There’s a bajillion motivational quotes out there for when you want to quit:
“When you want to give up, remember why you started.”
“How bad do you want it?”
“Stop wishing, start doing.”
“I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done.”
“The only bad workout is one that didn’t happen.”
And the list goes on with every variation possible.
But quitting isn’t a thing when referring to who you are. Quitting who you are is … dying? Or stealing someone else’s identity maybe? I’m not sure because it’s not really even a thing.
You can’t quit who you are.
So when you have days where you don’t feel like doing a workout, or you’re craving a slice of New York style cheesecake soooo badly and it’s all you’re thinking about – that’s also part of who you are. You’re human. And you’ll have better days than others. And you’re allowed to have both good days and bad days and not feel bad when you do.
But you still can’t quit who you are.
So when you’ve chosen to become the type of person who moves their body every day, you move your body every day whether it’s a good day or a bad day. You move just because the day of the week ends in “y” (hint – they ALL do). And if you miss a day like humans do sometimes, you make damn sure you’re not going to miss two days in a row. Because it’s not who you are.
Or when you’ve chosen to become the type of person who generally eats healthy food as a means to give your body what it needs, then that’s just what you do! And when (WHEN, not if) you allow yourself a cheat meal or you devour that slice of cheesecake in 2.5 bites, you enjoy the hell out of it! Because it’s a treat, it’s not your new norm. You didn’t quit being a healthy-for-the-most-part eater just from one piece of cheesecake.
Those things don’t mean you quit who you are.
Put Another Way
If you’re a parent, you don’t quit being a parent. Even on hard days when your kids have you at your wits end, you don’t quit being a parent – it’s who you are. And when your kids are grown and gone, you don’t stop being a parent, it’s still who you are.
If you’re an optimistic person, you don’t quit being an optimist when something bad happens. It’s usually when your optimist comes out the most. But if it doesn’t in that instance, it doesn’t mean you quit being who you are. It means you’re human. And next time something bad happens and you happily don those rose colored glasses, it’s because it’s who you are.
If you’re a coach or teacher, you don’t quit coaching/teaching just because you aren’t being paid to do so. When it’s in your heart and part of who you are, you teach your child or grandchild how to throw a baseball; you teach your cousin how to do math problems during holiday get togethers; you teach family recipes to whoever will help you stir (and let them lick the spoon). You don’t quit who you are.
If you’re a writer you don’t quit being a writer just because you don’t have a famous book or publication. You find poetry streaming through your thoughts on a beautiful winter day. Or you write letters to loved ones just to let them know you’re thinking of them. Or you journal to get your thoughts and stories on paper. Or you share your writing on social media where it’s there for anyone who stumbles upon it to find.
You don’t quit who you are. You can quit what you do, but you can’t quit who you are. So when you decide you’re the type of person that lives a healthy lifestyle, you can’t quit.
Motivation Isn’t The Key
Those motivational quotes at the beginning of this post, they’re great. And when you need an extra nudge, use them! But don’t rely on them to be who you are, rely on you to be who you are.
Motivation wears out after the new becomes the old and the shiny becomes dull. Knowing how to be you though? No one knows how to be you better than you do and that puts you in a unique position of being the absolute authority on being you.
So when it’s in your mind that you want to quit or you don’t want to do something, remember that you can’t quit who you are. You can change who you are, definitely, but you can’t quit, it’s just not a thing.
With every action you take and every decision you make you’re choosing the type of person you are. Because we do thousands of actions and make thousands of decisions per day, you get to choose thousands of times per day who you want to be. If your mind is telling you to quit or give up, your mind can also choose not to and instead make the choice to be who you want to be.
When you’re consistently choosing who you want to be, ‘voting’ thousands of times per day to be that person, it becomes who you are. And you just can’t quit who you are.