There’s a method to quitting.

As a coach, it’s fascinating to observe. We’ve all done it. It’s almost like going through the stages of grief.

The Feeling
This isn’t what I thought it would be.

The Story
The tales you begin to tell yourself of why you won’t be able to reach what you set out to achieve.

The Justification
You rationalise why it’s OK to quit. You’ve used these before and they work. Some of the ones I hear most often are… I don’t have the time. It wasn’t that important anyway. It will never work.

The Feeling
You then use ‘facts’. Using your self-filtered evidence to prove the feeling, story and justification. This logic can be as crazy as the moon is made of cheese, but if it fits, you’ll use it.

The Denial
It wasn’t that important anyway. Who cares if I don’t get the promotion, write the book, start my business, complete the project, save my relationship, improve my health…


The solution? Get back in the saddle.

I love that expression.

If you fall off a horse, what do you do?

Stand around while the herd disappears? Or get back on?

It may hurt, you may be at the back of the group but you’re still part of it.


In the new edition of 17, I share 17 ways to get back in the saddle. They include; the power of breath, reframing, something new called Hyper-Short-Term Visualisation and using quitting as the motivator (how’s that for a flip?).

I included this chapter because I know you’re a human.

Sometimes your subconscious takes over and tries to protect you from perceived pain. It thinks sod this, be safe, let’s quit.

Sometimes it’s right.

Most times it’s not.


What are your ideas to get back in the saddle? I’ll send a signed copy of 17 blue to our favourite. Please leave your comments below.

And speaking of 17 blue. You can order a special, numbered, signed, limited second edition – in blue, here.

Be Brilliant!


  1. August 3rd 2023 by Diane

    I get back in the saddle by asking myself ‘How do I explain why I ‘m quitting to my daughters – what example am I setting them.’ The most powerful reason WHY to get back on the saddle ever for me!

  2. August 3rd 2023 by Simon Lowe

    Michael you were magnificent when my saddle was taken away. Told me to look after myself, eat,sleep & exercise properly. Also to use the network I’d been part of, which was just crucial!

  3. August 3rd 2023 by Des Reynolds

    I’m a firm believer in marking an x on a calendar for every day you move towards a goal. The first x is the hardest one sometimes, putting the following ones on gets progressively easier as habits form. So do a plan and get that first x on it ! 👍

  4. August 3rd 2023 by Noel Wincote

    I never quit, I have always strived to come back to it and finish what I’ve started unless the item(s) in question is beyond irreparable repair.

  5. August 3rd 2023 by Kate Joels

    The person who can drive themselves further once the effort gets painful is the person who will succeed…..get back in the saddle and do it… know you can! Believe in yourself, have faith and take action 😊

  6. August 3rd 2023 by Ruth McDonagh

    I recall the excitement and motivation I felt at the outset; the overall reason/driver for doing it; focus on that – I’m in the right positive mindset to begin again!

  7. August 3rd 2023 by Melanie Wellard

    When I get low and think about giving up- I get naked and dance in the rain (privately) it’s grounding, cleansing and refreshing- it’s like it wakes me up from the sleep walking of heavy energy that’s dragging me down . It’s hard to think of giving up after that

  8. August 3rd 2023 by Julie McCabe

    I ask myself the question ‘what are the benefits of staying in your comfort zone?’. My answer is always, ‘absolutely none’!!

  9. August 3rd 2023 by Sally

    Tell yourself you ARE worth it and you CAN do it.

  10. August 3rd 2023 by Karen Hedges

    Say ‘oh well’ and start from…now, taking a moment to reflect on what has been happening and be as kind to yourself as you would another.

  11. August 3rd 2023 by Flo Kingfisher

    I take a deep breath and remind myself ‘don’t give up! Be strong…Believe in yourself! ’

    I’m like a terrier and keep hanging in there.. 😁

  12. August 3rd 2023 by Dawn

    Ask myself “what’s the worst that can happen if I quit” that fires me up because I don’t like the answer x

  13. August 3rd 2023 by Jane Parsons

    You’ve made me think, Michael. As a rider, I know exactly what it feels like to get back in the saddle after a time away from the horse. Sometimes getting back into the saddle has to be immediate – after a fall, for instance – so you don’t lose your nerve. That’s really hard, but so quick you don’t really have much choice, especially if you’re a long way from home. That’s the “just do it”. message.
    Sometimes, it’s a longer gap caused by life in general – work, family, illness, money problems, no horse! All unavoidable, and all stopping you doing the thing you love, riding.
    If it’s just a temporary problem, it’s usually relatively easy to climb back up into the saddle once you’ve resolved the blip. You’re a bit stiff, but everything still works, you remember how to ride and it seems to feel natural pretty quickly once you get going.
    It’s when it’s been a while that it’s really hard. The fear creeps back that you’re not a good enough rider, that you’ve forgotten how to ride, that you’re too old/fat/tired/time-starved to start again. All the bad voices start chattering away. You need to hush them – meditation is brilliant. Then the first big step to getting back on that horse is to realise you WANT to. Or even NEED to. Imagine it, practise in your mind, visualise those fabulous May mornings trotting through the woods and across the common, or soaring over that jump. Know you can do it – stretch out those muscles, try on the hat, look in the mirror and see the rider standing there, looking at you, waiting to go.
    Know you’re determined to try again, feel it, then tell someone special to you what you’re going to do and when. Polish the tack, groom the horse until it gleams, plan a short, beautiful and safe ride, and get your l
    trusted other to give you a leg up on your
    fantastic horse. Or bring a stool! Wave them goodbye and off you trot, back in the saddle. Then you’ll remember why you love riding so very very much, and you’ll be ready to work it back into your schedule as a regular and beloved way to spend some of your life.

  14. August 3rd 2023 by Lorraine Linley

    I went back to riding horses after 33 years. I rode a crazy ex racehorse that hadn’t been ridden for 6 months . He went berserk and I fell off . I couldn’t get back in as he wouldn’t stand still. Fast forward a few days I prepared my self. Bought some better jodhpurs with grip to hold me in the saddle , did some strength training to cope with his trying to charge off, rode in gloves to give me more traction, read articles and watched videos on line about horse behaviour. Changed routes so he didn’t spook on the same ride pattern in the same place or direction. I tried to understand him more and tried to be a calmer better rider. I anticipated him doing it again and rehearsed the scenario in my head as a coping strategy . He spooked numerous time on future rides but I got better , he got better and I didn’t fall off . It was the right decision to get back in the saddle !

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