Never give up. It’s advice that is thrown around daily – but is it always right? We asked some folks we admire about their thoughts around how to know when to give up and when to keep trying

Gayathri Krishnan | Singer/songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, Producer

As a musician and a creative in general, I see the journey of realizing my dreams as a gradual progression, each day a step closer. Through making music, I have found that it’s the process that is the most fun. Whether it’s creating lyrics, exploring new melodies, and different genres, all of this makes me a better musician. Along the journey there might be times where things are not going as planned, I see this as a time for preparation for what is to come. I try not to fixate on the bigger goal that I have and focus on the individual checkpoints in order to set myself in the direction of the overarching goal. As long as you know your intention, and you’re having fun with it, keep going. You never know where you’ll end up, and it may be better than you ever thought it would be. Trust yourself and your vision, there is one you in this entire world. Create to Express. Read more>>

Angelique Yvonne | Artist

This can be hard sometimes. When I first moved to LA after finishing school, I found that things did not work out the way I thought they would. It’s competitive out there and I felt like giving up. One thing that kept me going though was allowing myself to take a step back and focus on just photographing for fun instead of keeping on the business grind. I fell back in love with photography again and I feel like I grew so much more as an artist. I had more creative freedom to explore and make mistakes and learn from them instead of judging myself if something didn’t turn out how I thought it would. I think it’s important to give yourself space sometimes. Read more>>

Haløver | Singer/Songwriter

I feel like it depends on what your ultimate goal or dream is but for me – I just can’t imagine giving up. I’ve always known my life would somehow be connected with music and nothing else. Whenever I tried walking away from my dream and work in other industries it made me extremely upset and unsatisfied with my life. The music would always find me no matter where I was and how I felt about it. I might not be 100% happy with where I am right now but I know it’s a process and eventually I’ll be able to achieve what I’ve always wanted. Read more>>

Renée Reizman | Artist, Writer, and Curator

I think I’m plagued by this dilemma on a daily basis. As an artist and writer whose income mostly comes from freelancing, getting rejected is part of the job. In the arts, I’m always applying to residencies, trying to get paid to run a workshop, and hoping I’ll be included in an exhibition. Writing sometimes feels even more brutal; it’s a much more frequent cycle of pitching my ideas to editors, and few bite. Rejection doesn’t get any easier, but over time it forms into a callous, and you stop letting it hold you back. It’s also just better to develop my practice through the organizations that are receptive to my ideas. They’ve seen my work and have decided they want to work with me. They’re my fans, they’re happy to champion my work, and they want me to be successful. As these connections grow stronger, I know that soon, instead of chasing down opportunities, they’ll start coming to me. Read more>>

Jada Theyduh | Entrepreneur & Comedian

I know I have to at least write down an idea even if I find its not a very good one. You have to make a lot of mistakes before you really feel like you’ve gotten something how you want it. I pick up hobbies and then put them down like a toddler in a toy isle. I know to keep going when I’m having fun and to give up when my passion starts to feel like a chore. Example: Resin art. That shit takes forever!. Read more>>

Melissa Scicluna | Rising Film Executive

Don’t make giving up an option –– pivot! A great friend once told me: when faced with any crossroad in life, pick a path and keep moving. You can always switch paths if you end up on the wrong one, but the worst thing you can do is stop moving altogether … You can’t get anywhere if you’re standing still!. Read more>>

Mina Zimmerman | CEO, Fine Jewelry Line

My career started in healthcare, and I did truly love it but it always felt like work. I couldn’t figure out how to turn my passion for jewelry into work. Since I was a little girl, I have always been obsessed with jewelry. It started in my mom’s jewelry collection and grew as I grew up. At one point I my 30s my mom taught me the importance of investing in fine jewelry. It lasts forever and can be handed down for generations. And solid gold is truly an investment- solid gold holds value. I became so passionate about this and sharing this with anyone that complimented my jewelry. I knew I wanted to find a way to share this sentiment with as many people as possible. There are so many days that I wonder what I was thinking?! Owning a business is the hardest thing Ive ever done, and the main thing that keeps me going is that it is my passion. I don’t feel like its work when Im making clients happy with their new pieces of jewelry. And I know these pieces will last them a lifetime and possibly become family heirlooms for them and future generations. Read more>>

