“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~ Thomas A. Edison
When I was growing up, one of my mother’s favorite proverbs was “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” Always with the exclamation point when written (she’d write it on my lunch bag).
While I do realize that there are times in life when quitting, giving up, is the wisest action, there’s something to be said for staying the course, for getting up and trying again after a failure.
In my professional life, failure is part of the process–I try to explain to students it’s only a failure if you give up. Students who keep trying? They really do get there in the end. It takes time, and it takes effort, from them and from me, but working together, “failure” becomes a success.
And in my other professional life, the writer, I experience a lot of “failure,” or rejection may be a better word. No thank yous come in with daunting regularity. Sometimes I do give up, if only for a while. Then I give myself a shake and try again. I send out a slew of work, and almost miraculously, something will be accepted. My goal is that over time, the hits will outnumber the strikes. I’m not there yet, but I just have to think of Edison’s words, and my mother’s, and my own bull headed determination, and I’m back at it.
So when you feel like quitting, take a step back. Is this something that really will never change? Remember, we can’t change other people, so if others are involved, quitting might be the best option. But if something matters to us, we shouldn’t let personal failure stop us from trying again.