Quitting – The Mental Pandora’s Box

In light of recent trends in sports, I feel that now is a good time to do an article on quitting and mental health. Having been a person who struggled with mental health issues and worked very hard to get them under control, before dedicating my life to helping people learn how to reduce their anxieties and use their mind optimally, I feel that I have a good grasp of these subjects.

There is an old saying most of you have probably heard before: Winners never quit and quitters never win. Most competitors do not even consider quitting as an option. This is why you often see some competitors who fall down in a race or suffer a debilitating injury get up and finish even when there is no chance of winning at that point. Sometimes you see fellow competitors go back and help the injured get to the finish line as they know how self-defeating quitting can be.

The main problem with quitting is that it makes it easier to quit going forward. Since competitors do not even consider quitting an option, once they do quit, they have crossed a line in their mind and it now becomes an option in their mind, when it never was before. It’s like Pandora’s Box in that once you open the door it can never be closed.

Much like the graphic above this article (an unfortunate logo choice), that at first glance appears to be a large letter A with two balls next to it on its left side. Upon closer inspection, as some of you may have already noticed, it can also be seen as two people engaged in a sexual act. Once seen in the latter way, you cannot help but it see that way and no longer see it as just a large letter A with two balls on the left side of it. Not unlike how your brain can’t unsee that image, your brain also cannot unsee quitting as an option.

Another problem with quitting is that it has a negative effect on their future ability to perform. Most athletes who quit once, start quitting or giving up again and again in the future (even if it is only on the inside). It adds one more possibility to your mind when competing, and athletes are at their best when their mind is empty and they are trusting their preparation.

Ironically, quitting also negatively affects their mental health and well being in adverse ways. No matter what your PR person says and the media buys into when you quit, you cannot escape your own subconscious mind and it always knows the truth.

Today athletes have the best PR team’s money can buy and they are adept at turning failures into victories. This may work for them financially, but again this will end up costing them more mental anguish and emotional pain in the long run.

If you really want to help athletes with their mental health, rather than lionizing them for taking a stand for their mental health, why not be outraged that their mental health was ignored to the point they had to quit instead?


You can follow Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc



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