Daneisha Thomas | Business Owner & Author

I’m a strong believer in never give up. Unless it is effecting your health, life, or family there is no reason to ever give up. Keep going, keep overcoming obstacles and when you enter your winning season you’ll appreciate it even more because of all you’ve been through to get there. Read more>>

Eva (M00nglasses) Sainte Rose | Digital Artist

I think that the answer to this question is simple: if you enjoy what you are doing then keep going and if you aren’t enjoying it then stop and pursue something different. Life is too short to spend time and energy on something that isn’t adding positivity or happiness to your life. Obviously, there are other factors at play like if your business is profitable or not. If it’s not financially sustainable for you to keep pursuing a craft that isn’t making you money, but you love it, then maybe it’s time to pivot and turn your business into a hobby. Sometimes, the thing that you are passionate about isn’t going to be the thing that makes you money, and oftentimes taking the pressure off yourself to make money with your art makes the process more enjoyable. Read more>>

Bex | Music Producer and Songwriter

This is a very good question. I definitely have felt like giving up many times. And there’s a good chance that I will feel like giving up in the future. When it happens however, I realize that I can’t give up. I have invested too much of my life and energy in pursuing music. I practiced and studied it since I’ve been a child. I spend all my money for it (and I still do hahaha). I moved to a different country and then to a different city for it. It’s my passion. If I would leave that all behind, I would regret it the rest of my life. So I’ll walk this road till the end, cause the option of letting it all go, would mean to lose my passion. I would lose who I am. That thought scares me way more than the thought of giving up. Read more>>

Anna Scholfield | Skofee / Alt Pop Artist

I think the obvious answer here is to always try and push yourself to keep going, however I’m not sure that’s always true. I think one of the most courageous things a person can do is listen to themselves as they grow and change—which could mean that their dreams shift and evolve too. “Give up” sounds so negative but I do know people who have decided that they’d be happier pursuing a different passion and have come out on the other side much happier. Personally, I hope to always keep going but shift my path along the way to lean into what feels good at the time as a songwriter. Read more>>

Cheyenne Pajardo | Dancer, Writer, Mental Health Advocate

I think about this question so often. As an artist, it’s sometimes hard to know if what you’re doing is going to propel you into a career or if it’s just something that you love to do. There are so many factors that play into it–your friends’ and family’s opinions, the influence of social media, critics, etc, but the biggest factor is actually you. What I’ve found is that while we are the best person for ourselves, we are also the worst. We become our own worst enemy and critic, which often translates to negative talk, criticism, and doubt. We have to learn to get out of our own way and to silence the voices that aren’t championing us toward elevation. Read more>>

Edward Halstead | Screenwriter

Remember when you were 8 years old, and you couldn’t beat that one level on Super Mario 64, and you thought about giving up. I bet you didn’t… now remember how rewarding it felt once you did beat it and the lessons you learned from beating it that helped you complete the rest of the game. Giving up really isn’t in my vocabulary; the feeling definitely comes up here and there, but I find once you change your approach to the problem you face, you can overcome that feeling. I push myself and others around me to keep going when we face adversity. It’s a higher power challenging us to keep us on our toes and not get complacent. These challenges shouldn’t be feared; they should be conquered and learned from, they help us grow as a person. 
Always keep going, no matter what, because you never know what the next level might bring, this goes for everything in life, not just for creatives. 
When I’m personally struggling, and I begin to question my ability to keep going, I ask myself. Read more>>

Lisen Ydse | Founder & Director. Creative Developer, Writer, Mentor & Social Purpose Strategist

