Never give up on your dreams

You’re here because you’re struggling with something significant in your life. It might feel like you’ve hit your absolute breaking point. Or you’re just really tempted to throw in the towel and get rid of this frustration and discomfort from your life.

But let me tell you this: even if it doesn’t seem like it right now, you’re already ahead of the game.

Many people simply meander through life, never striving to become something more, something greater. They rarely confront the tough situations you and I do – because they never really try.

But you? You were meant for bigger things. Pushing through in the face of difficulty is all part of the game. This is your definitive guide to how to cross the chasm you’re standing in front of right now.

Before we dive in, know this and take heart: what you’re going through is 100% normal. Anyone who’s ever achieved anything has been where you are now.

When you feel like you want to give up, it’s time to reflect, regroup, and then take massive action. Let’s get to it!


It's always darkest just before the dawn

It's Always Darkest Just Before the Dawn      

Great hardship precedes great triumph. It’s in the depths of despair that we truly find our inner strength. The strength to press on, overcome, and achieve great victories. The creativity to find more inventive solutions to our problems. It’s only through going toe to toe with adversity that we find out what we’re really made of.

Realize that what you’re going through right now is simply a natural part of the change process. How you’re feeling right now is no reflection on your character. It’s how you respond to those feelings, and what you DO from here that counts.

You feel like giving up because the problem you’re facing seems insurmountable. And yet, the size of the challenge you’re facing is directly proportional to the rewards you’ll see when you beat it.

So stay the course. Chances are, the major breakthrough that’s been eluding you is literally just around the corner.

The moral of the story is this: don’t quit digging when you’re 5 feet from gold.


If You’re Failing a Lot, it Means You're Learning Fast      

Ponder this for a moment. If you’re failing a lot, it means you’re learning fast. How true is that?

In exasperation, you might throw your hands up and exclaim: "I've tried and tried and tried but I just can't figure this out!"

Well, that means you just figured out a bunch of things that don’t work. Failure always precedes success, so don’t sweat it. Just be sure you actually learn from your mistakes, and adjust your actions going forward.

When you reach the summit, you’ll sure have an epic story to tell!


Motivation is Fleeting, Discipline is Forever      

Make peace with the fact that you can’t feel motivated 100% of the time.

Sometimes (or even often), you’ll feel like doing literally anything else besides the work you need to do to reach your goals. Netflix. Instagram-procrastinating. Daydreaming…yeah, we’ve all been there.

I mean, you already know this. That’s why there’s a multi-billion dollar industry devoted entirely to getting you to part with your cash in return for some temporary good feelings of motivation.

The trouble is, motivation will always be fleeting. While it’s nice to give yourself a daily dose, motivation is not enough. It’s NOT the solution to all your problems.

Motivation gets you out of the starting gate, but it’s discipline that carries you to the finish line.

It’s when you’re at your lowest that it’s most important to remember this. Right now, changing your feelings isn’t the answer. It’s about keeping your actions on track DESPITE your feelings.

When you do break through and make progress (remember: it’s always darkest just before the dawn!), THEN you’ll feel inspired and motivated again.

In navigating through the maze of life, it’s crucial to pick the right tool for the job. Don’t spend all your energy searching for motivation when you really need is discipline.


Remember, Discipline is Much Less Painful than Regret      

As the legendary motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said, “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret”.

When you feel like giving up, you’re at one of your life’s most important crossroads. A junction with only two choices: will you suffer the short-term pain of discipline, or live with the eternal pain of regret?

Whichever choice you make, pain is part of the package. The difference is, if you choose the pain of discipline, you also choose self-respect. You choose to hold yourself to a higher standard. And you choose the joy of achieving your goals.

The pain of discipline is temporary - once you defeat your challenges, what you’ll be left with is triumph.

Yet if you choose regret, you choose a lifetime of pain. And the blood, sweat and tears that have brought you this far? All of it a waste. You’ll still have pain but you’ll receive nothing in return.

Which choice sounds like the better deal to you?

When you choose discipline, you choose control. You choose toughness. And ultimately, you choose success.

It’s this very choice that separates people who achieve their dreams from people who live vicariously through the dreams of others.

Choose wisely.


