When it comes to life advice, open any website, app or TV programme and we are quickly fooled into thinking that giving up is the biggest cardinal sin. From fitness routines, diets, dating to self-entrepreneurship, there seems to be an entire industry reminding us of the hidden powers and untapped potential that lives within us. We are advised how we should be pushing in the face of obstacles because of course, nothing good comes easy and that we should somehow make magic happen outside of our comfort zones. I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase “you have come this far, don’t give up” and “fake it until you make it” which guilts us into believing that doubting our endeavours is the worse possible thing we could do.
When we are really trying to make something work and it takes much longer than we expected –– despite our best efforts, doing a cost-benefit analysis on all the levels can be very tricky. What is the right amount of persistence? What is the right length of time for trying? There may be financial implications at stake but just as importantly, our emotions should be counted in too. What is it that keeps us going on what seems to have become an uphill battle? Is it a person or a wider support network we do not want to let down, although our hearts are no longer in the venture at hand? Or is it our ego, our sense of pride that does not allow us to face the truth and liberate ourselves from what has now become a draining burden?
It can be difficult to admit, but we are allowed to quit the journey we started. In a world that gives us so many options, giving up is an option too, and a perfectly acceptable one. But whilst wrapping things up and moving on might be a hit on the ego for many reasons, there is no need to consider it as such.
First, remember that there are numerous skills and lessons we have picked up along the way through our journey. It is important to acknowledge the many lessons we learned through the process and how we can use this experience to benefit our self-growth in the long-term. Giving up on something doesn’t mean time was wasted. It means we’ve experienced another great life lesson that nobody can take away from us.
And here’s an important tip: Always attempt to evaluate the situation as an outsider. Creating mental distance to the narrative of our personal situation allows us to see beyond our emotions and frees us to view the facts as they are.
Second, remember that it is perfectly fine and only normal to change our minds through the process. Before the journey began, we might have thought this endeavour could be a life passion, but it is extremely rare for things to stay constantly stay static, as it is impossible to know how our life will unfold in advance. We find it normal that situations change around us, so why not accept the same regarding our personal opinions and passions?
Third, the biggest lesson of all is to acknowledge and take time to honour the courage we had by beginning this journey and maintaining this courage to walk away from it. By taking the leap to go for something we believe in, working for it, and taking the time to evaluate the progress to bravely come to a conclusion that rings the most true to us, says a lot about our integrity as a person. Honour this courage, accept it, and move forward.
Lets not allow our own expectations of what “should be” to define us and hold us back. Remember that accepting and taking gratitude of our present reality is a liberating experience. There is a lot to celebrate in taking responsibility and wisely giving up on what no longer serves us anymore.
After all, no matter how big it all seems right now, our present reality does not need to define the story of our future.