Why do we give up on our dreams? The odds are that you have given up on a goal before. And if you’re reading this, you are on the hunt for a way to counter-attack and get back to your best.

We tend to judge success by the day.. Not seeing the bigger picture. A perfect example of not seeing the forest for the trees. We also tie our dreams to some external validation which will never be enough motivation to keep going. We set these huge goals without considering how long it will take achieve them, or acquire the new skills required to do so. Thus, we throw in the towel when things get difficult. The reasons why we give up are more subtle. Below are the reasons we give up, and how to counterattack..

We Give Up Because We Lack GRIT | Ways to Counter Attack

Ted Geisel’s manuscript was rejected by 27 different publishers; he almost burned it, but he tried one more time under the pen name Dr Seuss (this is GRIT). The rest, as they say, is history.

GRIT is the inner courage, and the determination to do whatever needs to be done despite the challenges. Most people lack this, often because we never had to get our hands dirty, and that’s why we give up.

To counterattack, you have to develop GRIT. Start by pursuing your interests, practice to be competent, connect with a higher purpose, cultivate hope, and get a gritty community.

We Give Up Because We’re Stuck In Our Comfort Zone | Ways to Counter Attack

A comfort zone is a situation where one feels safe and at ease. Most people give up as they are not comfortable with the uncertainty of being outside their comfort zones. However, growth and success are only possible when you step out of your comfort zone; when you can embrace feeling awkward when trying out something new. Sadly, most people are not willing to step out of their comfort zones.

To counterattack, start by recalibrating your reality; do everyday things differently. Next, take your time making decisions. Slowing down makes you uncomfortable, pushing you out of the zone. Finally, do it in small steps as it takes time.

Our Discipline Evaporates | Ways to Counter Attack

Discipline is doing the right thing for yourself despite the circumstances. It is practising self-restraint, pushing ahead even when it would be easier to give up. Most people who throw in the towel lack this tenacity. They give in to indulgences when restraint becomes difficult.

Cultivating self-discipline helps you counter the destructive habit of giving up. Start by eliminating temptations, eating healthily and regularly, change your routine, reward yourself for small accomplishments, and learn to forgive yourself.

We Give Up When We Don’t Believe It’s Possible | Ways to Counter Attack

Lack or loss of belief that our dreams can come true is a common reason why we give up. When starting, we have a faith that our dream is achievable; that is until we are faced with reality. The challenges, the obstacles, and the time it will take are belief-killers. And lack of belief is a dream killer.

However, these challenges should only strengthen your resolve — counterattack by first winning in your mind. Winning in your mind develops courage and resilience to succeed.

We Suffer A Lack of Focus | Ways to Counter Attack

Another reason why we give up, why we quit, is because we are easily distracted by new things. We lack focus. A dream or end goal requires attention; consistent attention, but the list of distractions is endless. From a new show to trying to make ends meet.

If you are easily distracted by impractical fixations, then there are no excuses. To go on the offensive, reduce your choices, and eliminate your distractions. If your reasons are more demanding, say to keep a roof over your head, try setting aside an hour or two a day to work on your goals.

The Fear of Failure | Ways to Counter Attack

Fear of failure is more like self-sabotage. It is rooted in fear of rejection by others (family and friends), and not in the failure itself. Furthermore, it’s is debilitating. It makes you stop taking chances and you doubt yourself. You result to doing things that are ‘safe.’ And thus give up on your dreams.

To overcome the fear of failure, visualise obstacles, think more appropriately, analyse all potential outcomes, and look at the worst-case scenario. Finally, have a contingency plan, and forget what people will think about you.

Loss Aversion | Ways to Counter Attack

Picture this; a colleague offers to flip a coin, if it lands on heads, she will give you $20. However, you will have to part with $20 should it fall on tails. Would you take the gamble? Probably not; the reward has to be twice the amount you will lose. This is loss aversion; that is, the psychological pain of losing is twice the pleasure of gaining.  

Most people give up as they don’t want to lose. Avoiding the worst-case scenario is seen as more beneficial than gaining.

You have to conquer the loss aversion cognitive bias and develop a will to win — mull over why you are hesitating and obliterate each of those obstacles.

Living in an Environment Filled with Negativity | Ways to Counter Attack

Negativity is harmful and contagious, and most people give up as negative Nancys surround them. Surrounding yourself with people with limiting beliefs will kill your dreams faster than any of the other reasons on this list.

To counter attack, you have to cut off toxic people and surround yourself with positive people.

Poor Time Management | Ways to Counter Attack

Not having enough time is an everyday excuse we come up with when asked why we gave up. Talk to some of your colleagues on why they gave up, and odds are lack of time will be one of the many defences.

However, it is poor time management and not lack of time. We will gladly binge watch a new show over working on our dreams. We spend time on pointless ventures, time we should spend acquiring new skills and working on our goals. To overcome, you have to set a schedule and stick to it. You have to prioritise and set boundaries.

We Get Tired of Repetitiveness | Ways to Counter Attack

To achieve your dreams, or acquire what you desire, you have to rinse and repeat everything you do daily. Think of striking an oak tree with an axe a thousand times. If you hit it in 1000 different places, you will not bring it down. But strike it a thousand times in the same spot, and you will bring it down.

Repetition reduces dopamine release, and you are no longer excited about what you are doing. Thus, you throw in the towel as you’re chasing excitement. However, we have to be comfortable with repetitiveness to get to our goals. Try changing how you perform the tasks to prevent the risk of boredom. Changing your workspace or working in a coffee shop or a shared workspace could help. Mix it up to maximise your results.

3 Responses

  1. S

    Overwhelmed and exhausted are two not on the list. That happens, and can derail goals and undertakings. I’d love to hear your insights and antidote ideas. You guys are all so hugely appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.