Are You Ready to Quit? Ask Three Questions First

Note: This is a guest post by Nicki Koziarz. Nicki is an author and speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries. Visit 5habitsbook.com to learn more about her best-selling book, 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.

Hi, I’m Nicki, and I’m an expert quitter! You read that right. I’ve quit pretty much everything at some point in my life. From dreams to workout programs, the list is endless.

3 Questions To Consider Before You Quit

And if you need to know how to quit something, come see me. I can help you find the perfect way out.

Eventually, though, I got sick of being “her,” a woman who gave up so easily. Because who wants to be known as a quitter?

So, I’ve done a lot of self-reflection the past few years. And I found out I wasn’t the only one quitting. After taking a poll of my blog readers, I discovered a common thread. My readers said their number one struggle was falling into the same cycle of defeat over and over.

This isn’t something only my blog readers struggle with. Andy Stanley once said that 90% of people who feel led to do “something significant” may start it but never see it all the way through to completion. Whether we want to admit it or not, quitting is something our culture is struggling with.

Tools to help you keep on going

There’s no perfect rhythm or formula for overcoming this constant opposition in our lives, but I’ve found some helpful tools to keep me going. And today I want to share three questions that are helping me overcome giving in to the temptation to give up.

1. Is it time to quit this or is it time to finish it?

There’s a difference between quitting something and finishing something. We should quit things like unhealthy relationships, bad habits, or things that are not making our souls well. But maybe the desire to give up on an assignment is more of a need to finish it?

Evaluate whether your assignment has a finish line or if it’s something you’re going to have to keep working through. Also, seeking a trusted friend’s opinion on your decision and perspective can be incredibly helpful.

2. Am I looking for an easy button?

I have found most people want to give up because it just gets hard. And I totally get this. I’ve often wondered why it’s so hard and complicated to fulfill the things we were created to do. Shouldn’t it be easy?

Well, one of the things I love about the Bible is that it never tells us this life will be easy, but it does say with God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26).

I don’t fully understand the strength of God, but I know it meets me when I feel the weakest. So sometimes it means I have to let my soul go through some hard places. And hard places aren’t fun, but they are the places our character has the most potential to develop.

3. Is there one more step?

A wise scholar once defined perseverance as, “A long obedience in the same direction.” Maybe there’s one more step in the right direction you need to take before you follow through with your desire to take a detour.

What if it’s just one more workout to push you past the plateau or one more time to pitch your book idea? I don’t want to be laying in a bed of “what if’s” at the end of my life. So consider if you’ve exhausted every option before you throw in the towel.

You are not defined by what you quit

Quitting isn’t really my story or yours. It’s a blog post, it’s a chapter in a book, but it’s not who we are. Within each of us is a spirit of perseverance. We want to finish. Some of us just may need to dust that spirit off a little more than others. And if that’s where you find yourself today, it’s ok. Me too.

But let’s not stay there. Let’s mix our footwork with our faith and see these mountains in our lives start to move.

Keep these three questions close by and the next time you’re ready to give “it” up, take a moment to ask them and consider their answer.

What is something you have recently given up on but believe you shouldn’t have quit? How can you get back on track? Share in the comments.

Nicki Koziarz is an author and speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries. Visit 5habitsbook.com to learn more about her new best-selling book, “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit.”

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69 thoughts on “Are You Ready to Quit? Ask Three Questions First

  1. Hey there! Right now, something big for me that I quit and need to get back into is working out. I recently returned from serving 3 months in Madagascar on the mission field. I often tell others I am a professional “justifier”. I can justify anything at any time! When I was in Madagascar, it was easy to justify not working out. I was tired. Life was hard. My schedule was very unstructured. I have been home for about a month and the justifying continues. It is so odd that I justify working out when I know how good I feel and sleep when I work out. So, I have signed up for an obstacle run to help motivate me to get back into the rhythm of working out! Thanks for the post!

    1. Look at you! That’s amazing Holly! I’m a justifier too … seriously. That’s a good way to describe quitting! Super proud of you and cheering you on as you get ready for the obstacle run.

