How do you stay motivated when you feel like quitting – Here are 12 ways

Sad and depressed looking woman by window with hand on forehead

Life has its way of giving us a kick in the ass, while slapping us in the face while spitting on us. But despite what life throws our way, we have to keep going. You have to keep yourself in the fight long enough to win the battle.

There are numerous areas of life that we are struggling in to the point where we want to walk away. Maybe it’s a high paying job but the stress is too much (See 23 Strategies To Survive and Stay Positive In a Toxic Work Environment blog post) and you want say “f*ck it” and walk away. Maybe it is a relationship you’re in with a spouse or significant other that you find yourself growing increasingly apart from and/or are constantly fighting. Or maybe it’s a business venture you got in and despite your best efforts it’s not making a profit and you want to cut your losses and call it quits.

It can be very dispiriting to be in a seemingly no win, soul crushing situation. Just thinking about the situation, let alone having to actually face it day in and day out is enough to drive you to drink. Anyhow, whatever your reasons are for getting out, chances are there are also very good reasons to stay in the game, stay in the fight and to keep calm and carry on.

So how do you stay motivated and positive when things don’t seem to be going your way?

Below are 12 ways to stay motivated and in the game when you’re thinking about getting out.

1.) Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing it?

This is by far the most important question to ask yourself before any decision is made to stay in your current situation or walk away. This may or may not be an easy question to answer but is a question that must be answered.

You need to do some deep soul searching and ask yourself why you got started doing what are doing, and you need to look at your overall motivations that lead you to make that decision. You should also ask why you stayed in your current situation as long as you have up until this point.

If your overall reason is big enough then perhaps you want to stick it out. For example, if you started that business venture so you can eventually quite your regular job, be financially independent and build a lasting legacy that your kids can take over one day, then perhaps you want to keep going.

Behind every endeavor there was a dream or goal that motivated the person to engage in it in the first place. If that dream or goal is big and compelling enough for you then it might be a good idea to keep on pressing on. It is important not to lose sight of your dreams.

“The temptation to quit will be the greatest just before you are about to succeed.”


2.) Give yourself time to reflect on your situation

Whatever you decide in regards to your tough situation, it is critical you don’t make your decision while you are in an emotional state – especially if you’re angry. I realize that the current state of affairs at your work, or in your relationship or whatever is frustrating, making you crazy and angry but it is never a good idea decide from a place of anger.

So allow yourself time for the emotions of the moment to pass and then think about what you want to do. You might find that your reasoning for initially wanting to leave was ill advised now in view of reasoned, rational thinking you can now stay the course.

3.) Think about the others who are hoping or depending on you to succeed

One thing you may want to think about for staying motivated enough to continue is to think about those who may be looking at you and hoping for you to succeed, such as your family, especially your kids. Not everyone is a hater hoping you will fail. Some, like your spouse or significant other and/or your kids will have a vested interest in you succeeding.

You want to be the hero they all know you to be. So think about that when you are thinking about walking away. As I am writing this it reminds me of a meme I saw once that that read something like; “what you’re going through today will one day be part of some else’s survival guidebook.” So think about that when you’re not sure about hanging in there.

“One day you will tell your story of how you’ve overcome what you’re going through now, and it will become part of someone else’s survival guide.”


4.) Some setbacks are OK

Setbacks are part of life and should be expected. Anyone who told you not to expect setbacks and that everything will always go smoothly is lying to you. There are countless tales out there of people who are now rich and famous who experienced setbacks on their way to success.

Remember a setback is a temporary roadblock on your path to success. The difference between a winner and a loser when it comes to setbacks, obstacles, etc. is that the winner takes them as a learning opportunities, adjusts their plans and keeps moving forward. Be that winner.

“You only have to do a few things right in your life so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.”

Warren Buffett

5.) Look to others who stayed in the game who now made it

Chances are if you look around, you’ll find others who suffered similar slings and arrows as you are going throw now and they made it. At your work you find that one co-worker who has been on the job longer, been through more BS and is now doing well. You might have a friend or family member who endured similar or worse relationship troubles than what you are going through but managed to make their marriage work. Or it could be that there is someone who started a similar business venture, struggled with much more competition and setbacks with becoming successful and profitable than what you’re going through and they made it.

If you ask or look around you will find others who had their fair share of challenges. It wasn’t easy for them. If you happen to get the opportunity to talk to any of these individuals, I’m sure they can tell you their stories and they may even have some advice to help you out. You should definitely look to them for motivation.

6.) Take time to learn

You should take every challenging situation as an opportunity to learn. Whether it’s job troubles, relationship troubles, struggling in school or with business, there are countless books, articles and videos on the subject that can help you. And as I said in #5 above, if you look around, there are others who have been through what you’re going through that can off invaluable advice.

The problem allot of people make is that they think they know everything and they don’t particularly want advice from anyone. They think they can figure out their problems on their own. Don’t be one of these people. Keep an open mind because you never know – in one of those books or videos or in talking to that neighbor who’s been through your situation, there might be a tiny bit of insight they have that might make all the difference in you getting past your struggles, whatever they are.

