Hello Foundations Families and Friends,
For today’s growth mindset discussion, we will be exploring the following questions… Have you ever wondered why there are people who, regardless of the obstacles they face, often seem to persevere, while there are other people who often quit at the first sign of adversity? Is it possible to change from being a person whose default mode is to quit, and instead become a person whose default is to persevere through challenges?
To answer these questions, let’s discuss why we quit in the first place. Rajan Singh does an excellent job of explaining that the reason why we quit is because something about the situation we are facing has become painful, and we all prefer to avoid pain. That diet, that lesson, that sport, that relationship, that job, that task, that whatever, has reached a point where it no longer feels comfortable, and in order to persevere, we would be required to move forward through feelings that are very uncomfortable (and maybe even painful). Something critical that most of us don’t even realize is going on is that our response to those situations is actually programming our brain to respond to ALL challenging situations in a similar way.
I love this quote by Bear Bryant that says, “The first time you quit, it’s hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don’t even have to think about it.” Though he did not discuss the science behind his statement, there is actually a scientific reason why his quote is so accurate. When we experience feelings of discomfort and our response is to quit, we are actually creating neural pathways inside our brain that make quitting feel more and more comfortable to us. The more we quit challenging tasks, the stronger those neural pathways become, so that eventually quitting becomes our automatic response to discomfort.
But don’t let this news discourage you, because there’s hope! Just as the habit of quitting in the face of adversity produces neural pathways that work against us, we have the power to change our brain by creating new neural pathways that help us to develop the habit of perseverance. When we face a situation that feels hard, boring, scary, exhausting, draining, irritating, etc. and we feel like quitting, we can instead make the decision to allow our logical brain (as opposed to our feelings) make the decision about whether we will quit or not. We can say to ourselves, “this situation is hard and I feel like quitting, BUT what is best for me?” If the logical part of your brain is telling you that pushing through your feelings will produce growth and the long-term results you want, then you can choose to persevere, even though you don’t feel like it. And the more often you choose to persevere when you don’t feel like it, the more you build new neural pathways that make persevering through trials easier and easier to do. Since reaching our greatest potential and accomplishing goals requires persevering through failures and frustrations, it really is critical that we learn how to rewire our brain to quit the habit of quitting!
I love this quote!… “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” Napoleon Hill
For more on this topic and tips to help overcome the habit of quitting, check out the following video: How to Quit the Habit of Quitting (5 mins)
Have a wonderful Spring Break! : )