  2. Hey there!!
    March 3, 2016 I quit my part time job that I enjoyed doing all because of a VERY stressful situation with no teamwork at the work place. I had been considering it for 4-5 months but wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do.. I felt I was not appreciated, talked down to some days by my co workers, I stayed because it worked for me as far as hours and I loved whst i was doing. I worked in the front office at an Optometry clinic. I had become unhappy and didn’t want to go to work for about two months.. So I started looking for something else. I got another job that ended up not working out. I have been putting in resumes since trying to get back to doing what I love and hoping to find something that would fit me well in that area. I have not found anything yet (I have went to interviews).. I’ve been down on myself and feeling like I will never find anything now. I’ve started to let go a little because I’m worrying too much..Im a worrier! I’m working on that though 🙂 I honestly thought it was the right time to change jobs .. I feel like I can’t make it right, but hoping I will find better soon. Please pray for me on this situation. Thank you:)

  3. Where is the easy button? It is shown in commercials. It seems like I can see it in other people’s lives. Why can I not find the easy button in my life? There are so many things I know I need to do, but I just end up not doing any of them. May I just take that first step.

    1. That’s often why it’s so helpful to succeed at something simply for the experience of succeeding at it (take exercise, for example). Sometimes the gratification we feel when we accomplish something difficult gives us the momentum we need to keep moving forward in other areas of our lives. 🙂

  4. Wow… God is so quick to give us confirmation when we are willing to listen. Question #1 is freakibg me out. My 16 year old and I have been praying for my older daughter to reunite with us. My husband abandoned us all and my older daughter didn’t take that well and chose a different path that essentially caused her to abandon us and life. God brought her a little closer yesterday and I said told my 16 year old that we can’t stop praying now, we can’t stop being obedient just because God answers our prayers, he still has work to do. He faithfully hears our prayers and we need to faithfully praise him.
    It’s never over, we can never stop

    1. Brooke, wow. What a journey you are on! For sure there are times to move past unhealthy things/people for our lives but if God is showing you to press on, then keep going. What an amazing example you are to your daughter. xoxo

  5. Thanks for the firm but gracious challenge in this post! 🙂 I need to return to writing. Not because it’s a source of income for me. It’s definitely not. I need to return to writing because it’s like an itch that won’t go away. Sadly, it can be hard to pursue something when it’s not a necessity for survival. I don’t write for a paycheck, I write for the sheer enjoyment of it. Which means I will need extra discipline to persist! 🙂

    1. Ryan, you write for the right reasons!! Scratch that itch friend. There’s great words that need to flow through your fingers.

  6. I want the easy button, the magic pill, etc.. So I never have to diet again! I know I can never control my weight/health issues without God and I do great for a while. Then I host a pity party for myself and the bad habits come back like old friends. I need to remember this is a journey to stay closer to God and remain dependent on Him for all of my needs; not food.

    1. Yes, it’s a process! Press on friend. Don’t give up. Celebrate the small victories each day.

  7. Many times we quit because we are not seeing the “instant results” that we expect. My husband, who is recovering from major damage to his spinal cord, continually says he is going to quit physical therapy. He will say “it isn’t helping, he is not seeing results, or he is not at the level that he expects to be”. What he is not taking into consideration is the damage that occurred to his spinal cord and how the spinal cord is having to go through an entire renewal process. My husband knows this because he is a strength trainer. He knows the human body and knows how long it takes for something like this to repair. He went from being in a wheelchair, to surgery and now on a walker. I think that is a major improvement and we tend to forget where we came from and what it took to get to where we want to be. I am not saying re-live the past, but don’t forget where you have been but keep focusing on the future. I am guilty of quitting way before I see results. I recognized this at a point in my life. I went back to college when I was 45. I wanted to quit so many times and I was reminded through this process that I quit when I was 18, I am seeing this through even if I have to have a tantrum fit or just take a break and rest to regain the strength to see it through. It paid off and I even went further and obtained my Master’s degree! I could not have done this on my own though, I constantly relied on God’s strength to get me through. He even allowed me to through these fits and get it out of system to help me focus and do even better than I expected!

    1. Wow Debroah! What a story God is writing in and through you guys. Yes! Don’t forget how much has already been done, that’s a powerful thought.

