Leaders: How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting

Encouragement for Pastors
Leadership Development
Spiritual Encouragement

Leadership Tips: How to Keep Going When You Want to Quit

Leaders: How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Quitting

Three long-term pets have shared the Stewart home over the years. Each of them has been a Boston Terrier (formerly known as a Boston Bulldog). It is in their nature to be persistent. When they latch on, they don’t let go easily. I have often grabbed the end of one of their toys as they clenched the other end in their jaw. They were so determined to keep the toy that I lifted them off the ground and swung them back and forth; they wouldn’t let go. They were fixed on a goal – this toy is MINE!

Persistence is a vital characteristic in the pursuit of long-term goals and endeavors. It is the quality that allows leaders to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people. I’ve spent years sticking to it in spite of facing discouragement, disappointment, redirections, failures, and opposition. I have learned several valuable lessons that keep me going forward in the direction of my, as of yet, unrealized dreams.

How to Keep Going Tips:

  1. Desire the outcome – 

You must have a worthy long-term goal. What is the good you want to see done? What has God birthed in your heart and mind that you just can’t let go? Positive, wholesome, and righteous desire leads, draws, energizes, and compels us toward what might take years, decades, or even a life-time to accomplish.

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense,” (Thomas Edison).

  1. Regulate ourselves –

In a study, “Masters of the Long Haul,” authors Thomas Bateman and Bruce Barry state that, “a process that appears to be a key to maintaining behavior over the long term is self regulation.” This involves self-discipline, but it is more than that. It is the ability to control your emotions and moods, stay focused instead of pursuing distractions, and maintain motivation by seeing the value of your action in pursuit of your goal.

  1. Grow through adversity –

Adversity, set-backs, and opposition help you grow stronger. If you want to build strength physically and you want to get in shape, you have to work out against resistance. You use your body weight in doing pushups and sit-ups, or you put weight on a bar. As you continuously strain against the weight, your muscles will grow and eventually you will be able to handle more physical resistance. Like a muscle that becomes strong when it faces resistance, we learn to persist over the long haul only when we face and learn to manage difficulty.

  1. Gain encouragement from others –

Persistence needs support and I have found two continuing sources…

  • Testimonials:

The biographies and stories I have read of those who have faced and triumphed in the face of incredible odds are empowering. I encourage you to read the records of great men and women of history and contemporary culture.

  • Community:

A supportive network that listens to and believes in you is vital. They share your hopes and dreams and add energy to you by their positive encouragement. Identify who those people are and regularly spend time with them.

  1. Embrace failure –

Failure is not always bad. Some failure can be positive. We use the expression, “trial and error,” to encourage ourselves to keep trying until we find what works. I prefer the more positive phrase, “trial and discovery,” because we discover the best solutions, what doesn’t work, the right direction, or what we need to know about ourselves.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm,” (Winston Churchill).

Persistence is necessary if you are going to see the realization of what you deeply desire.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up,” (Galatians 6:9, ESV).





If you’re a church leader, pastor, or the leader of a non-profit organization, are you looking for leadership training or team development help? Thanks to the backing of a generous foundation, LifeEquip is able to offer leadership and organizational training at highly reduced rates to meet the needs of smaller organizations. Some LifeEquip services include pastoral coaching, OLA, Everything DiSC, The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, and Lead Like Jesus.


Free tips, sermon packets, blog posts & more...

* indicates required
Pick a Topic or Subscribe to All Posts

More Info & Resources:

Get blog updates + over 15 FREE SERMONS (& counting):

Blog Categories:

Blog Archive:

Glenn C. StewartPastor & Church Coach
Glenn C. Stewart has forty years of experience leading churches, planting a church, and developing leaders. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology and leadership at the Orlando campus of Palm Beach Atlantic University, and as the chairman of the board of a Christian college and seminary. Along with his degrees in Bible and theology he has a master’s degree in organizational leadership. Glenn has a heart for serving pastors and being a spiritual mentor.


Glenn C. Stewart
Glenn C. StewartChurch & Pastor Coach

Authorship Credentials:

  • Adjunct Professor of Theology and Leadership
  • Certified as a Human Behavior Consultant
  • Authorized Wiley Everything DiSC© Partner
  • Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) Partner
  • Certified Facilitator of Ken Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus Encounter Groups
  • Certified Facilitator of CPP Personality, Career, and Organizational Development Assessments
  • International Speaker and Trainer


  • Work, Ministry & Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic

Work, Ministry & Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic

Connect, Lead, Equip: Community Outreach Support: How to be Optimistic - In Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote about Vietnam War prisoner, Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was tortured over 20 times during his eight-year captivity in the prisoner-of-war camp and had no guarantee as to whether he would survive.

  • How to be Optimistic as a Leader

How to be Optimistic as a Leader

Connect, Lead, Equip: What Does it Look Like to be Optimistic as a Leader? “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,” (Philippians 3:13, ESV).

Did you know 54% of pastors are frequently overwhelmed?

LifeEquip was founded to help reduce that percentage… Our Pastoral Life Coaching is proving to be a helpful solution. Financial aid funds may be available through the generous giving of foundation partners. Call to find out if you’re eligible.
Learn More About LifeEquip's Pastoral Support

Leave A Comment