I talked about what giving up on your dream career looks like in a recent episode of the podcast. I didn’t have time to delve into all the issues around abandoning your hopes on that episode, so today I want to address why women give up because the truth is heartbreaking.
We admire women that never seem to give up. But while we’re admiring them it makes us a bit sad because we realize that we give up far too quickly. It’s not something we’re proud of, and we’re haunted by the idea of how much more we could have accomplished with just a little more determination.
Most women have no idea why they give up quickly, but this behavior is something you can definitely change. The first step is to gain some insight into why women give up before they succeed.
Why women give up before they succeed
We care too much about the opinions of others.
This self-sabotaging and self-destructive pattern begins when we are very young. I don’t believe we are born with this belief, but it develops based on our environment. We come to believe that other people’s opinions matter more. It probably begins in your home with something as simple as looking for the approval of your parents or siblings. There’s nothing wrong with running to show your mother the page you just colored or doing the dance you made up for your sister. You probably have some really fun memories connected to these things. Here comes the big but.
Let’s fast forward to you leaving your home for kindergarten. How many days does it take before you realize that others judge you? They judge your appearance, your speech, and even what you brought for lunch. Sometimes these opinions are quick assessments, but other times the judgment of others can be harsh. Our first response to this type of judgment is probably pain and an intense desire to be like everyone else.
The desire to belong can be so strong it overpowers your desire to be yourself. Most of us get a little thicker skin and a couple of coping mechanisms for dealing with the judgment, but the feeling of being judged and fear of being excluded never goes away completely. We carry some of those early days of discovering judgment with us.
I wonder if this could be one of the reasons why by the age of 14 many young girls quit sports at twice the rate of young boys. There are other reasons like cost, access, and lack of role models, but I also believe if the majority of our friends are not playing sports, we will be drawn away from them, too.
People don’t think about us that much
Truthfully, we worry about the opinions of others far more than they worry about us. There are a few people who should really matter to us and what we ate for lunch, or how we wore our hair doesn’t matter to them one way or the other. The people who care about that, don’t really care about us.
Other Reasons Why Women Give Up
Worrying about what others think is the main reason we give up, but there are a few others:
We don’t care enough about the goal. Sometimes we bite off more than our motivation can conquer. The easy fix for this is to choose what really matters and focus on that. If you’re lukewarm about the goal, just skip it. Avoid taking on goals and projects that aren’t exciting to you. Your time is precious.
We lack self-confidence. When we expect to fail, we don’t want to get started. Why would we sign up to get our feelings hurt? Building self-confidence will allow you to be more successful by giving you the confidence to try in the first place.
We like our distractions too much. Eating salad isn’t as much fun as eating French fries. Practicing piano isn’t as much fun as watching The Good Place. Distractions can be goal killers. Set aside time to indulge in your distractions after your work is done.
We lack self-esteem. Sometimes, deep down we don’t think we deserve to be successful. (This is so juicy there is a whole podcast episode in this sentence so I am coming back to that!) So, we find ways to sabotage ourselves and excuses to quit. Believe that you deserve what you’re trying to achieve, and you’ll be encouraged to keep trying to achieve it.
We lack responsibility. It’s easy to blame others for our setbacks. To be successful and fulfilled, you must own your life, your failures, and your successes. No one is riding up on a white horse to rescue you or to do the work for you. Your success is up to you.
Why do YOU Give Up?
Why do you give up? Once you can answer that question accurately, you can create a plan to overcome it.
There are few obstacles that can withstand a woman with enough desire and determination. You don’t have to be born with lots of either of these skills, they can be developed! Just think about how different your life would be if you never gave up on yourself! You can still create that life. Get started today.
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