Quitting vs Failing

 In Blog, Development, News

Quitting vs Failing.

giving up

I am in a very fortunate position at the moment. I get to observe success, failure and quitting. Gym’s are like a laboratory sometimes for this. We all have heard quotes and saying’s about Failures being lessons and so on. Yes they definitely are and I’m sure every successful person will tell you that.

I don’t want to talk about that, I want to talk about ‘Quitting’. There is a fine line between quitting and failing. Maybe by identifying these characteristics, it may give us a bit of the edge in life.

Failing- To be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.

Quitting- To leave or resign.

Here are some great ways to tell the difference between them both.

Quitting is a choice, failure is not-

You can always choose to quit. Quitting is optional, failure can be outside ones control if you push as far as you can.

I hear the words ‘I can’t do it’ all the time when coaching people after they look at an exercise or movement. The words I mentally register are ‘I chose to quit before I started to try’. If you believe you cant do it then you won’t. Henry Ford once said ‘Whether you think you can or think you cant..you’re right’. Think about that when you think you cant do something and then remind yourself that if you don’t quit then you will be either a huge success or a failure but you leave knowing you gave it your all.

Quitting is habitual in nature, Failure is not-

Repeated Quitting can be habitual. You say ‘I quit’ and every time something in life or your training pops up, you shut down the possibility of success. These words became habit forming and sometimes affect your self esteem, motivation and focus. Think of it this way, Quitting is a choice you can repeat and repeat, Failure is not, you will not fail every time, but yes you can quit every time.

Quitting is the easiest option, Failure is not-

This one is very self-explanatory. You can easily quit. You don’t choose to fail easily though, have you heard someone say ‘I choose to fail’? I cant think of many times I have heard that.

Yes there are many self-destructive psychological characteristics that could influence your chance of failure, but most of the time this isn’t your choice. Quitting is by far the easiest option can make.

Lessons can be learnt from Failures, not from Quitting.

You can learn some great lessons from Failures. If you haven’t learnt any lessons, or cant take any lessons from failure, then that is a chat for another day. However, there are not many lessons to take from quitting.

Failures in life and training teach amazing lessons, quitting will give you much smaller lessons..if any. What would you rather? Learn as much as you can or learn not much at all?

If we don’t quit then how can we identify potential Failure?

So if quitting doesn’t equal Failure then how do we define how true failure is achieved? There could be many factors involved in ones failure. We could summarize them fairly quickly into two key areas, the ‘Internal/You’ and ‘External’.

‘The Internal/ You’– Maybe physical attributes, mind-set, lack of commitment, focus, etc.

‘The External-‘ There are plenty of examples. People may not be willing to support you, Family and friends are negative influences and can assist with road blocking, Finances, Injuries.


When you combine them both, you have the perfect storm. Eliminating quitting from your mind and vocabulary can be a huge step forward in taking care of the ‘Internal/you’ factor and ultimately leave you a stronger person to deal with the ‘External’ Factors or increase your chances of Success.

So if you want to succeed then you know what you have to do. No more quitting. And always remember, Failing is the greater option than quitting.

T.S Elliot said it best. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”.


By Coach David Taylor-Smith

Martial Arts Development Gym Australia

T.S Elliot in sportNapoleon hill sports


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