  8. I always quit before I even ‘start’ on big projects! I will daydream and plan and write notes and then talk myself out of it with so many negative thoughts…if I even think a tiny bit that I will fail, I don’t do it. This leaves me heartbroken.

    1. Jenn, I hear you and I know all to well this struggle with thinking negative over ourselves. Start with something small, give yourself a pat on the back for something you did! Hey, I even think a high-five is in order for you leaving this comment today. Bravery starts with authenticity.

  9. I definitely want the easy button! Hard parenting has made me quit making healthy choices for myself. Time to get back up and start again! Thanks for this!

    1. Parenting will make you want to toss the towel a time or two!! 🙂 Today is a good day to pick back up, for me too!

  10. If only there were an easy button!! But it’s likely best that there isn’t because then we’d never learn the lessons that usually accompany the lack of the easy button.

  11. I have always dreamed of starting my own business. I have a passion for helping people so I went into nursing but my husband is military and we have small children so it makes it hard to work. But my passion to help is still so strong. I have started and quit becoming a health coach and helping people have the healthiest lifestyle they can a lot. After reading your book and a lot of prayer I have started again and I’m not quitting this time. I’m finally pursuing my dream to be my own boss!!!

  12. I’d like to write a book -a book about my experience dealing with the recent death of both my parents (they both died from cancer, different types). The struggles, the “twilight zone moments”, etc. I have not given up on it – I just need to get started and find a way to make it happen. I identify with question #1.

  13. “A long obedience in the same direction”! Priceless! I stopped my monthly chiropractic appointments. Not a true ‘quit’ I just didn’t have the money each month. I have realized how important these appointments are for my spine health and I’ve rearranged my monthly monies/found a new practitioner and I’m back on track! I think of Ruth and your book often and KNOW I am more determined to NOT QUIT!

  14. LOVE seeing Nicki here today! #5HabitsBook is such a great read for writers (need to go back and re-read it now from that perspective myself) 🙂

  15. I quit quitting sugar every day this week. Last week, I did a great job. To the extent of losing 7 pounds. This week, I gave up ONCE and used that as my excuse to eat terribly every day this week. It’s pathetic, and I know it, and I’m ashamed. I’ve got to get back in the mindset that one mistake doesn’t dictate my life and one mistake shouldn’t be an excuse for further mistakes. I want the easy button, I want it to be easy and done and I don’t want to have to try or think about it, even though I know that’s not the right way.

  16. My issue is that I have to take trainings on what I want but when it comes to actually doin it, well….lets just say there is always a reason not to do it. I am at that stage right now where I need to stop listening to everyone, follow God and get on with it. I am going to do it this time because I am being refined.

  17. I’ve not given up, though I’ve been tempted, especially when I saw one rejection turn into two. But writing isn’t an easy assignment. And a call is worth more than the easy way out. Thanks for the encouragement, Nicki and Jeff! : )

  18. I’ve been quitting since I was a young girl….habits formed can be broken and that’s what I’ve been working on. One thing at a time!

  19. Working out. It may seem like just another weight loss goal hut it’s bigger for me. I’m a new mom with low back issues. Working out and strength training are so important to my body right now so with my little girl as motivation I’m going to keep trying!

  20. I recently started back to working out and I feel great! Now I need to get back to writing. I seem to start other things so I don’t have to focus on writing….keep quitting/putting it off.

  21. I really have to ask myself “Am I looking for an easy button?” 8 times out of 10 this is the reason I want to quit–because it is hard. My nutrition is the one area I really tend to quit on. I tell myself I “deserve” a sweet treat after a hard day or think I can do it “just this one time.” But I’m over it! Thanks, Nicki!

  22. I was on track to read through my bible again this year and somehow fell off the wagon last month. I just need to make it a priority.

  23. Studying for my boards has been difficult and seemingly fruitless. I feel like I am going to fail somedays when I feel like I’m studying for hours on end and not seeing ANYTHING good come out of it. It is definitely something that I need to finish in order to get my dream job, but sometimes I want to quit because it’s just not easy and I’m not seeing results. Hopefully though, getting more organized with it and setting a better routine for studying will be that “next step” I need.

