stop quitting

inspiring quote

We all have the tendency to be quitters. We quit when things get hard, quit when we don’t feel like it, quit when there’s opposition, and quit because it’s Tuesday. But why do we quit?

Sometimes it’s because we allow people’s words to make us feel like we don’t have what it takes. Like we’re idiots for trying.

Do you want to know the truth about why I stopped blogging  in 2014? Sure, I’ve been busy growing a human and learning to be a new mama—but that’s only part of the story.

Someone told me my writing wasn’t good enough. I was told my words didn’t matter; I was just another writer in a world of much better writers. Sure, I’ve experienced criticism before—but this time I let it get to me because it was someone I trusted.

The worst part wasn’t what was said about my writing. The worst part was I believed the words.

On the surface, I could have told you that I wasn’t afraid of criticism and knew I was following God’s greatest call on my life—but underneath my tough exterior, the words started to chip away at my confidence. So I stopped writing. In essence, I retreated to my bedroom and turned off the lights. No one would see me or criticize me in there. Shame had her way with my heart. She debilitated my desire to keep telling my stories to let people like you know you are not, and never will be, in this alone.

I should be writing.

Every time this thought would come, I’d push it away with excuses. I’m pregnant. It’s a busy season at work. I need to spend more time with Michael. I need to clean the house. I’m a new mom. You have your own set of excuses for why you are quitting.

In 2010, Michael and I sat on my grandmother’s couch and after much prayer and discussion, discovered that no matter what direction my life and career took—I’d always be a writer. Over the last year, I believed that conversation was a mistake.  I felt I was just a mediocre writer in a world of much better writers–and therefore should quit.

But then I read beautiful articles like Stop sleeping with liars:

Stop waiting for someone to come along and tell you that you can do something. You can. It’s already within you. You’re getting lapped by the people who never waited on approval. Hustle. It’s a real thing. This is your tough love siren going off in the distance: if you want it, step up. Stop telling yourself weak stories and just step up.

Stop waiting for someone to come along and tell you’re brave and capable and ready and here. Sometimes people will tell us those things. Sometimes they won’t. Proceed believing in them anyway. You’re brave. You’re capable. You’re ready. You’re here. Do something about it.

As Hannah Brencher encourages, I’m going to stop sleeping with liars. I’m going to stop believing that I don’t have what it takes, that I’m not good enough, that I need someone to be my cheerleader before I can do what I know I was born to do. I’m going to step up. I’m going to stop quitting.

I’m guessing you have something like this in your life, too. After all, it is February when most people quit what they resolved just 30 days earlier.

We all have things we were born to do. For you it may be writing or mothering or leading a company. There will always be someone better, or more capable—but I really don’t think that truth holds an ounce of weight in what we were born to do. The thing we must do.

And because it’s worth repeating: “You’re brave. You’re capable. You’re ready. You’re here. Do something about it.”

What do you need to stop quitting?  Will you step up with me?

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Comments
21 Responses to “stop quitting”
  1. Alexis says:

    I’ve always thought you are a good writer, Ruthie Dean! :)

  2. Emily says:

    Ruthie, your writing has spoken to my 21-year-old sometimes broken, sometimes confused, sometimes joyful heart. I have appreciated it so deeply over the past few years. Keep writing.

  3. alli says:

    thank you.

  4. mark says:

    Welcome back! Excellent post. I’m glad you made the choice to always be a writer. You have important things to say and I’m happy you decided to keep saying them. I don’t remember who said it but I read once that whatever it is we are doing we all want to quit it about every six months. At those times, we just need to remember we don’t have to quit. I’ve found this to be true for me. Whether it’s writing or pastoring or lawyering or loving, I feel like quitting them all periodically. But, the feeling always passes eventually. Now that I know this, it’s easier to ride out the wave. Keep up the good work. People need to hear what you have to say.

