How to Not Give Up When The Going Gets Tough

How many times have you started something, weren't good at it straight away, thought 'I suck' and gave up?

I've done this too many times. If I wasn't perfect straight from the get-go I would stop altogether. Learning to play guitar is a perfect example. I saw other people playing it with so much ease and sounding incredible, I figured that could be me too, I picked up the guitar and the sound was painful. I didn't touch a guitar again for a long time.

Continuing to hear the beautiful music people played I tried again but with a different approach. I had to let go of trying to be perfect straight away and I allowed myself time to get good at it. The results amazed me. After 5 hours of practicing I could play a song and it sounded ok, it wasn't perfect but I was getting there. A few more times practicing and I was playing really well. Now I can play a few songs that sound close to the actual one. I totally surprised myself.

This is one example, I've got dozens more. I use this approach for everything now. Jogging, cooking a new recipe, doing a new yoga move, drawing and writing for the first time and the list goes on. What I've learnt is that if you can hang in there when the going gets tough you can sometimes come out of it amazing yourself and doing what you thought would be impossible. Here are my tips on how to not give up.

1. Let go of expectations. This is so important. When you have expectations of how you should be (in my case it was always perfect immediately) and you don't meet those expectations you get discouraged and give up. Let go of your high expectations. Allow yourself to suck at it in the beginning and hang in there.

2. Practice, practice, practice! Know it takes time to get good at something. The experts at everything where once beginners. Practice over and over and eventually you'll see results. Focus on the little improvements each time.

3. Patience is the key. It sure is. Have no patience and you'll give up just like I did with playing guitar. I would've never known that I actually can play. I like to think back to times when I've found something hard but I still stuck at it. Another time was trying yoga for the first time, I wasn't flexible and I totally sucked at any pose I tried (even the easy ones). I was patient with myself, slowly getting a little more flexible each day and now I can do a whole bunch of poses. And I love yoga now. Remember times like this helps you to not give up.

4. You're doing great! Remembering to say this to yourself when you see improvement will help you to see your success rather than seeing how far you've got to go. Even if it's only a little, it's still improvement and these add up. They'll get you to where you want to be and soon be amazing!

What is something you've stucked at in the beginning but didn't give up and in the end amazed yourself?

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Tan

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