Just because you feel awful doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong

Jane Elliott PhD
7 min readAug 7, 2021

We don’t give up on our goals because we feel bad. We give up because of what we think feeling bad means. Here’s how to think differently.

Let’s say there’s a task that’s really important to you, but somehow you can’t seem to work on it. You’ve tried a lot of solutions, but nothing seems to help.

Then one day, you stumble across something that seems like it could actually make a difference. Maybe it’s my post on internal resistance. Maybe it’s someone else’s writing or podcast or whatever.

When this happens, we start to feel a tiny bit of hope. Maybe we won’t actually spend our whole lives stuck between the rock of wanting to do the work and the hard place of somehow still not doing it.

In my experience, this hope feels incredible. Like rain in the desert. Like we won’t have to act like our own worst enemy forever.

So we decide to try yet again.

I want to pause before I go further just to say that this is fucking heroic and you should try to actually notice that. The amount of not-being-willing-to-give-up-on-yourself involved in making another attempt, when you’ve had so much painful negative reinforcement, is profound.



Jane Elliott PhD

Coach, Prof, Writer, Swear-er | I help high-achievers do the one thing they just can't do.