50% of us suffer burnout at some point in our lives (source). Probably more than once. No matter how much we love our job or appreciate our lives, we’ll always have ‘those days. The days when we feel we’re not achieving anything. The days when we ask ourselves why we’re doing this. They just happen. Sure, most of the time we’ll bounce back from these situations. We’ll come up with an idea for a new creative adventure, or a solution to improve something we’re not fully satisfied with. But what happens when you feel like you've lost purpose and meaning? What happens when you just want to give up completely?
There have been many times in my 23 years where I've wanted to give up. I've thought, “I can’t do this anymore.” And in that moment, it was 50/50. I could have easily decided that was it. But each time, I didn't. I didn't give up. And I’m really glad I didn't. So if you feel like you’re in this position, today I’m sharing what you can do when you think about giving up.
#1 Ask Yourself Why
The first thing to always do is go back to why. Why did you decide to do this in the first place? Why are you doing it now? Sometimes we can have an end vision in mind, but along the way we lose the sense of why we started. So we start questioning our actions and decisions until we don’t want to do anything else in case we jeopardise our future.
At the end of each month, I review how the past four weeks have gone. I review my goals and make new ones that are in line with my personal values. I’m sure many of you who are reading this right now do this too. So at the end of April when you’re analysing your goals, go back and revisit your ‘why’ to see if you’re still on track and achieving what you want and deserve.
Why Not Try This?
If you're on track, great! Note down one thing you can do this month to improve and get you one step closer.
If you find you’re not on track, try and work out where it was in your journey that made you deviate from where you want to be. Try and make a change to get you back on track.
#2 Don't Accept That You're Giving Up
It can be so difficult to keep going sometimes. Maybe it's that you're not seeing the results you expected with your business. Or maybe it's that you're working super hard at work but aren't getting any credit for it. Whatever your situation is, once you accept that you've given up, that'll be it. Try to escape the shock and the feeling. Even just attempting to climb out of this place you're in will help you to start seeing a difference. Find a solution and try it. If that doesn't work, try again. It might not be that the first solution you come up with works. It's usually the opposite. I think you need something here that's more than faith or the willingness to change something. You need hope. Persistence delivers results. But hope is what gets you there.
#3 Learn to Ride the Rough with the Smooth
Life isn't easy and it's not supposed to be. We're faced with challenges and hurdles on a regular basis that we're forced to overcome. But it's overcoming them that makes us realise how strong we are and that it's not worth giving up. Because these are inevitable parts of life. If you're prepared for these things to happen, you'll get out of them faster. Having a brief moment like this can spur you on and move you forward like you never thought.
#4 Share your Struggles and Goals
Learn from experience - keeping everything inside you is never a good thing. Can you imagine? You'd have so many thoughts in your head you wouldn't know whether you were coming or going. Finding someone who can help you along the way and even hold you accountable will make you not want to give up. You’ll want to keep going to prove yourself so you’ll keep taking action. And if you ever get to a point when you want to give up, you’ll have a person there to tell you to keep going. Sometimes, that’s all we really need.
#5 Think About the Positives
Changing my mindset from negative to positive has made such a huge difference to my life. We’ll always have those days where the negative thoughts won’t go away and days when we won’t want to do anything. That’s just how it goes. But when you feel like giving up instead of sitting on the sofa and wallowing in this horrible feeling, change your outlook. I believe that starting your day on a positive is so important. Every morning, I write down three things I’m grateful for, three things that would make the day great and a daily affirmation. I always make sure I have a good conversation or laugh with my parents or other half. I give my animals a cuddle and I listen to Radio 1 on my commute which is always great. This puts me in a good mood for the day. Think about things in your life that make you smile. Write a list if you have to. You’ll be laughing and smiling to yourself in no time.
#6 Anticipate the Challenges
During your journey, whatever it is, there are going to be moments when you feel like giving up. It’s inevitable. But that means you can deal with it. I bet there were many times Beyoncé felt like giving up when she was trying to make it. But she didn't, and look at her now. JK Rowling, Stephen King, Oprah – these are all people that could have given up and led completely different lives. But they carried on and overcame the challenges that arrived. If you can acknowledge a challenge, embrace it, overcome it, learn from it and carry on, that’s an admirable characteristic to have.
#7 Be Proud of Yourself
We are all unique and all our lives are unique. If we lived our life like someone else, well, it’d just be boring. Sometimes, we’re so caught up in what we’re trying to achieve next that we can forget how far we've come. But why wait and celebrate the huge successes? Celebrate the small successes and those light bulb moments, not just the end result. When you get to a point where you feel like you want to give up, ask yourself if you've been trying your best. Ask yourself if you've learnt everything you could or if you've made the most of everything. Usually, the answer to these questions mean we shouldn't give up. We've usually achieved far too much by this point to stop anyway.
#8 Make a Change
If you've been reading A Branch of Holly for a while, you’ll notice that I’m always going on about how we have the power to make changes in our lives.
If you’re in a job you don’t like or there’s a friend that doesn't make you happy, you can change this. It’s your life and you have the power to change things. One of the things that upsets me the most is when I feel as if I’m wasting time. So this may be my third full time job in six months, but I know now that it’s the right one. What was the point in being in a job that didn't make me happy? I changed it and if you’re in this situation, you can change it too.
The strength you feel when you don’t give up is like no other. You can get so close to giving in altogether. But somewhere, a voice in the back of your mind will tell you to keep going. That’s the voice to listen to.
I'd love to know, do you have any tips for when you feel like giving up?
Wondering how to be found online?