Why do I Give Up So Easily? (11 Reasons)

Are you wondering why you give up so easily?

If so, you’ve already taken the first step to not giving up so quickly because recognising the signs that you give up easily isn’t always simple.

Until you see it for what it is, it’ll be difficult to turn yourself into a badass I’m-not-giving-up-yet kind of person.

Giving up too easily often stems from underlying subconscious beliefs, and for the large part we may not even be aware of them. That was the case for me.

So if you’re someone who gives up easily and you’ve realised it, then you can change and learn how to not give up.

Yes, giving up easily is an acquired behaviour which you can switch for more persistence once you’ve recognised it.

Giving up easily isn’t something we’re born with. We create it (I know I did).

Feature image by the blowup on Unsplash

Ask Yourself: Why Do I Give Up Easily?

Ask the question, but don’t expect to know the answer immediately! It takes time and grit to get to the root of if.

Oftentimes we categorise ourselves and other people as being x, y, or z.

And we get so used to our characterisation that we don’t dig deeper to discover that we’re actually made up of the exact opposite of those categories too.

Discover Who You Are (at Least in Part)

Write down 3 adjectives that people would automatically associate with you. Don’t overthink it, just the first three that come to mind.

For me these might be, loyal, honest and kind for example.

Whatever adjectives you’ve written down, with no exceptions, the opposite is also true. So I am also disloyal, dishonest and unkind.

As much as it might sting, it’s true. You can’t be all of one thing and none of the other. It’s the yin and the yang.

But it’s liberating to know this and you can definitely use this to your advantage.

Back to me and my self-image, I always thought I was a positive person who wouldn’t easily give up.

Until the spotlight hit it.


I was a giver-upper after all. A pro at that.

Not just small time, but big time. In fact I retreated from almost all things uncomfortable.

Why hadn’t I noticed before?

As soon as life would usher some tricky issues my way, I would readjust my situation to find one that felt more at ease.

So eventually I asked myself the question, Why do I give up so easily?

(As with anything we speak about, I didn’t give up easily in all areas of life, just in some.)

When I recognised this giver-upper trait I was able to unravel my reasons, unwind my journey and reset a new approach.

And you can too.

And as much as I had thought that I was a tough-cookie who didn’t care what people thought of me, the opposite was true.

Yes, I did my life how I wanted to. But all the time, unbeknown to me, I believed that I needed external validation.

11 Reasons Why You Give Up Easily

There are so many different reasons why we give up easily and they won’t all resonate with you, so take your pick and choose the ones that do. If none of them resonate, spend some time meditating on the question and putting in some energy to discover why you give up so easily.

Then you’ll be able to change your script and shift your energy.

You’re a Perfectionist

Are you a perfectionist?

Do you believe you should be able to get things spot on right off the bat?

If so, the sensation of not doing so good at something may make you feel so uncomfortable that you throw in the towel well before the natural time has come.

Being a Perfectionist has positive and negative traits, but it tends to wipe out the messy grey area in between starting out and ‘getting there’. Perfectionism is usually focussed on the result rather than the journey.

If you’re a perfectionist, spend some time focussing on the importance of the journey and the vital mistakes along the way which can culminate in a perfect result. Once that’s a breeze, work on recognising that the result doesn’t need to be perfect to be valid.

You Feel Like a Failure When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Do you feel like a failure when things go wrong?

This is true for many of us. We feel inadequate. We messed up. That must mean we aren’t good enough.

Bullshit. Excuse the language but things are going to get messed up in life and we have to stop thinking we’re so almighty-important that everything’s our fault.

And even when it is our fault. Shit happens. I don’t mean we should switch over to the other extreme of not caring at all (like who cares, because shit happens, right?).

No, not that at all. Just the balance.

When you’re not doing so well at something and you feel like quitting, ask yourself first: am I blaming myself? And if I am to blame in some way, why don’t I work on finding a little step towards the solution?

Do you consciously accept that it’s 100% inevitable and essential that some things will have to go wrong on every single journey to success?

When you stop and think about it, when you know that you have to mess up sometimes, then you won’t have to quit as soon as the going gets tough.

Of course it’s uncomfortable. Of course we don’t enjoy the moment. But it doesn’t define who we are and it doesn’t make us a failure.

Sometimes regular alcohol drinking can create a bigger anxiety and undermine our self confidence. If that sounds like a possible reason, consider changing your relationship with alcohol.

You Haven’t Recognised that Success is Built on Failures

Linked to the point above, it’s impossible to be successful at something at not have experienced ‘failures’ on the journey (they aren’t really failures, but they could be labelled as failures when you’re going through them).

You might argue and say, I passed my exams with top marks without any failure!

But along the way, while you were preparing for those exams, there were years of studying and doing homework. And at some point there were tiny failures along the way, like a lower mark on a particular homework assignment for example. I say tiny because they look tiny to you now that you’ve passed your exams. At the time the probably didn’t look so tiny.

