I used to like the adage of DFQ (or Don’t Fucking Quit).
It had solid intentions, and implied that the body was better than the mind thinks it is, and the mind makes the call. Having been around endurance events, and passing some, and failing others, DFQ was a good mindset to have. It seemed.
But it turns out that DFQ doesn’t work.
The reason it doesn’t work comes down to the way the brain works, how we can control our own brain chemistry, and therefore (to the extent with which we have control) our own destiny.
For the longest time, neuroscience posited that our brain chemistry dictated our thought patterns. If our brain chemistry leaned towards a positive frame of mind, we would be happy or confident. More recent science, though, has uncovered something that self-help gurus like Tony Robbins, and meditation proponents, have said all along. This correlation can be reversed. Positive thought can change the trajectory of your thought processes in a way that sticks. In other words, positive thoughts can change your brain chemistry in a way that has long term positive effects. The specific term used for this is Neuroplasticity. This WSJ article talks in depth about some of the more well known research.
So, if we can change our brain chemistry with thought, why is DFQ such a bad thing? Well the problem is the direction of that phrase. Say it aloud. It is almost impossible not to focus on the terminating word. On the Quit.
Don’t fucking QUIT.
Just saying it feels so negative.
It’s almost a year since my own life-changing moment happened, where I lost my foot in a motorcycle accident. Sure, I had my down times, but almost instantly I realized I had a new normal, and the quicker I adjusted, the quicker I would excel. This was deep-rooted in my belief that time is brief in this one life, and the clock does not stop ticking for me. Life also does not allow the opportunity to quit and then resume, like a race might.
So if you can’t quit, how do you get the resolve to keep going? Well you just do. You “Keep Fucking Going”.
Look at the difference, and say both phrases out loud, and independently.
Don’t Fucking Quit.
Keep Fucking Going.
The first has connotations of negativity. It also implies a precipice. QUIT is a negative thought in almost every sense, and even when it isn’t it scares the quitters (think consumers of drugs or cigarettes or alcohol) because of its absoluteness towards change. GOING has positive connotations, and implies the continuation of momentum. The change isn’t drastic, and allows you to build on what came before.
Doesn’t that last phrase sound so much more compelling, easier, more positive, more motivating than the first?
So I implore you. No more DFQ. Instead, KFG.