If not giving up was always the right answer life would be so easy. History shows us that sometimes quitters prosper and sometimes they miss out. Knowing when to quit and when to keep going is one of the most difficult questions and so we asked folks we admire to tell us how they think through this question.

Anna Cassady | Independent Filmmaker & Sound Designer

Giving up is not an option for me. The whole reason for me to move to a foreign country alone is to be myself and make films. I remember many people have asked me, what if I couldn’t make it, or what if I have to go back? I never had an answer for that, because I don’t want to give myself a second option. It’s probably not wise, but I couldn’t imagine my life differently. I’d rather give it all than play safe. Work hard or die trying, I guess. Read more>>

Lyra Star | Contortionist and Singer/Songwriter

I think when you are truly passionate about something or you are doing something that you love, you keep going no matter what. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely had moments of wanting to “give up” per say, but really I think they are more like moments of needing to take a breath or a pause or a reset. I don’t think I could ever truly give up because I really believe in what I’m doing as an artist, and I absolutely love what I do. Read more>>

Alice Radu | Music Artist & Brand Owner of NBSAO

I don’t think it’s whether or not to keep going or give up – it’s how much you’re willing to stay in your current situation until you’re ready to change it or walk away from it. You can keep going on something even though it doesn’t work for you or you can give up on something that you were more qualified to do than someone else. Also, your desires change. If you’re passionate about something and you feel it deep in your soul to pursue it then stick with it. If you’re involved in something that drains you, then you need to reflect on the thing you’re pursuing and ask yourself if it serves your purpose. Read more>>

Annelise Hewitt | Sustainable Artist

That’s a funny question. If you are passionate about something, I don’t believe that giving up is a possibility. I’ve been making art from paper and found objects from around the neighborhood for as long as I can remember. Certainly, there have been long periods where I thought I had given up; when I was working full-time in TV/media production at Abso Lutely Productions, I felt like I had given up on pursuing the artistic career that my academic background might have suggested. But after six years of office work (that I actually enjoyed doing, nota bene) something clicked and I started creating again to the point where art is now a full-time job. I think the advice “don’t give up” is wrong–you can give up, sometimes you need to, and when you’re ready you can always start again with a new perspective. Read more>>

Sino Chino | Singer-Songwriter / Musician

I’ve been pursuing a music career (songwriting) since college, but with the combination of 2020, growing older, and dealing with negativity and rejection, I found myself asking myself this same question. Like many things in life, I think it depends on the person and differs situation to situation. For me, I first had to figure out what is my intention. Is my goal a publishing deal, to have my songs on the radio, or to win a Grammy? Will I only be satisfied if I’m making eight figures? What do I want and is it worth all the sacrifice, pressure, and anguish I’m putting myself through? Then I thought about what my life would be like if I did walk away from music- and this is where I found my answer. I wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t creating. Music is so deeply imbedded in my soul that I can’t quit it. It would be like if I said, “I quit being Asian”. It’s just not possible. It’s a part of me. Nothing lights me up like writing a song- creating a melody and turning silence into music. Read more>>

Tania Damha | Author, Thinker, Traveler

You will never know whether to keep going or to give up, but don’t let it stop you from making a choice. With every choice comes loss. In order to get something great, you have to let go of something bad. Letting go and choosing is hard. Life works in mysterious ways. There were times where I thought I knew it all. I reached a goal and that unsatisfactory feeling crept up, “Is this it?” Sometimes I did give up. An extra try might have brought me closer to my goals. Even if things do not go as planned, you will learn valuable life lessons. Our dreams are incomplete when we create them. When we reach the top, the real learning happens. You were told to chase that pot of gold. What if there is no external pot of gold? The treasure chest is already inside you, waiting. You look in the wrong places and frantically try to find “it” and when it appears, it is a pot with fake coins. Instead of trying to “know” it all, just do and be. Become an architect. Build your house and live and love. Be okay with certain outcomes, because no matter how hard you fight, certain curveballs will be thrown at you. Read more>>

Norma Pérez | Owner/Creator of The Salvi Vegan

There’s been many times I doubt myself & think, I’m doing so much & getting results that I am not happy with that I want to give up but then I think about the reason why I started this & it brings me back to continue going. Times, situations, connections and so on will always be hard but unless it is not making an impact on absolutely nothing, that is when I might want to rethink. Otherwise, there is no giving up if I am making some kind of impact. Read more>>

Alice Lodge | Founder of The Lodge (Art Gallery)

In 2015 I started The Lodge almost on a whim, fueled by a desire to create a gallery where I could present art that I responded to. In my life visual arts has always brought me inspiration and stamina and I wanted to share that energy. I had worked in galleries and on film productions in the art department but had never been my own boss. I was unaware of the all consuming nature of having a gallery. Waking up, going to bed thinking about the artists, their art, the collectors, the logistics etc.- seven days a week. It can be mentally and physically exhausting. There have been times when I have seriously considered giving it all up. But thus far, I have always come back to feeling the inspiration and joy when we put a good exhibition on at The Lodge. Getting to share that inspiration and change in perception with other viewers fuels me in my life. I don’t know the ultimate affect the pandemic will have on the Los Angeles art community. But I am usually an optimist. Read more>>

The Sound of Ghosts | Americana Rock Band

Any time you’re pursuing a creative endeavor, there are a million times when it feels easier to give up than to continue pressing on. As a band, The Sound of Ghosts, has of course experienced rejection, we’ve lost and gained band members, and faced many challenges, but there has always been a sense of wanting to continue creating; that the joy of creating new music outweighs the pain of our setbacks. As long as your desire to create remains strong, there is no reason to give up. You should always ask yourself, “if I give up now, will I look back and wish that I had done more or will I be satisfied with the effort I put into my dreams?” If the answer is that you would wish you had done more, then don’t give up. There is nothing to lose in following your heart and everything to lose in giving up before you’re ready. Read more>>

Jenny Dorsey | Chef, Writer & Founder of Studio ATAO

I often feel that the impact I make is so miniscule, so insignificant, why bother? This worry haunts me in my sleep and forms the backbone of the imposter syndrome I feel often. When I am deep in this mindset, I try to take a deep breath, spend 5 minutes with my meditation app (I use Calm), and reevaluate why I started my nonprofit in the first place. Studio ATAO was literally created on the idea that if we want real, lasting, social change it has to happen one conversation, one relationship, one person at a time. Changing hearts and minds is not something that can be done en masse (at least not effectively), and it begins with genuine intimacy with the people you hope to have an impact on, and build change with. This helps remind me that even if I cannot reach millions of people, the one thoughtful email we receive each week, or the engaged discussions we witness via our Zoom session, even the long comment threads we are seeing on social media means that we are consistently moving towards our goal. Read more>>

Brielle Galekovic | Founder of The Gilded Bellini & On-Air Lifestyle Expert/Host

I think that if there’s a gut feeling deep inside you telling you what you’re purpose is and you truly feel infinitely connected to it, that should be your nudge to keep going. It also has to do with believing in yourself. You continue to keep going because you believe in whatever you do so much that you’re willing to sacrifice crucial things in an attempt to achieve what you believe your calling is. Giving up can go two ways: you’ve extensively exhausted all options, or you just straight out don’t believe in the idea or the goal anymore. I’d like to think that most of the time, there’s always more options you could explore. Read more>>

Karma McCain | Actor & Body Equality Advocate

This is such a great question and one of those that can come up quite often as an artist and sometimes even after we have made a decision, it leaves us wondering if we are making the right choice. The road of an artist feels quite elusive at times because we are pursuing a career that has no clear path or direction to success; and while we can try to follow in the footsteps of those who came before us, ultimately, each of us has to go about it our own way because we all have our own unique set of circumstances. The bottom line is that we chose a career where we don’t know when or if we’ll “make it” and it can be many, many years or even decades before things break in our favor. So there likely will be times where we are busting our butt for months on end with little to no results to show for it, times where there will be struggles or trying to make ends meet, times where we may even have to hold down a couple of side jobs just to get by, and times where that friend or relative who is unrelentingly grilling us about our career at every get-together can leave us feeling drained or questioning our passion about our art. Read more>>

Kendall Hale | Cartoonist

For me, its never a matter of whether or not I should keep going. Its about how to keep going. Giving up is not an option for me, I’ve chosen a creative career because that’s what makes me happy. It fulfills my need to create and my desire to entertain others. So if things aren’t working out, I may need to readjust and adapt. I may need to learn a new skill or alter my process. I don’t think it will ever mean I should give up what I’ve poured my ambition and soul into. Read more>>

Vaughn Ramirez | Guitarist of DeadRise

I think sometimes giving up is okay if you end up beating a dead horse. If you can tell that your project is not giving you results I think it’s fine to perhaps call it quits, but you should start on your next idea and get to it. If the personnel you are working with can’t provide when you need them to, then that is a sign that you need to work with people that can put in that effort. Read more>>