I came across this quote during a challenging time in my life, and it was just what I needed to see. Have you ever been in a situation where giving up seems like the way to go?
These are a few examples of such situations:
- Failing at your first business idea or startup company
- Receiving rejection emails for opportunities you were excited about
- Failing an exam after spending time and resources preparing for it
- Being laid off by a company you worked so hard for
- Getting rejected by a publisher after working so hard to write your book
In challenging situations like these, it feels comfortable to give up since trying again may become daunting.
One thing I’ve learned though is that it doesn’t take any effort to give up. Since I don’t like effortless tasks, I try to keep pushing.
In this article, I’d like to share a few tips that have helped me not to give up during difficult situations:
- Express your emotions: It is okay to cry or express your feelings because they are valid. Allow yourself some time and space to express those emotions. When you let it all out, you’ll experience a self-soothing feeling called Catharsis. Catharsis is the feeling of relief, which results from the expression of strong emotions. When you express your emotions, you will feel less stressed about your situation and be able to work through it.
- Setbacks are only temporary: I know this to be true from my experiences and those of others. I think it’s key to understand that your circumstances do not define who you are. What defines you is how you react to the situation and what you learn from it. Do not give up because it will be over sooner than you expect.
- Find some inspiration: Reading or watching biographical accounts of people’s lives can be inspiring. I enjoy learning about people who refused to give up when they faced problems that seemed impossible. My favorite movie and book for some inspiration are The Pursuit of Happyness and Gifted Hands. In both accounts, the protagonists didn’t give up on their dreams despite their challenges. Inspirational books or movies give you hope and make you realize that you are not alone.
- Channel the energy into something positive: Psst! Do you know that I created this blog during a very low moment in my life? That’s a story for another day! It takes a lot of energy to wallow in a sad situation, so why not channel that energy into something positive and rewarding? Designing this blog and watching it take different forms felt like a good use of my energy. Similarly, you can choose to pursue those dreams that you’ve put on hold for some time. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish when you do so.
- Appreciate the journey so far: When faced with difficulty, we tend to point at everything else that isn’t working in our lives. When you start counting how many challenges you’ve faced, you may lose hope and feel like giving up. I’ve found this behavior to be unproductive because it reduces my chances of working through the situation. What I’ve learned to do is to look back and celebrate my journey. Recall those times that you faced challenges, what you did to overcome them, the lessons you learned, and how they contributed to who you are now. This way, you’ll be adopting an optimistic mindset which will help you to find better alternatives for moving past your current situation.
- Don’t lose sight of your end goal: There are always reasons behind the decisions we make. If you lose sight of your end goal, it becomes easy to give in to the circumstances around you. I’ve found it helpful to write down my goals in a notebook and keep it aside. When I feel like giving up, I pull out that book and reconnect with my goals. Once you can reconnect with your goals, you will feel re-energized and strive for a way out of your difficult situation.
- Open up to someone: When my challenges seem insurmountable, or I have lost the motivation to keep pushing, I talk with someone about it. I’ve found this helpful because it allows me to vent or think aloud while the other person listens or shares some advice. If you find that the people around you don’t understand your situation, you can look for support groups online or seek professional help like visiting a therapist.
- Look for the lessons: There is always a lesson to learn from a difficult situation. Setbacks can teach you about patience, trust, or humility. They can also make you more empathetic toward other people or even inspire your creative skills. Every challenge that you overcome makes you a better version of yourself, so I’ll recommend that you focus on the potential lessons.