  5. julia. says:

    hi ruthie,
    normally i’m a quiet reader of your blog (i’m from germany) – i’ve never left a comment before. but today i am going to. because i just wanted to let you know that i read and love every single word and blogpost from you. because your words are more than just words: they inspire and reassure me to do what i love.. to follow and share my passion with others. your words give me positive thoughts for my life and for those who i love. because of your brave heart and incredible passion your words are getting a beautiful blessing for my life. and i’m sure for many many others :)
    please keep up and never stop doing what you love! —
    photography is my passion. i’m currently building up my business as a professional wedding photographer. and i know all of your struggles and fears so well.. there will always be people who can’t understand why you have to write and who don’t see your big talent and heart for others. and in fact they don’t see you. and they can’t even see what your words can do all over the world :) i hope my words encourages you and tell you that you are someone special and so blessed with an amazing talent. (sorry for my bad english, hope you understand what i mean :D)
    lots of love, julia.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi Julia! Thank you for your encouragement. It means so much! All the best to your wedding photography business. Keep pushing forward!

  6. Mickey says:

    Ruthie:

    I’ve always enjoyed your posts, even if I did not always agree. You are an excellent writer, and don’t let anyone tell you different!!!

    For future reference: the next time someone criticizes your writing prowess, just asked them if THEY have ever written anything. I guarantee that will shut them up.

    Hope that helps.

  7. Patti says:

    Ruthie,

    I’ve missed your posts! Welcome back and thank-you!
    Blessings!

  8. Audrey says:

    I love your blog posts and also your book Real Men Don’t Text. As a new writer and an aspiring photographer, I know your discouragement SO well. It is SO easy to be discouraged and let shame tell us we should stop doing what we’re doing. After all, being a writer is a very vulnerable thing. Open to attack and criticism from anyone at any time. Same with photography! Or any form of creative self expressive. I continually battle discouraging thoughts that tell me to stop doing what I’m doing. But I am going to press on, and please do the same! Your posts help others.

  9. Therese says:

    Hi Ruthie,

    I would just like you to know that your writing is very encouraging. Please continue to share your voice with us, we are listening. Pray for the person who had discouraged you whether it was non-intentional. As others have said they may not understand the reach, impact and the relevance of your ministry. Thank you for all your posts and I look forward for you writing some more, as you keep pushing on….all way from one of your subscribers in Barbados!

    Therese

  10. Summer says:

    Ruthie, I’ve wondered why I hadn’t seen much writing by you in recent months!! You are a very talented writer – not only in putting sentences together but in writing beautifully & touching women’s hearts (& men’s I’m sure). I’m sorry someone discouraged you, but I’m SO glad you are gathering up your courage to do what “you were born to do”. You really are gifted. Please keep at it. I read just about every one of your posts! Blessings to you (from a fellow writer)!

    And as they say… the more you practice your craft, the better you will continue to be! So who knows where you & Michael will be 10 years from now. Keep on keeping on!

  11. Enjolia Rhone says:

    Hi Ruthie,

    You are truly inspirinG. I adore your posts
    and want you to know that you have so many supporters in
    your corner, so please keep writing. Your words are an art
    form that many will never understand. Keep giving it all you’ve got. I’m with you Ruthie!

  12. Rachel says:

    I wondered why you weren’t writing last year. I checked your blog so much in hopes of another post. Don’t stop writing we need you.

  13. Eve says:

    You spoke into my situation, I asked God to speak to me this morning, and He couldn’t have been more clear.

  14. Heather says:

    That’s literally a despicable thing to tell a writer. I have been told the same at times, unfortunately. It did affect my confidence for sure. I was once told by someone I trusted that they didn’t know why I had been hired for the job I was in as I “didn’t have any experience” and there were “much better people they could have hired.” I’m in a place in my life now where I would say without hesitation, “Well, kiddo, they hired me because I was the best. Sorry if you disagree.” But then I was shy and scared. Then I said nothing. Something about being a mom gradually chips away at all of your give-an-effs. ;) Not to be crude. But it’s true. And you know that as a mom yourself.

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