If you feel like you’re at the end the road with nowhere to go, realize you are lying to yourself. You have imprisoned yourself in your own mind by telling self-defeating stories – stories about what your life should be like, what you should have already accomplished, and so forth. For those times when you have just had a bad day, are too tired to care, or just feel like giving in to something you know you will regret later, go through the following list and ask yourself some important questions.
1. Why did you started this in the first place?
All you can see right now are the plans that aren’t working out or the bills that need to be paid or the schedule that just seems totally unsustainable. But think back to simpler times, all the way back to the beginning. What was it that made you start this crazy adventure? Were you in a job you hated? Were you encouraged by friends and family to utilize your talents more? Were you attracted to the reality of this new endeavor or simply the idea of it? For better or for worse, tap into the specific reasons of why you wanted to make a change. If those reasons still apply to you, if you still feel connected to your original purpose, then quitting might not be for you.
2. Happiness can be found in the darkest of times.
It’s true. Happiness is a choice. When you think about it, your circumstances are absolutely remarkable. You are here, your heart is beating, you are still living and because of that, there is a reason to hold on to hope. When you are lost in the midst of darkness, hope can seem out of reach, but if you continue to tread forward, that glimmer of hope will become brighter with each step.
3. You never fail until you’re satisfied with failure.
Failure is not falling down; failure is staying down when you have the choice to get back up. Sometimes you have to fail a thousand times to succeed. Which means you haven’t really failed yet; you’ve just found a bunch of ways that don’t work. So don’t get so hung up on a few failed attempts that you miss every new opportunity coming your way. All of your ideas that don’t work are simply stepping stones on your way to the one idea that does. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
4. Fear is a liar.
There are actually plenty of good reasons to give up – a lack of finances, fading interest, a change of circumstances – but fear just isn’t one of them. That’s because, for the most part, fear lies. Fear paints a picture in your mind that isn’t real. It shows you all of the negatives, none of the positives, as well as a lot of unrealistic eventualities that might never come to be. If fear is your only motivator right now, you might not have the best grasp on your situation, so find a way to reframe your thoughts.
5. Tough times are just part of life’s natural balance.
Life lives, life dies. Life laughs, life cries. Life gives up and life tries. And life looks different through everyone’s eyes. In fact, who you were, who you are, and who you will become are three completely different people. And as you gradually grow beyond the person you were yesterday, keep life’s challenges in perspective.
6. You might need some help.
One of the reasons you may feel like giving up right now is because it’s all starting to become too much. There is so much to do, you aren’t sleeping, and you haven’t seen your friends and family in weeks. If that’s the case, my question for you is this: is anyone helping you right now? Because, by the way, that’s totally allowed. So often we try to handle everything on our own because we assume that’s what we’re supposed to do, but it usually leads to quicker burnout.
7. You can choose differently.
The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective. And in many cases, the only thing in life you have control over is your perspective. No matter what happens, YOU control what the meaning is, and what to do with the meaning you give to the circumstance. Choose to react in a way that motivates happiness, love, or forgiveness, even when circumstances make that choice difficult.
8. It’s not supposed to be easy.
Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday. Again, success is tied to long-term determination. Successful people keep moving and trying. They make mistakes, but they do not quit. If things in your life aren’t happening as planned right now, that’s okay. It just means it’s not the right time. Life’s brick walls are not there to keep you out, they’re there to give you a chance to show how badly you want something. They’re there to stop the people who don’t want it as bad as you do.
9. Life is still good.
You may have seen better days, but you have also seen worse. You might not have all your wants, but you do have all your needs. You woke up with a few aches and pains, but you woke up. Your life may not be perfect, but it is good. And more good things are coming down the road as long as you keep moving forward.
The next time you feel like giving up, ask yourself if you’ve done everything possible in your current situation to maximize the opportunity. Have you experienced all the learnings, happiness and pain associated with what you want to achieve? If the answer is no, then keep going until you have!
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