When Quitting Becomes a Habit

Nearly every Wednesday morning I head to the climbing gym with my neighbor. I have an obsession with overhung “upside down” routes. When we started lead climbing (securing the rope as you go, rather than having it fixed to an anchor point at the top of the climb) two years ago, my primary interest in learning to lead was so I could climb those big, overhung routes.

man at climbing gymThe flip-side is that the thought of actually climbing those routes scared the hell out of me. And they are not well suited to my climbing style. So I began to talk myself out of them. “I’ll just start the climb to get a feel for the route. I don’t have to finish it. I can always quit.” And so I did. I would start out on the vertical part just fine, but when things got upside down and tough, I would just bail. I’d climb until things got hairy, and then I’d hold on until I became too fatigued to hold on, but I never pushed myself through the fear and into the danger zone. I’d quit. This became a pattern for a few weeks, if not months. “I can always quit.”

Then the route setters put up an easier route and I tackled it. I made it through the hardest part of the route, across the overhang, and found myself practically home free. But what went through my mind as I had only a few moves left to the top of the climb? “I can always quit.” WTF? Quitting had become a habit without me even realizing. It snuck up on me.

So now I wonder what other limiting beliefs have snuck up on me. Where have I held back without even realizing? When do I quit, simply out of habit, a habit born out of fear? Where do I need to push through my own mental trappings to accomplish what really excites me?

How do you hold yourself back? If you pushed through fear and past your own self imposed limits, how much more would be possible in your life, your career, and your relationships? If you are interested in exploring further, reach out to me now to discuss what’s possible.