  24. I have quit….given up on a friendship. My attempts at reaching out have been unsuccessful.

  25. I struggle to keep on the healing journey…every time I think I should quit I see a direct reminder for God to keep going…

  26. I accepted a 30 day cleanse challenge with no set guidelines. I was to pray about it and devote to it. Around day 18 I realized I hadn’t done what I’d committed to since day 12. It took a quick text to my good friend to remind me that all I needed to do was pick up and move forward. Sometimes it’s just as simple as having an accountability partner

  27. I am an idea person. I can come up with some great ideas, implement, but don’t see them through to the end. And I think that’s because I don’t know what the end looks like. Maybe implementation was the end, and to give it over to someone else. So I think, is there one more step is a place I need to focus. Sometimes I might need to take one more step, and then another, and another, to see something through to the end.

  28. Easy button all the way! I struggled with this growing up, thought I was past it, but it masked itself under different excuses. Now I have no more excuses. Time to work through this!

  29. Am I looking for an easy button?? This would be it for me..regarding my nutrition if it’s hard I don’t want to do it is what my brain tells me

  30. Where’s that “Easy Button”? I grew up in an era when tablets were a spiral notebook, and phones had cords. Now, at almost 52, (ouch), I am juggling the ventures of starting up 2 new businesses, both of which I know are God ordained. But all this online correspondence just makes a girl want to “give up”. But I am intrigued with myself … I am doing things that I thought I could never do. Glory be to God!

  31. I relate with them all, but the one that I relate with the most is Am I looking for an easy button? I always start things and am fine during the easy parts, but once it gets difficult I quickly back out. I think I do this because I try to do it ON MY OWN, instead of letting God lead me through it. The scripture used, Matthew 19:26 is so perfect for this question/issue. With God all things are possible…I need to remember the next time I try to quit something! God bless you all!

  32. The one that hits me most is Am I Looking for the Easy Button. Sometimes you just have to grinding away and get it done.

  33. Nicki,

    In a world where not everything is black and white, right and wrong. These are certainly questions you need to ponder before hard decisions (like quitting your job, or creative project).

    What have I given up recently and regretted? It’s not related to my work, but I had lost contact with a close friend when things get rough. Your 2nd and 3rd questions helped me ponder that particular decision, and I truly regret it.

    Cheers,
    Anh

  34. perseverance ~ “A long obedience in the same direction.” I like this quote I need to remember this …

  35. Nikki,
    To be honest, I want things to be easy! I don’t want to experience difficulty or refining moments in my life. I kick,scream and have pity party when things don’t go my way. I allow the difficulties of my challenges to to discourage me because I view them as to hard.
    I started studying for my CPA last year and I failed terribly. I was so discouraged and heart broken! I have not pick up my book since. However, in my heart, I did not want to later feel like I quit to soon or I did not push my way through. I started praying for God to help me and give me the courage to push, when I do not feel like it. He did just that!! I am determine to finish strong!! I am determine to persevere!! I am determine!!! Plus, your booked encouraged me as well.

  36. I really struggle between questions one and two…. it’s not so much the easy button as it is the “fear” button. I actually become afraid in the process…. and of the outcome. Sometimes I even fear the change of a good outcome. You can imagine the prayers going on in my head over this!!

  37. I need to finish. I have a pattern of starting things and never finishing or finishing months/years later. I definitely quit when it gets hard and I’ll do a hundred other things to prevent myself from finishing. I stopped my daily Bible studies and reading for pleasure. My job just takes so much out of me that I get home and just sleep. I’m trying to balance but some days it gets the best of me. I have a break this summer and I’m going to try to build routines and follow through on what I’ve started.

  38. I quit something about 3 years ago and after reading this book, i come to realize that I shouldn’t have quit. Now I struggle with how to start over.

  39. “Is there one more step?” While I never advocate quitting for myself or my kids. If they had a dime for every time I’ve said, “We don’t quit in this family!” they’d be paying for college themselves! However, sometimes I think it might be time to quit something. Fear can hold us back from not only finishing something important but from knowing when to quit something that isn’t working or is damaging. So much assessment needs to be taken before we change course in life. I pray that fear will not hold any of us back from making changes or having the strength to forge on. There is no fear in FAITH! I need to be reminded that God is directing me (and you) to “finish” the good race!