Giving up has never been an option for me. Being an entrepreneur and creative is kinda like running a marathon. Being in shape is a great tool, an asset, but in order to get through to the finish line, you need endurance, stamina and the right mindset. You keep pushing through the pain, even when the body feels like giving up. You keep going. It’s not necessarily about how fast you’re going, it’s about how far you are willing to go, both in body and mind. I have experienced many hurdles along the way. Thyroid cancer surgery, a breast tumour and less than $2.00 in my account. But I kept going. I think the important thing is to be able to fully listen to what your inner voice says and trust yourself. And what matters is that if it makes sense to you, people will follow organically when the time is right, if you lead with honesty, grace and heart. Read more>>

Sharron Stroud | Spiritual Leader, President of the International Foundation for World Peace and Research

How many of us during the course of ur lives have asked ourselves, “How do I know whether to keep going or give up?” This is an extremely relevant question when we “keep doing what we are doing” and not seeing the results we have envisioned. We can approach this dilemma in one of two ways. Firstly, we need to look at the time, energy and resources we have put into our Life’s Work, and secondly, is the Universe sending us a message that we need to change course if we are not receiving tangible results? I take exception to the mind set of “giving up”, as it smacks of a defeatist attitude. A True Believer takes stock of the situation and looks for other avenues to achieve their desired results. I have served the New Thought movement as a Spiritual Leader for 46 years. In the course of my San Diego Ministry we had 3,000 people showing up every week. I had a weekly television program, Passport to Life and a Radio Show, The Choice is Yours. It was a thriving Ministry and we served the multitudes with our message of Universal Love and Oneness. Read More>>

Kristen Shapero | Dancer / Choreographer

I always answer this question with these…Am I happy? Can I imagine doing anything else with my life? Does my dedication and art inspire others to live their truth? And if the answer is yes I keep going. Read more>>

Mahogany Allen | Entrepreneur: Natural Hair Care

I think most times we as people think that at the start of problem (big or small) that means it’s not meant to be or that we should stop because we have some fairytale in our head about how something should happen or should look. Likewise in business it’s the same; there is not secret sauce, no amount of preparation, no amount of money that will prevent you from running into a problem. I think the way to know whether to keep going or give up is to ask yourself this something you are passionate about? If it’s yes keep going. Your passion and your gifts will always make a way for you. Ask yourself is this something Im researching, looking up or doing after work or even for fun? Keep going. Is this something people come to me ask for opinions or advice or keep going! If you answered yes to one or all of these questions KEEP GOING! Nothing is easy but with smart work, commitment, dedication and consistency there is absolutely no way you can’t get to where you want. So don’t stop at the first break down or problem, learn from problems and keep going. Don’t give up unless it’ makes you unhappy. Read more>>

Vân Scott | Recording Artist & Songwriter

As optimistic as I am, there’s a slight danger in saying that everyone should always keep going no matter what. Some people spend too long pursuing something that they just may not be cut out for. You have to know yourself. Beyond the desire and the determination to reach your goal, you should also be experiencing some kind of confirmation along the way. Our small successes are often the little bits of proof that we’re on the right path, and help add fuel to our fire. Another important thing to consider is whether you get fulfillment from your work. Those who are meant to keep going usually consider even the most infrequent joys of their job to far outweigh the many disappointments. But if you’re constantly finding life unrewarding or unfulfilling, then it may be time to give that something up and reconsider your trajectory. Read more>>

holmes | artist & musician

if it’s something you can’t stop thinking about, keep going. when I was at a music conference years ago, one of the speakers said something like “if you can do anything besides music, do that, because this path is incredibly difficult and you really need to love it and you really need to believe in your gift to keep going after every “no” you get. I think about that allll the time. every time I question myself and my path, I think about anything else I would want to be doing, and there’s nothing. so I would say if you love it with all your heart and can’t see yourself doing anything else, keep going. keep pushing even when the rough gets rough. Read more>>

