Why you give up easily in the face of challenges (it’s not what you think)

give up easily
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

If you’ve read books or articles on why you give up easily, you’re likely to find the usual suspects. You’re weak, you lack discipline, or you need to believe in yourself more.

In other words, it’s all your fault.

I’m here to pose another possibility. One that ventures to say it’s not your fault entirely that you’ve yet to achieve everything you want in life.

What if there are real obstacles against you that have nothing to do with laziness or lack of inner strength?

Because many people we consider successful would wither in the face of what you’ve had to endure.

Here are three more likely reasons you give up easily in the face of life’s challenges. Thank goodness they’re not immutable. But neither are they all your fault.

1. Personality type

It’s no secret the world rewards certain personalities more than others. Introverts, for example, know how difficult it can be to navigate a world custom-made for extroverts.

That’s not to say introverts aren’t successful. But they have more barriers to overcome and are less represented at top levels of companies.

On the other side, extroverts suffer because they tend to need more rewards to stay interested in a project. While introverts find it easier to stick with something even if no reward comes until the end.

Type A personalities are more determined and driven than Type Bs. This gives them an obvious advantage when going after a goal.

Type Bs, by virtue of their less competitive natures, might appear to give up easily. In reality, they are choosing self care since conflict feels so bad to them.

2. Childhood trauma

If you had a rough road in childhood, those trials don’t stay in the past where they belong. They travel with you throughout life building obstacles to success.

Childhood trauma creates problems staying focused and on task later in life. Victims of childhood abuse and neglect develop huge gaps in their sense of self and personal competence.

If you’ve never been encouraged or given guidance, it’s very difficult to map out a plan for your life.

If you've never been encouraged or given guidance, it's very difficult to map out a plan for your life. Click To Tweet

If you were made to feel like you didn’t matter or were a burden, that will result in a sense of unworthiness that hinders getting what you want.

If you grew up in dangerous circumstances, your resources will go into surviving real and perceived threats. Even when those threats are long over.

When all your energy and strength have gone into survival, it’s not your fault you have little left over to realize your dreams. If you can even discern what those might be.

3. Family dynamics

Even if your home was safe, your parents may have never encouraged you to persevere in the face of challenges.

They let you quit whenever you wanted, so you learned if you don’t like something you can stop doing it. You’ve been conditioned to give up easily.

While it’s sometimes wise to drop things we don’t enjoy, it’s also important to fulfill commitments and push through the unpleasant middle to obtain the end reward.

Some parents neglect to help their children develop daily disciplines. Habits which are essential to success.

As a result, the child grows up without realizing the importance of mundane tasks to overall life satisfaction. So she never takes steps to cultivate them.

Often these obstacles to success are subconscious and we struggle to understand why we’re not getting what we want.

Often obstacles to success are subconscious and we struggle to understand why we're not getting what we want. Click To Tweet

It takes more than behavior modification or following a few steps to overcome a lifetime of imprinting. Instead, the first key is to acknowledge your true barriers to success.

Let go of the shame and guilt and invest time in understanding yourself. I recommend reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., which offers hope for reclaiming your life.

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