The Guilt – When I want to quit, I remember Jesus Gives 2nd Chances – and third and fourth and fifth. We tend to beat ourselves up at the first hint of failure, which tends to come from our family of origin. Most of us who deal with major guilt issues never had a father who believed in us, much less encouraged us to go forward. When we give in and QUIT, we give away the victory. God is not into beating you up over guilt, he is into building you up through grace.
4. Rely on Your Friends – When I want to quit, I think of my friends, those who have my back. The power of others is the untapped secret of success in your life. If you continue to try and accomplish things on your own, you will only go so far. If you will submit yourself to a team of people who encourage you and hold you accountable, you will be unstoppable! God gives us each other for a purpose, and you can’t do it alone! Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
After mile seven it got even harder, but my perspective had changed. I knew there were only a few minutes left of the run. The last two miles I was able to run faster than I have all season in training. I completed the workout and was exhausted, but knew I was preparing for something with much more meaning, RACE DAY.
God is preparing you and testing you now for a future with more purpose and meaning than you can possibly imagine.
God NEVER gives up on us. Don’t quit!