Quincy Pipella | Professional Dancer and Choreographer

If you want my short answer – NEVER. GIVE. UP. I know it might seem cliché or super cheesy. But sometimes we need to go back to the reason why we started doing what we love. Of course, this question is not so black-and-white. There can be many positive and negative factors that could persuade you to give up. But if we are talking about a dream that you have had ever since childhood and spent so much time working to the point you are at now, I truly believe you should not give up. No matter how hard it gets. You never know, the moment you give up, could’ve been the moment you finally succeeded. Consider this – “What defines success?” My absolute dream is to dance for Beyoncé one day and maybe even choreograph for her or any other big artists, really. But when I look back at how far I’ve come and how many other amazing jobs I have been able to perform as a professional dancer, I realize that I have had so many “mini” successes along the way. Even if it was not my top of the “bucket list” job. Practising gratitude is so important, it allows new opportunities to arise into your life!. Read more>>

Stevie Wain | Comedian & Screenwriter

At least once a day for three consecutive years, I thought about the girl I kissed in college. Not HER but the act of kissing her because it was the one thing I didn’t allow myself to be: Gay. THREE YEARS. EVERYDAY. ONE AVERAGE NOT-SO-SPECIAL KISS. I was obsessed. I was miserable. I completely denied the truest part of me that yearned for real intimacy with another woman because I was scared. I was afraid of what my truth would cost me: My financial security, my sense of belonging to my then-boyfriend, and my safety in being straight. But I didn’t realize that I was already paying a hefty price: My happiness. I gave up on it. And I think that’s what is at the core of this question: How am I nurturing the part of me that wants? Because in order to really try we have to allow ourselves to say what it is that we want. Clearly. Without extra judgey ass voices. Without the voice of your mother saying “When are you going to get a real job?”. Read more>>

Jason Young | Heartour Musician

As an artist my work is project based and the question of whether to give up on a project or keep going is a theme that seems to have been never ending in my career. I’m a solo artist now but I’ve been in bands since middle school and they are complicated organisms. Like a gang or a four way marriage. All of the bands I’ve been in eventually dissolved for reasons as unique as how the came together. I did manage to keep my band The Ruse together for 15 years and I consider that to be somewhat miraculous. The key to that one was that we grew up together and there is a certain magic about the bonds you create in a childhood friendship. In my solo work it is always a constant struggle to keep working on a song or to give it up to the dust bin. My method is persistence and to have many songs going at the same time. If I hit a wall with one I put it aside and continue work on something else or start something new. Eventually the songs that are good enough rise to the top and demand to be finished. Read more>>

Missy Berkowitz | Certified Personal Trainer

Having my own business has been the hardest thing I have ever done, but it has also been the most rewarding. When I have those moments where I have questioned if I will get to where I want to be and entertain the idea of giving up, there are a few things that inspire me to keep going. I think about where I came from and I know I can never go back to the career I had before being a Personal Trainer. I am grateful for it and that it gave me life and business skills, but that part of my life is over. It grounds me into remembering I am much more aligned with my life’s purpose in my current career. Helping people live healthier lives is far more rewarding than anything I did in my corporate days. Read more>>

Jesse Draxler | Artist, Illustrator, Photographer, Creative Director

I’ve never let giving up be an option. I set the age of 30 to be working for myself in a creative field, and while I missed that mark by a few years, I never gave up. I didn’t even know how I was going to be able to do that, I didn’t have a real plan, I just kept creating whatever it was that I felt like I wanted to create and I took opportunities for exposure whenever I had the chance. It was an uphill battle, especially while residing in the midwest where opportunity isn’t as readily available, but I never stopped. I had a sense that I could do it if I just wanted it bad enough, like I could will myself to happen. Read more>>

Florentina Beck | Actress

I feel it with my whole body and soul and I know what it takes to get it done! Passion is the driving force when I chase my dream and I think of myself as unstoppable…however, while I was performing at a theater performance in Kosovo, I dislocated my knee in front of full audience on the opening night, right when the play started…I was in big pain but I felt that the show must go on. I ended up finishing the play like nothing happened. While the curtains were closing down, I was rushed to the hospital. This is what I call not giving up and to keep going no matter what! Just as I know how to not give up, I also know when to give up…It all depends on what it is that I’m giving up. When it comes to my pursuing my dream, whenever I feel that I’ve exhausted all the tries, I’d collect myself and try again and again. If I am exhausted and need a break, nowadays I tell myself to stop, breathe and take a break. There’s always tomorrow!. Read more>>