The Cold Hard Truth About Giving Up

I am The Happiness Guy but today I’m talking about something that actually makes me, and a lot of people, sad. It’s about giving up on yourself.

Giving up on yourself is a habit that you have formed. It isn’t good for our emotional wellbeing to quit.  And in this video I tell you why it has to stop!

Instead, you can form a habit of always moving forward. Use your energy wiser and feel  better about yourself. Gain confidence and pride by making positive choices and learn why the “all or nothing” approach isn’t one of them.

By changing your approach you can overcome obstacles such as you have no time, energy or resources to do the thing you set out to achieve. If you made this change five years ago, imagine how different your life would be today. But it is never too late to adopt a new habit. 

If you like the ideas in the video but are struggling to make the changes ask me for a free exploratory session here.  Under the video is an outline transcript of what I say for anybody who prefers to read about why quitting isn’t an option. Being The Happiness guy is my full time vocation, please reach out if you want to find our more about the impact Life Coaching can make in your life.


Hi my name is Gordon McCrorie, I’m the Happiness Guy. In this video you might not notice that, because it’s about something that makes me really sad and I wonder if it something you do that makes you really sad too.

It’s to do with habits and it’s to do with the particular habit of giving up on yourself, quitting, giving up on stuff that is important to you, telling yourself stories such as you have no time, you don’t know how to, you have no energy, or you can’t afford to.

Whatever the stories are that you tell yourself that it is okay to quit on yourself, that has to stop! Quitting on yourself with things that really matter has to stop. There are a variety of reasons:


Let’s take identity and how you see yourself. If you quit on yourself and you keep doing that; what do you come to believe about yourself? I think you learn to be helpless. How you see yourself diminishes, you lose a sense of pride. You lose confidence, I’ve also got a blog where you can learn about loving your future self more here.

Without realising it, you can develop the identity of a person who just quits when it gets hard. You may not say it out loud but you might think it. Actually that’s not so different from being an all or nothing person. That’s someone who quits when it’s not going their way.


All or nothing sounds something to be proud of. But actually it’s more like:  Sometimes you are ‘all’ but often you are ‘nothing’ and then you are going the wrong way faster than when you are ‘all’

We simply can’t quit on ourselves. How does it make us feel when somebody else quits on us? Well quitting on yourself is worse because we have to live with ourselves every single day. So quitting on ourselves affects identity and it bleeds into confidence and energy and ultimately means we can’t trust ourself, let alone love ourself!


The other thing about quitting: When you are trying to do something the hardest part is always starting. If you are in a routine where you start, put in a bunch of effort, make some progress but something comes up and you stop, then you go back to the beginning and have to start again. Then you are faced with the hard work all over again. It’s sould destroying.

If you could develop a habit where you stayed the course just a little bit longer, the habit would become part of you and part of who you are. It wouldn’t be hard any more. Habits are automatic and good habits make life easy. 

The hard part is the starting. Starting requires the most energy and having the energy is often a limiting factor. So once you get started, don’t quit!


What you can do instead of quitting, is pause. You can retreat, take a rest, recharge then re-engage, as Jocko Willink talks about in his book Extreme Ownership.

You don’t have to stay in the fight (when you are battle worn) but you can’t quit either. So instead of quitting we need to get some simple rules around life. 

Let’s take something like exercise. I don’t have an option over whether I exercise if I want to feel fantastic. It’s not a question of will I or won’t I exercise. It’s more “Did I exercise yesterday and if the answer is no then I am going to exercise today.”


I have to exercise every second day as a bare minimum. I have minimum standards; that’s my identity nowadays. It wasn’t always but it is now. So what are you minimum standards?  Can you set up a really easy rule that you would want to stick to because it would be good for you?

So I exercise every day. That doesn’t mean that I beast it in the gym every day or every second day. But it does mean that exercise is not, not an option on those days. It could be gentle stretching; it’s typically not going for a walk – but it could be!  If you are not doing anything just now, going for a walk as exercise definitely counts. 

I don’t think you have the option to quit exercise but you have options and choices.  You have the option of how long to do it too. So if you are tired you don’t have an hour but you do need to do it, do it for less time.

As you do things with consistency over a certain number of days, that thing becomes the new habit. I have a video on this: “habits and jungles”

Like the jungle you have chopped away at, you started to form a habit but if you stop doing the habit the jungle starts to grow back. You only have to be away for a few days and the jungle is advancing.  After a few weeks it is as if you have never done it. So you need to stay in there. You need to keep performing the habit. Never quit or you will once again suffer the pain of starting again.


If you decide the thing you are doing is no longer for you (e.g. running), then you are allowed to change course and do something else (e.g. pilates). But you can’t just do nothing in the meantime. So keep doing what you are doing until you have  an alternative strategy and then you shift without a break from one to the other. But you don’t stop because you lose momentum. And it’s very easy when you lose momentum to just stop and do nothing.


So I hope this makes sense. Quitting on yourself is not an option but you can change course and you can retreat and recharge and recover and get back in the game. Imagine if 5 years ago you had stopped quitting on yourself and you never had to keep starting all over again. How different would your life be?

So that’s my thought. Stop quitting. Instead retreat – recharge and re-engage. Change course if necessary but never give up on yourself again.. In the things that matter, stay engaged and keep going. And if you need a little bit of help, ask for it. Don’t adopt the all or nothing approach! 

You matter, your life matters, and if you stay engaged it gets easy. Life gets easy when these things become habits. So stop giving up. You’re far more capable than you think.

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Gordon McCrorie

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