Giving up is a feeling that I’ve come to recognize. From the tonne of voice down to the emotions that are left lingering from it. Giving up is a simple thing. Especially after working hard at something only for it to fall flat.
This past month, it felt kind of like that for me. Writing several articles for myself and for clients. It all culminated to the emotions I had after a conversation with a fellow entrepreneur.
Uncertainty about what lays ahead.
Some optimism about my own decisions, but doubt also festering on whether that optimism is delusional, or realistic.
It’s these kinds of emotions for me that lead me down the path of contemplation on my decisions. Whether they are right or the best ones to be making right now. And ultimately whether I should be giving something up.
And no doubt, you’re in that sort of state, if only a little.
In those circumstances, here is how I’ve learned to handle these kinds of emotions.
Acknowledge Your Problems
Life is filled with all of these tough decisions. But this is something you should already be aware of. The problems you’ve faced in the past have shaped you and steered you into the life you now have. Sometimes embracing that fact makes coping with your feelings that much easier to deal with.
Knowing that you’ll face all kinds of things will remind you that these feelings are going to crop up again. And you’ll need to overcome them once again. In a sense, it’s exciting. After all, without any kind of negativity, challenge, or pain, how are you able to grow, improve and be a better person than before?
Seriously Consider Giving Up
As crazy as a method it is, the keyword to focus on is “consider”.
One thing I remember in business class is that when debating a big decision, it helps to pull out the numbers from statements and contemplate them. One set of forms is assuming you went with scenario A while the other looks at what happens in scenario B.
It doesn’t matter so much what scenario A or B is in this example, but the purpose of looking at the numbers from those statements was to consider the possibilities of going with one option over another.
When I say consider giving up, consider at least two scenarios: whether you do give up on something, or whether you keep the things as is.
You want to be using this in more serious situations. There’s no sense in going this deep on every decision you make.
What this method does is puts things into perspective of what might happen or what will need to happen in both scenarios. For example, the current problem I’m at is a matter of money. I’m not making enough to cover the entirety of my expenses at the moment and this month I worked myself harder than before.
It’s led me to behaviour of relying heavily on government relief funds which is better than getting payday loans. Still, it’d be nice to not rely on government support at all at this point.
At the core of this problem there are two basic decisions I have:
Give up on certain things in my life, or keep things the way they are.
No matter the circumstances, I’m left with questions about what are the costs and benefits of each decision? Furthermore, what sort of changes must be done?
Based on the facts of your current situation, you change the problem into something more proactive. You’ll find yourself looking at specific activities that you can do to solve your problems.
Normalize The Idea Of Giving Up
The first method above is a good method to help you normalize the idea of giving up without actually giving up. This is how I’ve been able to come to better terms with the idea rather than giving up on something big or small.
I find that normalizing the idea to be helpful on an emotional level as it allows you to look at yourself and listen to yourself. This is so important because the reason most people give up on something boils down to some silly reasons.
Only until you normalize it can you come up with rational ideas and thoughts to be for and against certain decisions.
Going back to my own problem, I’ve decided to keep things the way they are. With everything standing right now, I can cover my expenses at the cost of relying more on government money. That said since I don’t want to rely on the government so much, I need to make changes to my business. Whether that’s looking for better clients or finding more ways to monetize certain things, productivity needs to be boosted.
This method saves you time as you’re more likely to come up with solutions faster if you make the problem so obvious.
Remind Yourself Of Why
Giving up or contemplating it leaves you with a lack of motivation. During these times, it’s important for you to remember your own sources of motivation and to use them as best you can to lift yourself up.
These motivators in your life should be coming from within rather than something external. The reason for this is that external motivation can cause serious mental problems in terms of motivation. You’re focusing on external rewards which may or may not occur. This can lead to you going back through the cycle of giving up again.
With intrinsic motivation, you can use that motivation to not only lift yourself up but to use that for problem-solving and preparation. It can provide you with clarity and focus on what must be done and how to go about it.
Strive With Persistence
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.” – Winston Churchill
Persistence is a quality that I have that I don’t always rely on. Considering how optimistic I am, there is that feeling of doubt that I have on whether my persistence of a problem is worth it or whether I’m too optimistic.
Though this is a problem that I have to deal with myself, I can’t deny the fact that persistence is a valuable trait to have. Being able to brush yourself off from setbacks or even your own feelings is valuable.
On top of that the world is filled with uncertainty. Its hard to say whether my own decision is the right move or the wrong one. The same can be said for you and your decisions.
Talk With Other People
Even though I’ve painted the world somewhat with what I’ve said above, I believe people are complicated and wonderful at the same time. Because every person is so different and unique, they have their own perspective and experiences they bring to the table.
If you are ever feeling about giving up at some point, spend some time talking to other people. And don’t settle on the first person’s thoughts either. Talk to many people about your problems and get perspectives and opinions.
Sometimes conversations are all you need to put problems into perspective.
Giving Up Is Never The End
While there are times where giving up on something is the smarter option, take solace in that it’s not always the end. Even if there is a regression in progress, there are new possibilities that arise and new options for you to cross.
I wouldn’t have uncovered what I truly wanted to do in life if it wasn’t for me giving up on something I spent a good part of my life doing. And I’m sure there are other things that you may not have achieved in life if you decided to give up on something else as well.
So long as you are spending careful consideration in your own decisions around this particular problem, you’ll find a way to grow more from this experience.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon