Knowing whether to keep going when things aren’t working out according to plan is one of the most difficult decisions – both emotionally and intellectually. Below, you’ll find advice from some of the city’s best and brightest about how to know when to keep going and when to give up.

Madison Leigh | Actor & Model

For me to know whether I should give up or keep going is solely based on how much of myself I put into said thing. I didn’t stick 100% to my initial passion. But, I gave it blood, sweat, tears, and all. I realized through triumphs and trials that my passion lied elsewhere, and I moved on. (And the funny thing is, my past passions have circled back to me, just with different terms). But if I never threw myself in with everything I had at that time, I would have never known when it was time to move on. Read more>>

Doreen Alvarez | Personal Trainer & Photographer

Sometimes the road gets bumpy and the tools we’ve been navigating with become inert in what feels like a flash. Sometimes all the mechanisms we’ve been using to advance the game break down and we have to make a choice: flight or fold. At this point, the initial response is to give up. However, when this happens, I focus on my “why.” Why do I keep going? If I give up, how will it affect my “why?” If giving up affects my “why” greatly in a detrimental way, then I have no choice but to keep going. Read more>>

Mercedes Maria | Actor

As an artist, this is a question you may often revisit. I’ve asked myself, “Why have I done this? Why have I chosen this? Is it time to let other areas of my life take priority? Have I wasted time?” So much of being an artist relies on the eyes and ears of outsiders. We lose control of our creative joy. We are dictated by things that might get us employed and turn our art into profit for the necessity of living. These people and things that step in, judge and feed off of the energy of being the gatekeeper to the life we desire, can drain our spirit and purpose. Read more>>

Monroe Cline | Actress & Dancer

You should give up on something if it becomes clear that it doesn’t bring you joy anymore, you aren’t loving the process, or you are doing it for the wrong reasons. Always keep going if what you are doing excites you and gives you a sense of purpose in life. Read more>>

Kia Billinger | Plus Size Model, Actress, Influencer, & Mental Health Awareness Advocate

This question comes up quite often, and at times can be difficult to answer. I’ve gone back and forth and have asked this question of myself about my modeling career and my nursing career. Becoming a model and a Registered Nurse (RN), were both dreams of mine that became a reality; had I given up on either dream, I wouldn’t be where I am today. On the pursuit to becoming both a model and RN, I had challenges like most people would. Read more>>

Jessie Levine | Emotional Embodiment Coach & Yoga Instructor

To me, giving up isn’t an option. I don’t mean that in a “fight til the death” kind of way. Rather, if I have gotten to a place where what I’m doing just isn’t working, I look at what is driving me. I look beneath the actions and the goals, and I look into myself. What is my honest motivation right now? What am I fighting for? Is that something I want to continue to stand for, or is there another angle that allows for my vision to shift? These moments, of what might feel like failure, are really not failure to me. Read more>>

Rebeca Mojica | Jewelry Artist, Instructor & Author

Not to be cliche, but I think the simple answer is to never give up on what you’re passionate about. It doesn’t mean that your goals and tactics can’t change…but certainly, if there’s something you absolutely love doing and you feel as though it’s your purpose in life, then find a way to keep doing it. If your passions change, then keep going, just in a different direction. To me, “giving up” robs you of the chance to succeed. Giving up is different from failure. Failure typically comes before success. Read more>>

Karen Yeh | Musician & Model

Does what you do still light a fire in you? Is it so ingrained in your being that you couldn’t see yourself not doing it? Is it just a job or something more than that? And most importantly, why are you doing it? I have a wonderful mentor who asked me that last question when I was feeling down and out. And it was so important for me to sift through all the thoughts and worries that can accompany my field. Being a musician has tested me in ways that I never thought possible. Read more>>

Mae Brunken | Interior Designer

Throughout my career and my life, I believe that you keep going. There have been times that are challenging and they have inspired me to have shift my business accordingly, which has led to a new growth. We all have challenging days and may feel like giving up,, but the next day, or the next week it gets better. I think it’s important to look at life as if something good is about to happen. Read more>>

Danayia Stedham | Founder

If there is a task, dream or feeling inside of us that just won’t go away, that’s the sign that we’re supposed to pursue it and not give up! The nagging feeling of pursuit will continuously follow us if we give up, so I say… keep, keep, KEEP going and guess what? You’ll make it, honey! Read more>>

Ericka de Alexander | Director & Film Producer

I’m not going to lie, trying your best at something new and not getting the results you want is not a very fun feeling. Especially when this new thing that you’re trying is something that you feel will make your soul happy if you do it. We constantly misplace our focus on the results of our actions rather than valuing their process. We like to focus too much on the big picture, and often times, we tend to forget to celebrate when we win the smaller battles. Read more>>

Tanya Jane | Professional Dancer & Online Personal Trainer

This question can seem really difficult and overwhelming depending on your situation. Think back to why you chose to do what you’re doing, and how it made you feel. Ultimately the reason why you do anything is to feel good.. so simply put, if you are not feeling good, then it is time to take a break from what you’re doing. Pushing through and persevering when its making you feel bad and think negative is only taking steps back. You won’t be able to attract anything positive if your minds not in the right place. Read more>>

Michelle Benz | Aesthetician & Advanced Facial Therapy

One of my favorite quotes is “Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying” I truly do believe that persistence is the most valuable and necessary virtue of a successful entrepreneur. My Dad always taught me to look at the “Big Picture”. Whenever I had a big decision to make he would ask me “What’s the worst that could happen? And can you handle it?” This has been ingrained in my brain and helped me to not give up on my dreams. My Persistence, Vision and Drive have kept me going through the hard parts to get to the rewards. Read more>>

Derek “Red” De Vette | CEO

The key advice I use came from fellow producer and TEDx speaker, Lauren Selman. She told me you take a gig for three reasons: 1. The money 2. The experience 3. The connections. So long as you’re hitting TWO OUT OF THREE of those, take the gig. It almost always results in the third later on too. This is a determining factor for me as to whether I’ll continue or give up on an event or activity. Read more>>

John Barney | Artist

I was invited to this discussion a a visual artist, but my first passion was music. I had my own original rock band (“The 11th Floor Band) for many years. I disbanded it about three years ago. One reason was that years of loud music negatively impacted my hearing. The other, and relevant to this question, was that it became more difficult to book gigs as an original band during an era of cover and tribute bands – and our audience wasn’t really growing anymore. Read more>>

Adrian Kay Wong | Fine Artist

To reframe the question, I think the more pressing issue is, “How much does it mean to you?” Do you find your work fulfilling? Do you find the process, the ups and downs, the successes, the failures, the sacrifice, the journey something you can’t live without? Of course, there’s the more pragmatic black-and-white issues like finances or health, but there’s less gray area in these cases. Nonetheless, if you love it enough, you should keep going whole-heartedly. This should be the main deciding factor in whether to persist or not. Read more>>

Octavia Landix | Music Producer & Engineer

I know for me personally, this question is a very realistic question and has come across my mind before. I consider myself to be a very ambitious person and believe that when the going gets tough, that’s confirmation that I’m doing something right. Building a business is not suppose to be easy and hardships and challenges is your training ground. Somethings you will only learn through trial and error. In giving up, you will NEVER know if you could have accomplished what you were going after. Read more>>

Mychael Anthony | Comedian & Actor

For me, giving up is not an option. When it comes to living out my dreams or happiness, there is no giving up. Sometimes there’s reevaluation, but no giving up. I’ve been blessed to see some success from my hustle & that give me motivations to keep pushing. Of course there’s times where I wanna give up, but then I’ll ask for Gods direction & guidance. Through mediation & prayer I end up getting the answers I need. Read more>>

Paul Sanchez Yates | Filmmaker

How to know whether to keep going or to give up? I’m weird because I’ve never given up. There is no giving up. Never. Especially for an artist. Never. I’ve lost—a lot. I’ve been rejected—a lot. I’ve been told “no”—a lot. But I’ve never given up. Like I said I’ve lost. Admitting defeat is not giving up. Let’s talk about this in terms of the game of kickball—which I still play. It’s really the only team sport I can stomach because it’s about inclusivity. Read more>>

Johnno Wilson | Actor & Comedian

Trust your gut. If you’re being honest with yourself, you’ll know. That’s not to say that there won’t be self-doubt and worry about attaining your goals, there most definitely will. But if your belief in yourself and what you’re doing outweighs that self-doubt and worry, you have to keep going. I grew up doing plays, making comedy shorts with my friends, and anchored the news as well as having a comedy talk show on my college’s TV station. I knew I had some kind of ability to entertain. Read more>>

Mario Orazio Ruvio | Actor

How to know you ask me well I think it’s different from person to person. I personally believe that once you know what you want to do the give up option is just not there. What I mean is that because I know what I want to be and or become I cant but more importantly i don’t wanna give up. I love what I do and I will risk my life for it if I have to. So I think that is the real question to ask. ARE YOU READY TO PUT YOUR LIFE AT RISK FOR IT, FOR YOUR DREAM.? And I answer yes to it. The only way to success is failure and the only failure is giving up. Read more>>

Karen Duckles | Visual Artist

In response to this question of how to know when to keep going or when to give up, you have to look within and see if your practice of art making is personally fulfilling or satisfying. It’s rare for art to pay well enough to provide a living, so the rewards are more internal. So many of us carry on with our practice because it is such a personal, life affirming thing! Why not do this as long as life allows? It seems like one of the most important things we can do with our time on this earth. Read more>>

Carmela Tunzi | Clinical Consulting Hypnotist Owner

In NLP ( Neurolinguistic programming) We say there is no failure there’s only feedback in my life so far there have been many new projects new goals outcomes or omissions perceived as a step to action. What I was referring to above and neurolinguistic means any kind of action that gives you a response even if it doesn’t go the way you want it to is feedback it actually gives you the information and how you can adjust or change or evaluate.. Read more>>

Leah NaDeau | Nail Technician

How to know whether to keep going or to give up? I thought this was an amazing question, especially considering the time and hardships that have come along with COVID-19. I was two weeks away from expanding my business and opening up in a second location when the governor of North Dakota closed all nail salons down due to this horrific virus. I was heartbroken. I put all of my savings into opening up a second location. Now not only am I out of a job for a very uncertain amount of time, but I also have no fall back money. Read more>>