  40. Oh my gosh! I identify with your whole list in chapter 1! I’m in a study group now reading the book. Love it!

  41. Wow, I really identify with the ‘is it time to quit this or finish this’ question. I never looked at things in this perspective…for example; I tend to want to ‘finish’ things; I do not like unresolved issues of any sort and I believe that is something God is working with me on right now. Sometimes I just need to ‘let it go’ and not find a solution or need to know all the details. I don’t like the idea of quitting things, but I also am learning that somethings will be left unfinished, with loose ends and I need to be okay with that. Thanks for the tips! 🙂

  42. Is there one more step? Have you exhausted all of the options that stand before you? This resonates with me as I’ve steadily been working towards obtaining a literary agent and now (3 years, and 3 projects later) we have “the book” we’re polishing up to set before the eyes of those in publishing houses. I’m also running a “failing” Kick-starter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/9941948/the-letter-i-wrote-before-i-died but know with faith as small as a mustard seed mountains can be moved; rather than quit, and give up, I’ll choose to pray and move forward. If I fail I fail forward knowing that all can be chalked up as a learning experience and failure can be build upon to reach a successful conclusion: https://mompro.com/blogs/news/118473732-failing-forward. Thank you, Jeff, for including Nicki as a guest on your blog and thank you, Nicki, for this post that’s filled with good, brave words of real-life experience (lived by you) that can pull all of us higher who have been, or currently are, in similar patterns of quitting before fulfilling the true potential of those things we’ve been called by God to do.

  43. I have had a very stressful year at my workplace. I have been thrown under the bus and passed over for a promotion that I was confident that I had. I wanted to quit and still do. However, I feel that I’m not finished. I need to carry on before I take a “detour.” I’m going to persevere and pray.

  44. Am I looking for an easy button…. Too many times in life things get hard, they get uncomfortable for me and I am ready to drop all and run in the opposite direction! I know God is working on this in my life lately. He is teaching me about perseverance and when we persevere we build character! Which in turn gives us hope. Romans 5: 3-5 tells us that and I will cling to these verses. I have some big things ahead and I know that God put this blog in my life to speak deeper to me! Don’t quit! Don’t give up! Persevere!!!

  45. Quit was my middle name-I ‘ve come along way baby! is the expression I picked up a few years ago-then I come to know the Lord-begin too read the Bible then started to attend church. And then this would be the place that the spirit of a quitter would rule, see I had a at home Bible study it was growing, people were being saved and blessed, but I stopped having them, for all the wrong reasons, I thought I was not old enough, I didn’t know as much as the much older women who were apart of our Bible study, people just intimated me, fear set in, then came bondage to the grip of fear-anxiety down spiral. But God through the years placed me back where I see. By continuing. Hope and trust are like twins they go hand and hand. t.

  46. “Am I looking for an easy button?”…absolutely!! Especially in the area of disciplining my body to eat healthy and exercise. I work out hard, but because I won’t say “no!” to the plate of brownies (or anything sweet and pastry-like)…I may tone up a little over time, but I cannot shake those unwanted pounds. The cycle of “I’ll do better and start fresh today” quickly followed by another round of defeat is exhausting and discouraging! I love Galatians 6:9, and although it’s not referring to exercise, I believe the “don’t give up and reap a harvest” principle still applies…it just takes perseverance and TIME. By God’s grace and with His help, I am continuing on and not giving up…victory may not come tomorrow, but it’s coming…I believe it by faith…there are no “easy” buttons.

    1. Working out to counteract a plate of brownies is like filling a car up with premium gasoline after you just backed into something. Premium gas is good but it’s not going to fix your bumper. Once the damage is done, you can’t add something else to remove it.

  47. Totally putting the finishing touches on an article entitled “winners often quit.” Appreciate this post!!

  48. An easy button? As if LOL I have often looked for the easy way and I have quit many times without it. But I’ve also struggled through many hard ways. I have completed many tasks I have quit that many more but I’m still working at it. If it wasn’t for God I would have quit far more things

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