There come many moments in life when you feel like giving up on everything. You must have lost hope on your relationships, business, studies or changing habits at some point.
Or it’s just that you feel hopeless about yourself because of your recent failures. You may even wish for the end to be near so that you can just close your eyes and know nothing more. Feel nothing more and be gone.
I know it’s a little bit dramatic, but our lives are dramatic and so are our emotions. But you are not alone if you feel like giving up sometimes.
On some days you are tired and wish if you didn’t have to push it anymore. I have felt this countless times and still do sometimes. In fact, people all over the world feel it.
But every time, what I have experienced is, it passes and better days do come. It’s a truth.
Now, let’s see how you can hold yourself together when you want to give up.
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What to do when you want to give up
1. Inspire yourself
The number one thing I do when I want to give up is, look for inspiration.
I love reading stories. Especially stories of people who have overcome difficulties in life, to achieve success in what they do. I love to read the stories of people who didn’t give up by staying persistent, no matter what, with the eyes always locked on their vision.
No one is born in this world, being special. Even the people who appear to “have everything” in life face challenges.
What I always think is this: if they can do it, why can’t I?
You can’t always rely on motivation to keep going or to get things done. Action beats idleness. Habits you have formed consciously help you keep going. But there are times when you lose hope and you need to motivate yourself.
2. What would happen if I keep going
The second thing I do is, challenge myself. I tell myself to keep going for a few more months or one more year to “see” what will happen. During this period, I put in the maximum effort.
There have been many “I should give up” moments for me when I started this blog. In the beginning, I failed to grow it as much as I wanted it to be. Business owners know the pain of the fears and hopeless moments when you start something new. In the beginning, you are unsure of what would happen and whether people would like what you have to offer. And when things don’t go as you hope, you feel like giving up.
When to quit and when not to?
How do you know if you should just quit?
Ask yourself this question: Have I tried every strategy under the sun to steer this in the direction I want it to go?
My policy is to “never give up” until I have tried every solution out there. That is, do everything that is humanly possible under the sun and see. Chances are when you tweak things and test again and again, something will click.
It’s true not only in business but in your relationships and everything else.
If you want to give up on your relationships, is it because you didn’t put in as much effort as you should have?
If you keep getting low grades, and you want to score higher, is it because the method of studying is not serving you anymore? Or is it because you are studying in the evening but you memorize more if you do it in the morning? Or vice versa.
If you feel like giving up on your habits, is it because you didn’t stick with it for enough days? Or is it because you started big and now you can’t find the momentum again.
As you can see, it is not only important to keep going but to change things up to get different results. If you keep going by doing the same things that didn’t get you results in the first time, then it’s not wise to keep doing the same thing.
Identify what went wrong, and make new plans and put in your maximum before giving up.
3. Remember your why
As Simon Sinek says, it all starts with why. When you lose hope, go back to your reasons for starting what you want to give up. When you clearly know your why and if you are still passionate about it, you regain the strength to continue. Because if you are not there yet, you know you should go on.
If you have a strong WHY it will help you keep going. Think about how your life would be if you don’t achieve your WHY.
For me, thinking about the life of regret alone is enough to turn me back from giving up. Even if you are not making much progress now, if you think you will regret later because you didn’t keep at it, keep going.
My favourite phrase when I go through something tough is “This too shall pass”. It helped me to wait for the light at the end of the tunnel when all I saw was pitch black. It helped me to stay patient when I fell into the hopeless hole of depression. Repeating this affirmation always help me to persist and keep going.
4. Look back and count your achievements
It is easy to not think of how far you have come when you are only looking ahead. Setting goals and working for them is good. But never forget about the journey you took.
It’s normal to feel frustrated by the lack of your progress when others have gone far ahead of you.
But never compare yourself with others because everyone has their own unique journey. You should only compare yourself with what you were yesterday.
Sometimes looking back at your journey is enough to stop yourself from giving up. Because you must have faced many challenges, roadblocks, and pain to reach where you are today. You went through all of it and you are here today, alive.
Don’t you think those challenges made you stronger? You have so many experiences under your belt on which you can reminisce upon and inspire yourself. If you went through all that, you can go through this too.
Now let’s do a simple exercise. Take a sheet of paper. Or if you are using a digital device, go to your notes app.
Think about what is it that you want to give up.
If it’s your business, write down the achievements you made from the beginning till now, no matter how small. Also, write about the skills you learned in the course of running the business. Those are all your wins.
If it’s a relationship that has lost its spark, think about all the good times you have had with each other and the qualities of your partner that made you fall for him/her. Chances are, those are still there. But over time, you gave more focus to the negatives.
If it’s a habit, write about how many times you were able to do it without fail. Write about your biggest habit streak.
