If you’re going to go for a worthy goal, you’re going to have to deal with setbacks, there’s just no way around it. If you achieve a goal without any, then chances are, you aimed too low.
This fact about setbacks isn’t something everyone is willing to accept and as a result, when one shows up, they quit.
For most people though, a few setbacks is expected but at the same time, most people can only handle a few before they too throw in the towel. According to some studies, only about 8% of those who set New Year resolutions actually achieve them.
Part of the problem is setting unrealistic deadlines. Any goal can be achieve if you have enough time but expecting way too much too soon will lead to major disappointments.
Another challenge is not anticipating and preparing for the inevitable setbacks that will arise. Challenges are going to show up and unless you’re mentally prepared for them and have a back up plan, you’re going to get caught off guard and that alone can kill your momentum and motivation.
Preparation is Key
With every goal, there are some predictable setbacks you can prepare for.
Let’s say your goal is to learn how to play tennis. As with almost all sports, when you first start out, you’re going to mess up, a lot. After a bit of practice though, you’re going to see a lot of improvements. Your progress will typically skyrocket.
Following this spike in improvement is usually the first major setback, the plateau.
The time and effort you put in used to give you X amount of results but now, the results are decreased. This is what causes most people to quit a new sport or instrument or anything they’re trying to get better at.
If you were unaware of this setback, experiencing it might cause frustration, leading you to stop your practice sessions. However, if you knew this in advance, you’d expect it and when it happens, you would be better able to handle the setback and continue to practice until you breakthrough the plateau.
1, 10, 100?
So the question is, how many setbacks will it take before you completely give up? Expecting setbacks to occur is one thing but actually experiencing them can be totally different.
You can expect to deal with a dozen setbacks or so what if you end up dealing with 20 or 50 or 100? What will you do then? Will you continue chasing your dream or will you quit?
The story of Colonel Sanders have been repeated many times. It’s the story of the difficulties he had when he first went out to convince restaurant owners to use his chicken recipe in exchange for a small cut of the profits. According to the story, he was rejected over 1,000 times before he got his first yes.
How many people would have given up after just 10 or 20 rejections? Most people would have surely reconsidered their plan of action after about the 100th rejection but that’s probably why there aren’t very many Colonel Sanders.
How Badly Do You Want to Succeed?
Failures are tough to handle, very tough. What’s even tougher is actually achieving your dreams or getting very close and then having it all taken away and having to start over.
It doesn’t matter how many failures you have because if you want to succeed bad enough, you’re going to keep going. Obviously, this assumes you have a solid plan and are doing the right things. If you don’t want to succeed badly enough, those setbacks will eventually force you to quit.
And when you quit, your dreams won’t become a reality.
Massive success isn’t for the faint of heart or those who care too much about what other people think of them or those who are afraid of hard work or those who don’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to succeed. Just because you want to succeed, it doesn’t mean will automatically have what it takes.
Success requires immense perseverance and hunger. It’s not something you’re born with but something you you acquire as your desire for your dreams strengthen. The more you want to succeed, the more perseverance you’ll have.
Accomplishing your dreams will involve a constant battle between wanting to quit and wanting to succeed. Most people simply don’t want their dreams bad enough. They may be interested in that ideal life but they don’t want it badly enough to do whatever it takes. For most people, their resolve is so weak that just a few failures can cause them to completely give up on their dreams and never try again.
What Are You Made Of?
Is your will too soft? Will you break at the first sign of struggle? Or, are you unbreakable, someone who has determined they will achieve the life they want or die trying?
There have been so many great people throughout history who got to where they are because of their unwillingness to give up. People like Abraham Lincoln who failed repeatedly but ended up being one of the most well-known presidents of the United States.
How many people could’ve been great had they just held on for a little bit longer. How many dreams have been buried because of a few minor setbacks?
Don’t waste your potential. You are a lot more capable then you think. Believe in yourself, especially when the results you’re getting aren’t what you want. It’s during those times of struggle that you most need to believe you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of.
So to answer the question, “How many setbacks until you quit?”, the answer is, “What a silly question, I will never quit no matter how many setbacks I face.”
The Don’t Quit poem: