Cleere’s Corner: Quitting

By Dr. Michelle Cleere

Quitting is tough to do and easy to do. Some might call it quitting, or giving up, or dropping out. We don’t want to do any of these for fear of how others will perceive it. But, it can also be easy to do once you’ve made your mind up or have a good reason to quit. Or you think you have a good reason to do it. There are certainly good reasons to quit and give up but many of these reasons are related to fear and failure.

Do you love cycling?

Are you passionate about it? Are you internally motivated to do it? You probably wouldn’t give it up because you were good at it. However, you may feel like you are out of options or out of ideas about what else to do.

What makes quitting hard?

Quitting is hard because (really) none of us want to give up on something we’ve started. We started it for a reason but whether that reason is right or wrong, does make a difference. If you happen into something that isn’t your choice (for example your parents got you into cycling), you may not feel the same about it if it had been your choice. That may make it even harder to quit because now others are affected by your decision.

What makes quitting easy?

When quitting feels like the only option, it feels like an easy choice. When you feel like you have tried everything and nothing is helping, it might be the easy way out. Or, it might be as simple as you don’t have the mental skill(s) you need to redirect your situation and get back on track. You might be struggling with something that you can identify and get the right mental training to deal with your environment. Quitting is an easy alternative rather than pushing through mistakes or challenges.

“Know your WHY, understand why you are doing what you are doing.”  – Dr. Michelle

Fear of failure

There are many mental obstacles that frequently lead to quitting but the biggie is fear of failure. You make mistake after mistake and continue not to perform the way you want. In this case, it usually means you think you aren’t performing perfectly.

When you keep making mistakes and aren’t performing perfectly, quitting seems like the acceptable way to go because there’s no way to reach your desired outcome. Or so you think. In these instances, there is usually an excuse for not performing perfectly. I was tired, I didn’t train enough, or this wasn’t an important event.

How to push through

  • Create your WHY  figure out their why
  • Create your own realistic goals and expectations and work toward them
  • Focus on what it means to succeed versus focusing on failure
  • Get the tools you need to deal with those moments when things get hard
  • Understand that perfection doesn’t exist

Quitting usually happens because you feel like you are hitting a wall and because you don’t have the proper mental tools to deal with the environment. You can learn to make cycling yours and develop the proper mental skills to deal with fear and perfection.

With the right tools and some mental training, you CAN do it!


Dr. Michelle

Elite Performance Expert

Connect for more tips on Facebook and Twitter!