When we’re in school the responsibility’s taken away from us so we march on without question.

Think about it, when somebody’s studying to become doctor, they don’t have to get the heebie-jeebies worrying about whether they look stupid – What if I never get a job as a doctor? Won’t I look stupid for dedicating all these years and money to this study?

No, we don’t question it because we’ve been taught that that’s what we have to do. When you’re launching a new business effort though, or locking yourself in your study to write your novel about the colour of sand, then suddenly you’re up against an entirely different response.

Now you should be ‘behaving’ more responsible by going to work in a job you maybe hate. You have to fail to succeed. Embrace the failures along the way.

See yourself as being on a tram line and the direction of the tram is to your chosen goal. What happens between here and there is irrelevant. It may take longer than you planned but just see it as a part of the journey.

Without failure there can be no success.

You Subconsciously Believe it Should Be Easy

Yes, I’m super familiar with this one. If it’s meant to be, it will run smoothly right?

Yes and no.

I fully believe that when things are meant to be they run smoothly, but sometimes, it isn’t because there aren’t any obstacles but rather because you’re so in the flow you can glide over the obstacles, knowing in your heart that this is right for you.

So instead of looking at the hurdles and deciding to give up, reframe how you see the situation and check out in your heart whether this is really the path you’re supposed to be travelling.

When things are meant to be, they flow. But you still have to do your part.

Put in the work. Give the sweat.

It Isn’t Really What You Want to Do

It’s easy to give up if you’re trying to fit yourself into a characterisation that isn’t really you.

Sometimes we do things because of peer pressure. Sometimes we even think we like something when really it’s just all the hype around it that got us hooked.

Sometimes we need to accept that this isn’t actually right for us.

Do you chase after tinsel and jump into situations that don’t resonate, which then makes you give up?

Giving up easily may be a sign that you’re chasing the wrong dreams. Check it out just in case.

You Expect Too Much of Yourself

Setting the bar too high invites disappointment.

Disappointment fuels the desire to give up.

When you have unrealistic expectations of yourself, you’re setting yourself up for not reaching your potential. And if you keep not reaching your potential, you’re more likely to give up.

Readjust your expectations and take things bit by bit, step by step. Set yourself tasks that you can realistically achieve.

You’ve Become Addicted to Short-Term Happiness

If you’ve become addicted to short term happiness it makes it difficult to plough through the icky muck of problems because the desire to switch of and grab your mobile will be pulling you away.

It’s so easy in today’s world of instant gratification to get addicted to an instant fix.

Scroll through the videos on Instagram, watch a movie on your mobile or whatever. They’re all available instantly at our fingertips.

So what can you do when you hit a tricky moment? Allocated yourself certain times of the day when you will be free from your chosen devices. Build it up slowly until you’ve reduced your screen time to evenings and weekends for example.

You’re Seeking External Validation

What will people think of you, right?

You’re hungry for someone to say ‘Yes, you can do it! I believe in you!’

But instead you hear silence and doubts and difficulties.

And deep inside, you have a need for someone to give you some value and to tell you just how great you really are. But you are. Even without the encouragement.

We have to learn to be our own cheer-leaders.

If you’re filled with self-doubt, you won’t dare to put yourself out there for possible ridicule.

The truth is, there is no ridicule. But you need to be made to feel safe by other people and when that doesn’t happen, you give up.

You Haven’t Defined Your Journey

Maybe you haven’t actually given much thought to what your journey might look like. Living in the moment is fine, but sometimes looking at the bigger picture can help to fuel you through the difficult times.

If you don’t make plans or set goals this could be a reason why you are giving up so easily.

Now I’m not a huge fan of setting fixed goals because I think they can set you up for disappointment and they take the importance away from the journey. But some kind of understanding of the direction you’re travelling is essential.

Goals without too many restrictions for example. The next station-stop. That’s a great goal. Where is your next station-stop?

You’re Relying on Pure Motivation

If you really want to make progress with something, you will need more than just motivation to make the progress necessary. Motivation’s fine, but you can’t expect it to be available to you 24/7, whereas if you make a plan, you can use self-discipline to get yourself on track on the days when your motivation is low.

Create some structure and make some decisions about how much time you’re going to dedicate to each project.

You Don’t Believe in Yourself

If you (subconsciously) don’t think you’re worth of great things, you’ll sabotage your results every time. Maybe you were constantly made to feel inadequate as a child or maybe you’ve had some tough life experiences which helped you to create a negative story about your qualities.

Loving yourself and believing in yourself is the most powerful first step to not giving up.

Inspirational Video by Stan Lee – Never Give UP

You Can Do Anything (if it Resonates with You)

Once you understand the mechanism in place which is causing you to give up easily, you can change it.

It will take time and patience but by flipping your subconscious beliefs, you can gradually grow into a more positive, resilient person who doesn’t give up easily.

And you can achieve your goals.

Believe in yourself and know that you’ve got this!

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