I want you to think about the last time you quit something. When did you quit? What caused you to quit?
Research shows that most people don’t quit early on (other than when we all give up on that New Year resolution to go to the gym). The research shows many people quit in the sticky middle. Just before they reach the end.
The statistic is sad.
We’ve lost so many great inventions, creations, and works of art because people quit just before the end.
I think back to my first (and only) full 26.2 mile marathon.
I trained hard for the race. I put in all the training miles. And I wanted to quit at the later end of the middle.
Leaders want to quit in the middle, too. They’ve pushed on for so long that they’re tired and worn out. But don’t quit!
Why We Quit In The Middle
The middle is the easiest place to quit once you get over the start. In the beginning, you have throngs of people cheering you. They’re standing arm in arm with you telling you that you’ve got this.
The further away from the start you get, the fewer people there are to keep you excited about what you’re doing. You’ve also lost a lot of energy in the start.
You’re excited. You’ve got this grand vision in mind. You’re going to do it. And you begin to do it.
Then the middle hits. The excitement goes away.
Until the end…
As you near the finish line, you notice people are surrounding you again. They’ve seen the progress you’ve made. They’re back to support you!
The crowds of people at the end of the marathon are as big, if not bigger, than they are at the beginning of the race. People are there to see the finishers. They want to cheer them over the finish line.
The same goes for anything you do in life. The crowd starts big, then diminishes, and then increases as you cross the finish line.
We quit because we lose the energy and excitement of the start and finish lines. You can change this.
Don’t Quit Just Yet
How can you get through that messy middle? What would it take to keep you going? I had three things that kept me going. I know they can help you cross your own mental finish line.
Keep a cheerleader with you:
The people you surround yourself with can help you make that final push to the finish line. But they need to be there for you to hear them.
Find people who are as or even more excited about your goals than you are. Let them know you need them to encourage you.
Allow them to cheer you on as you race toward the end. The more people you have cheering you on, the more likely you will accomplish your goals.
Get rid of the negative self-talk:
My body began to really hurt toward the end of the race. My legs began to spasm. My brain told me I couldn’t go on.
The self-talk became dangerous.
If I had given in to the voices in my mind, I would have laid down and given up. You’ll give up too if you continue to listen to the negative self-talk you’re telling yourself.
Make sure your mindset is right. The more you can be optimistic about the middle, the farther you can make it.
Know your reason:
I didn’t run just to run. I had signed up for the marathon to raise money for clean water for kids in need (I’m doing it again this year but only half the distance). Knowing that by moving my feet, I was making a difference kept me going even when the pain kicked in.
Why are you leading? What’s the reason behind your business?
Figure these things out. Get to know your reason for doing what you do.
The reason will keep you going.
When Most People Quit…
I know you won’t. You’ve got the tools in your arsenal to keep going. You’re a winner, you’re a leader.
When most people quit…