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?
If you liked this post, you may also like:
- Babies, American Idol, and Writing
- A Word for 2013
- The Story Behind The Help [And Why You Should Never Give Up]
- Was God Rolling His Eyes at Me?