Being armed with knowledge of what to do will give you something of a motivation boost because now you will feel empowered. You will feel empowered to do something to change you circumstances for the better.

“Remember that setbacks are only challenges in disguise. Look at them as lessons don’t waste time beating yourself up. Just get back on track and focus on what you want. It’s up to you, and you will do it!”

Jorge Cruise

7.) Take a temporary break

Sometimes the best and simplest remedy for a shitty situation is just to step back and take a break. That break can consist of a vacation for a week or two or some time alone for a day or two from your spouse or SO. I know it is not always so easy to take vacation with some jobs and it especially may not be easy to get time away from your wife or husband (it might cause further friction in the relationship, they might insist on coming with you, etc.) but being away from a stressful situation, especially when you are contemplating calling it quits, can help with reducing the stress, re-frame your thinking a little bit and possibly help you to make rational decisions about your next move.

8.) Focus on the positive of the situation

Always focus on the positive no matter how stressful, no matter how negative your situation is. When I say focus on the positive, it isn’t just me trying to make you feel good with some made up BS. Focusing on the positive is good for your mental and emotional health. Research has shown that people who have a negative outlook on life are more susceptible anxiety and depression.

Thinking positively will help reprogram the brain for the better and help you to endure whatever tough situation your dealing with. It’s easier to endure a tough situation when you are focusing on the positive aspects of it.

I’m not suggesting that you should completely ignore problems and be oblivious to the negative, but your primary focus should be on the positive. When you focus on the positive, the universe will give you more things to be positive about. Get enough positive in your situation and suddenly you no longer will feel like giving up.

“If you focus on the negative, you miss all the positive around you.”

Betty Covington

9.) Start using daily positive affirmations

In several other blog earlier blog posts I talk about the power of positive daily affirmations. An affirmation is a spoken, positive acknowledgement of something to be true. It like a mantra, and it should be repeated quietly to yourself at least 3 times daily – in the morning after you wake up, during the day sometime and in the evening before you go to sleep.

A positive affirmation tells the universe that the life and success you want is already a reality and so the universe will bend its will to make it so. It also helps re-frame/reprogram your mind that to see and focus on the positive of the situation, and as I spoke about in #8 above, focusing on the positive will help you to reap benefits.

Some possible suggestions for positive daily affirmations you might consider using (feel free to use or modify as you see fit):


1) I am a hard and a productive worker who is valued by my company
2) I always have a positive and meaningful influence on my boss, co-workers and the company
3) My career and my prospects for advancement are always getting better. I will recognize these opportunities when they present themselves
4) No matter how challenging the work and the environment, I will always thrive and survive


1) I enjoy and value my time with my wife/husband
2) My relationship is uplifting and fulfilling for me and my partner
3) I seek first to love and understand my wife/husband/partner rather than jump to conclusions and argue
4) I treat others the way I expect to be treated


1) I am confident that I will make the smartest and wisest business decisions
2) I embrace the challenges in business endeavors and setbacks I take as a learning opportunity
3) I foster strong business relationships with everyone I work with and I add value to the relationship
4) My business is very successful and I am doing very well financially as a result of my business efforts

10.) It will end

This is not so much a motivational technique as it is something to think about, to remind yourself of, and that is that it will end. As the saying goes, something has got to give. No matter your situation, if you hang in there long enough, something to give. Either your situation will change for the better if you hang in there long enough or you will get stronger to handle it. No bad situation will last forever because people change, stuff happens, life moves on.

11.) Take time for self-care

In another post I wrote earlier, 22 New Year’s Resolution Ideas and My Thoughts, I talked about the importance of self-care time. To go over it again; Sell-care is time you spend on yourself, by yourself, to make yourself happy. Self-care is some you do to relieve your stress, your anxiety, to help you relax, and make yourself happy.

Self-care can be any number of things that can make you relax and be happy. What’s self-care for you may not be self-care for me. Simple things like going for a long walk with you dog, or zoning out watching TV all day or taking a bubble bath are some examples of self-care that immediately come to mind. The point is as long as it is something that will make you relaxed, feel rejuvenated and happy. Engaging in self-care is not being selfish because if your too stressed, burned out, and have mental and psychical health issues then you’re no good anyone else.

So, in a tough relationship, job situation or business endeavor you’re thinking of walking away from, taking some time out to relax and renew yourself with self-care can keep you motivated to keep going.

12.) Be thankful

Being thankful for what you have and surviving what you’ve been through is always a good idea. When you are thankful for what life has given you and the struggles you’ve made it through so far, God is likely to give you more to be thankful for much like I spoke about in the previous section about positive affirmations. Being thankful is a way of focusing on the positive and re-framing your thinking to look at the bright side thus giving you motivation to continue.

Be thankful when there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to be. Be thankful when things are looking down. Be thankful for whatever little bit of positive that there is in your current situation will help you to remain positive. You get more of what you are thankful for.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey


Don’t despair, don’t lose hope. It is possible to keep yourself motivated through tough times if you are willing to look for it. If your reason why is big enough or compelling enough then then not quitting will be easier, especially with the right motivational techniques.

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