On some days – or sometimes during weeks or even months – life is just hard and tough.
And you may start to think to yourself that you might as well give up on your new habit, current goal or most important dream.
This week’s post is all about that.
In the first part I'll share timeless wisdom from the past few thousands of years that can help you to stay strong, to nudge yourself back on the right track again and to keep going towards what you deep down want and dream about.
And in the second part of this post I'll share my own 5 favorite tips that I use the most myself when I feel like giving up and going home.
Never Give Up Quotes That Will Help You to Stay Strong
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe
“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
Robert H. Schuller
“Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that’s what makes you strong.”
“You can't really be strong until you can see a funny side to things.”
“Sometimes you don’t realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.”
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
“The best way out is always through.”
“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see in truth that you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
“At any given moment you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.”
Christine Mason Miller
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
“Part of being a man is learning to take responsibility for your successes and for your failures. You can’t go blaming others or being jealous. Seeing somebody else’s success as your failure is a cancerous way to live.”
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't.”
“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Never Give Up Quotes for When You’ve Had a Setback or Failed
“Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
”Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.”
“You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
“I like criticism. It makes you strong.”
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
“A man may fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”
“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”
“When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.”
George Bernard Shaw
“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With positive mental attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, and a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order to prepare to try again.”
W. Clement Stone
“Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.”
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of a greater or equal benefit.”
“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
Louisa May Alcott
“You build on failure. You use it as a steppingstone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
“When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters – one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”
John F. Kennedy
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
“What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning – and some of them many times over – what do you find? That you can swim?
Well – life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!”
“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.”
“The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”
R. G. Ingersoll
“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”
“Most great people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure.”
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.”
George Bernard Shaw
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
“An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.”
Charles F. Kettering
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Never Give Up on Your Dreams Quotes
“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.”
“Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.”
“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.”
“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”
“The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you.”
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”
“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath and try again.”
”Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.”
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.”
“No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid.”
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance – and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”
“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement – and we will make the goal.”
“If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau
“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”
“If you take responsibility for yourself you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.”
“I don’t really want to become normal, average, standard. I want merely to gain in strength, in the courage to live out my life more fully, enjoy more, experience more. I want to develop even more original and more unconventional traits.”
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
“When I'm old and dying, I plan to look back on my life and say, ‘Wow, that was an adventure,' not, ‘Wow, I sure felt safe.'”
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”’
“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”
“20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Inspiring Quotes on Perseverance and Patience
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength.”
“We acquire the strength we have overcome.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.”
“It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.”
“It takes more courage to reveal insecurities than to hide them, more strength to relate to people than to dominate them, more ‘manhood' to abide by thought-out principles rather than blind reflex. Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles and an immature mind.”
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.”
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
“Our strength grows out of our weaknesses.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
“Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.”
“When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint on the clouds of doubt,
And you can never tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.”
Edgar A. Guest
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
How to Not Give Up: My Own 5 Favorite Tips
1. Tap into realistic expectations.
When you feel like giving up then pause, take a few deep breaths to calm down a bit and then tap into realistic expectations.
How do you do that?
Well, stop listening to advertising that promises you quick results. And stop listening to the perfectionism – both within and outside of yourself – that tells you that you must not make any mistakes or fail.
Instead, tap into realistic expectations by listening to people who have gone where you want to go.
Listen to the people who already know what works and what does not (or works less well). They can tell you about how you may sometimes stumble and fall and how much time your journey may realistically take.
You will not get an exact step-by-step guide, because everyone's journey towards a goal or dream is different. But these people can give you great guidance in person or via books, podcasts, forums or videos.
2. Remind yourself of why you’re doing this.
When you – as we all do from time to time – lose your view of the big picture as you get lost in everyday life then one helpful thing is to reconnect with why you are doing what you are doing.
Find your top 2-3 reasons. Maybe it’s to:
- Keep your family safe and supported.
- Live healthier and longer so you can watch your kids grow up or simply experience more of life.
- See the world and explore it and the people in it.
Whatever your answers may be, write them down. On a piece of paper to put where you cannot avoid seeing it every day. As a daily reminder in your smartphone. Or both.
Then, whenever you feel like giving up or giving in to your old and less healthy habits you can quickly access your most powerful whys. I often find that this helps me quite a bit during tough days and unmotivated times.
3. Let it out to the people closest to you (to find your focus and motivation again).
I have found that when the obstacles or hurdles in my path seem insurmountable or I just don't have the energy to try one more time then one thing that really helps is to open up about it.
So I talk about it with my wife, a parent or a friend.
I vent and figure things out for myself while the other person just listens. Or he or she helps me to get a more grounded and level-headed perspective again by offering some good advice.
This reloads my motivation and energy and helps me to see things from a more helpful perspective again.
If you have trouble finding such a person in real life at this time – or maybe just for the specific challenge you’re facing right now – then go online and find support and advice in groups and forums.
4. Tell yourself: Just for today!
This is a simple little phrase I got from Brian Tracy many years ago. I still use it quite often when I’m having a bad day with a new habit.
I tell myself: Just for today I will XX!
Replace that XX with what you will do just for today such as going to the gym, eating a healthy lunch or working on your report for work.
I get two big benefits from telling myself that I will do something just for today:
- The task becomes lighter and inner resistance to do it lessens. Because by focusing on just today I am not thinking of the times I did this task in the past and the times I will do it in the future.
- I am reminded that I do not have to do this new habit by using willpower for the rest of my life. After I have strung together about 30 days of doing it then the habits will have become mostly automatic and a normal part of my everyday life.
5. Remind yourself that it’s always darkest before the dawn.
Here’s a very important thought that has helped me to hold on when things have been very difficult and I felt like giving up.
Because I have found this thought to be true.
When things seemed to be at the lowest and most vulnerable point with my business, my dating life, my physical fitness or just my motivation in life then something has always happened.
Pretty often simply because when I’ve been at that low point I have been forced to change something in how I do things.
But perhaps also because life seems to have a sort of balance. If I just keep on going. If I just keep on taking action.
Instead of sitting on my hands, doing nothing and simply giving in and up.
Because if I keep on moving forward – step by small step – something good always happens.
This thought helps me to keep going when I don’t feel like it.
And it brings me some comfort even when things look pretty dark.