Believe in Yourself      

It may sound obvious, and you might be thinking, "I do believe in myself, I'm just struggling!" But, believing in yourself is much more than just positive thinking. You need to have conviction. Conviction that, no matter what happens, you will never give up and you CAN do this.

Unwavering self-belief will carry you through many obstacles in life. It will give you the courage to do the things that terrify you and the determination to carry on when the going gets tough.

So what’s the secret to becoming unstoppably self-assured?

Some people say that confidence is inborn. We’ve all known people who just seemed to effortlessly glide through life, achieving everything they ever wanted, as if success for them were simply a matter of pre-determined fate.

The truth is that character can be developed. The weak can become strong. The lazy can become disciplined. The awkward nerdy kid can become the life and soul of the party. (Yep – all those 80s movies were right all along!)

Like working a muscle, character is developed by confronting challenges that you struggle with. If you just keep plugging away, you’ll make progress. Eventually, you’ll achieve excellence.

And when you develop character, self-belief comes naturally.

You’re in one of these character-building moments right now. So don’t give up. Keep pushing forward and soon enough, your newfound self-confidence will be carrying you over the finish line.


Remember Why You Started      

Sometimes when we are so busy focusing on our goals and the pain we put ourselves through to achieve them, we lose track of why we even started. When you’re focused only on the daily grind and you forget about your why, it’s easy to become frustrated and demotivated.

So take a wider view. Turn your mind to your future self. Visualize yourself achieving your goal. Really put yourself there in your mind’s eye. What will your life look like? How will you feel? How much happier will you be?

Let yourself feel inspired by your ambitions again. Then you’ll be in the right frame of mind to get back to work.


Set More Audacious Goals      

Set more audacious goalsPhoto by Ken Bosma licensed by CC2.0

Is it possible that your goals just don’t excite you enough to see you through the dark times?

Sounds crazy I know, but hear me out. Transformative change is always a painful process, and more than anything, it’s a mind game. While a goal twice as ambitious might be a bit harder, the promise of achieving it can be far more compelling. Which in turn will give you the tools you need to win the mind game.

I’m not saying to set unrealistic goals. Aiming to lose four pounds every week instead of two isn’t going to help you. Maybe the bigger goal takes longer. And that’s OK.

What I am saying is, maybe you’re more capable than you think you are.

If you reach for the stars, you’ll touch the sky.


Take a Break      

Sometimes we just need a chance to unwind and rejuvenate. Have you been burning the candle at both ends?

We all have a certain tolerance for stress, anxiety and hard work. You can increase your tolerance level, but it will always be there. Relentless work ethic is worshipped in our culture, but don’t be fooled – more hours don’t always produce more results.

Are you simply feeling overwhelmed? Maybe you should cut loose for a bit. That might mean taking a vacation, going for a long drive, or just turning off your phone, locking the doors and watching Netflix all weekend.

This doesn’t mean giving up. It’s both healthy and important to take time out, not just from doing the work but also from thinking about it. Don’t worry – your goals will still be there next week!


Seek Small Victories      

Motivation is inspired by the feedback loop. When your actions are rewarded with positive results, you feel good. And that inspires you to take further actions to achieve even greater results.

The feedback loop, then, is this cycle of effort and reward. The longer the feedback loop, the harder it gets to stay motivated.

You feel like giving up because you’re doing the work but you’re not seeing the results right now. If you saw concrete progress every day, you wouldn’t want to give up. You’d be inspired to press forward.

That’s why discipline is so important – it carries you through times like these.

But you can still make it easier on yourself. Don’t spend all your time obsessing about your end goal, living in the future while wishing away your present.

Instead, break your larger goal down into bite-sized chunks. Celebrate these smaller, more frequent victories.

Let life’s feedback loops work FOR you instead of against you, and you’ll enjoy the journey so much more.


Do Not Give Up      

Well, you knew this one was coming. But seriously. When you give up, you always lose more than you win. And it’s a double loss. You lose the thing you’re working hard for, AND you lose the time you already spent working for it so far. Time you can never get back.

The key to success is getting up every single day and doing it even when you don't feel like it.

Just keep going and through your trials and tribulations will come the greatest successes of your life.

And remember: one day, you’ll have an epic story to tell.