Hey there —
Raise your hand if you’ve ever received this well-intentioned encouragement: “Don’t give up! Just keep trying!” ✋
Bonus points if it was followed by an “inspirational” example of how many times some famous person failed before they succeeded. Like Edison’s 10,000 light bulbs.
(If the idea of having to try anything 10,000 times before you succeed only leaves you feeling more inclined to throw in the towel…we see you. 😉)
Pursuing any dream or goal is hard. And when failures and disappointments arise, deciding whether to double down or cut our losses is never as simple as “don’t give up.”
On the flip side of knowing we shouldn’t quit the second something gets difficult is the sunk cost fallacy — our tendency to keep investing in a venture (even if it’s not working and we’re miserable), because we’ve already put in so much time and effort that we feel pressured to follow through.
So with these opposing realities…how the heck can you make sure you’re not giving up too soon or holding on too long?
Examining your motivations for pressing forward — or pressing stop — may help you make the wisest choice (and go deeper than a pro/con list).
The next time you find yourself at a persist-or-quit crossroads, try assessing where you’re at in these five areas:
😐 Discouraged or 😰 Desperate?Moments (or even seasons) of discouragement are part of every successful journey. Seek out community, tell your inner critic to shove it, and press on. But if you’re pushing forward out of a desperate desire to succeed at all costs — it’s time to reexamine whether your goal is really worth pursuing.
🧐 Exploring or 😮💨 Exhausted? If you’re still exploring a new idea or process, don’t give up just because you encounter a hurdle or two. But if you’ve exhausted your options, your wallet, or yourself and progress has ground to a halt, it may be time to let go (or at least make some changes).
😵💫 Blocked or 🤕 Burnt out? If you’ve hit a creative wall, take a restorative break, make friends with your shitty first draft, then carry on. But if you’re experiencing burnout, pushing your limits can have long-term effects on your health and creativity. You may need to quit some things (even just temporarily) to get back to a healthy space.
😍 Passionate or Pressured? Ask yourself why you’re pursuing this goal. If you’re truly passionate and believe in what you’re doing, remembering your deeper why can give you fuel to keep going. But if the answer is “My parents expect me to pursue this career path” or “I’ll look like a loser if I give up now” — doing anything because of external pressure (or internal guilt) won’t bring the fulfillment you’re hoping for.
🤗 Impact or Identity?Is your goal (and the journey there) having a valuable and meaningful impact on yourself and others, even if it’s not easy? That’s a great reason to keep going. But if you’re only continuing because your identity is wrapped up in this pursuit, take a step back and remember you are more than what you do.
It’s worth pushing through temporary challenges to go after the things you truly want. But if you or your goals evolve along the way, there’s no shame in choosing to quit something (permanently or temporarily).
Be honest about which path is best for you right now, then step confidently toward your healthiest, most fulfilled life — whether that means pressing forward, or moving on. 🚶
How to quit your job — without ruining your career
by Gala Jackson
If all this talk of quitting has you considering a job change, career and life-management coach Gala Jackson has some advice for how to make your exit without burning bridges. 🧯
Whether you’re looking to level up in your current industry or take on a completely different role, Jackson’s 3-step strategy will help you identify your reason for leaving, decide what you want out of your next position, and set yourself up for job hunting (and quitting) success so you can move on with courage, confidence, and clarity.
I ate nothing but Taco Bell for 30 days to improve my health
by Sam Reid
If you read that title and are already skeptical…so were we. 🤨
But in the face of everyone’s vocal doubts, Sam Reid makes a surprisingly solid case for how he could end his Taco Bell challenge healthier than when he started. And not subjectively healthier, but literally — Reid goes the extra distance to consult with medical professionals and monitor his stats (like blood pressure, cholesterol, sodium levels, and a running tally of “less-than-pleasant bowel movements”) over the course of 30 days.
The final results may surprise you — and his interviews with registered dietician Katie Spada provide a lot to think about in regards to our relationship with food and what it really means to be “healthy.”
99 things you can get rid of this week for a less cluttered home
by Natalie Gale
From that pair of glasses with your old prescription to the pile of expired ketchup packets in your kitchen drawer, chances are there’s some stuff you don’t actually need taking up space in your house.
Whether you want to embrace a minimalist life or just want a home that’s less cluttered, this room-by-room guide for paring down your belongings can help you get one step closer to the tidy space of your dreams. ✨
Meet Carina! She’s a freelance writer from Portugal, focusing on wellness and lifestyle topics. As a member of our Simple Habits course community, Carina is active in the Slow Growth community and quick to provide words of encouragement or feedback for her fellow creatives. Today, she’s sharing some of the mindsets she’s found most valuable in pursuing her goals (along with some sage habit advice for all the young Slow Pokes out there). 💯
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
I'm a writer at heart, that's why I've become a freelance writer, one with way too many interests to follow the advice to niche down.
What are you most passionate about?
A bit of a predictable answer here — writing. That truly is what I love to do and my preferred way to express myself, despite having no problem talking to others.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned when building habits and/or pursuing goals?
I have two quick ones here. The first is that you need to believe you can achieve it. If you don't, you probably won't. The second is to create your own opportunities no matter what you're aiming for — don't wait for life to happen to you.
What's one thing you wish you knew 5 years ago?
How important it is to work on building healthy habits when you're in high school. When you leave, it doesn't mean you'll magically know what to do with your life, but those good habits will make it way easier to pursue whatever that is.
In one to two sentences, what's one piece of advice you'd give to your fellow self-development nerds?
When you feel like you messed up something, try not to spend too much time overthinking it. Learn to control your bad self-talk muscle and don't let it make you create bad coping habits.
Would you rather live in a world where you dance instead of walk or sing instead of talk?
I'd probably pick the first. I mean, that would be getting some extra movement while having fun...that sounds like a no-brainer for a couch potato like me!
Written by Ashley Martin
Edited by Matt D'Avella