Talking about habits, I struggled for years to finally become a morning person and love it. Although I loved sleeping in too much I hated how unproductive I was after getting up. And that motivated me to keep trying again and again. I am happy I didn’t give up.
5. Take a break
Another reason for you to feel like giving up is that you worked so hard so that you forgot to take a break. Self-care should be made a non-negotiable part of your life because burnout is real. And it can cost you days and weeks of work because you didn’t take rest when it was due.
When you are passionate about what you do, you don’t feel like stopping. Your soul loves it but your body is human, and it is designed to receive rest and recuperation at frequent intervals.
Starting fresh will give you the new energy you needed.
When you take a break, you are able to appreciate what it means to you and come back with new perspective and plans.
6. Learn, connect and get support
You feel like giving up; is it because you don’t know enough? Think about it. Are you feeling stuck because you don’t know enough about what you are doing? Maybe a change in direction is what you need.
I have seen this with people who run businesses. Sometimes people give up too soon, that they don’t realize, had they kept going the breakthrough was just around the corner. And that can come through more learning.
Connect with people who are successful in your field. Ask them for opinions and usually, people are kind enough to tell you what works for them. They have walked the walk before you and they would have some wisdom to offer you.
Another thing you can do is learn from books, Youtube, courses, and other online platforms.
As I said, before giving up, make sure you have tried everything that has worked for others.
7. Don’t think about the whole staircase
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and tired when you think about the mountain of tasks that you have to do. You don’t feel like moving a finger and you would just rather give up since you feel you are already not getting the results.
Break the whole process into simple steps and focus only on one day at a time. You don’t have the future with you; you don’t have the past either. What you have is, only now and here. Do what you can do today and have faith that everything will work out.
Don’t think about the whole staircase; just focus on the next step.
Meditation and mindfulness can help you live in the moment rather than in your past or future. The effects of meditation are wonderful and I am finally seeing the changes in my life after practicing for months. It changes your whole outlook on living.
8. Don’t give up: Patience pays
The universe is not in a hurry. You are. It’s why you are anxious and depressed and disappointed. Let go and trust – Anonymous
We live in a world where food is delivered to our doorsteps with just a few clicks, taxis come to our home to pick us and Amazon takes care of all our household purchases. All by tapping on our smartphones and no wonder, we are getting more impatient than ever.
We want everything NOW!
But to build something meaningful in life, you have to be patient and persevere as long as it is required for you to win. The challenges you face along the journey make you who you are. Those experiences come to you because those are required to make you stay longer in the game.
And those who stay longer always have interesting stories to tell!
When they look back they are proud of how they didn’t give up, because that was the reason they won.
And if you look, instant results are promised everywhere! Some headlines I see on Pinterest go like this:
- How to lose 10 kilos in a week
- How to make quick money in one day
- How to get a clear face in two days
I don’t know if these work, I haven’t tried. But promoting quick results always entice people and they expect to change their life overnight. I know people who earn money fast from their businesses, like these headlines report.
But there are people who don’t too.
No one reports failures, and those who believe in the hype and act on it, give up too soon. And the people who became successful, we never know how many failed businesses they have had before winning on this one. They don’t say it. That’s why you shouldn’t waste the efforts you put in by comparing and giving up.
If you are doing it only for the money and fame, chances are you will feel like giving up sooner. Do it for your soul and do it from your heart, and you will end up richer.
9. Let it out
Instead of carrying the burden all alone, talk to people who would listen compassionately. Talk to someone who will not blame you but motivate you and lift you up.
Whatever happens, never be “giving up on life” be an option. Talk to a therapist or participate in online support forums where people who go through the same situation as you, hang out. No matter what you are going through, there are tons of people who go through the same all over the world and didn’t give up on life.
10. Know when to quit
Sometimes, in life we make the wrong decisions. I have started certain projects and quit them either because I was pretty sure things would not work out. Or I lost passion in just a few months. I was not feeling happy doing it, so I knew there is no point in continuing. Even if I had invested money in it, if working for it felt like a chore, I gave up.
And when I started this blog, I didn’t have much success with it in the first year. I thought about giving up many times, but writing on this blog is something I enjoyed and always looked forward to. I love sharing my experiences and love receiving feedback. For me, these were signs I should keep going. And I am glad I did.
There are days when I don’t feel like writing, and so I take a self-care break. But what happens is, after a few days, I miss writing and come back to it. That’s also another sign that you are meant to do it.
When I start something I always give myself a time frame to work on it. Usually, it’s six months or one year, but it depends upon the project. Six months or one year is too short to decide, for certain projects. And it also depends on how consistent you are. But you get to know about the progress. You get to decide if it’s for you and whether you are happy doing it.
Even if you didn’t achieve the goals you set, if you feel happy about what you do, the Universe maybe telling you to not give up yet.
Have you had experiences where you felt, not giving up was the best decision ever? Let me know in the comments below.
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