Hands up if you’ve ever given up on something, just thrown something away unfinished, unaccomplished, whether it was a hobby, a job, a dream, a relationship.
It’s not something any of us want to admit, yet I think we’ve all been guilty of this at one time in our lives or another. It can be the smallest thing, perhaps something completely overwhelming, or maybe something completely unrelated that causes us to throw our hands up in the air, turn our back, and simply give up.
When you get to the point you want to give up on something, it’s usually an all-encompassing emotional reaction. You stop thinking clearly, and you start focussing on what is wrong and why you should give it all up and start again. It’s an obsessive thought that invades us, and causes us to lose hope and quit what we’ve started for, let’s be honest, no real reason.
Throughout my life I have quit so many things, given up hopes and dreams, rage-quit one thing after another, and the reasons for these abandonments were never legitimate and would definitely not hold their own in a debate. In fact, I was recently considering giving up on blogging because I don’t have time to take photos! My food photos are terrible! No one is reading my blog!
See? What ridiculous reasons to give up on this blog! I can make the time to take more photos, learn to take better photos (ok, lbr, my photography of food has improved exponentially since the likes of this), and my readership is in the tens!
That aside, more often than not, when we give up – there’s no going back. So how do we stop giving up? How do we fight the good fight and continue putting our energies towards things without losing hope or succumbing to depression or distraction?
Well, if we can’t go back, we need to push forward, and this is how I plan to stop giving up!
Analyse. Adapt. Approach.
I use the 3A technique (trademark pending [ok, not really]) whenever faced with any difficult situation, and this method has truly helped me both personally and professionally in beating back the obstacles that get in my way and make me want to throw it all away.
So, how does the 3A technique work?
I stop, take a breath, and analyse the situation – what went wrong, where and why?
Once I identify the issue, I adapt the way I think about the situation, thinking outside of the box, or putting myself in someone elses shoes to gain a new perspective.
Once I adapt to the situation, I can then approach it once again with these learnings and am able to keep on keeping on.
When faced with a problem, look online and do some research into how you can approach the situation differently, what other people have done in your situation, and then consider these options and how they could apply to you. Just remember, if (per se) you can’t dance anymore because of an injury, maybe there’s other forms of dance that won’t irritate the injury, or perhaps there’s a treatment for your injury!
By using the 3A approach, you learn that no matter how difficult the task or situation, it is doable, and you can do it!
Ignore the negativity
Each of us is the sum of our experiences, and life is plagued with negative experiences, but that doesn’t mean they have to define us – just because we have a negative experience, doesn’t mean we have to think negatively.
It’s easy to think in a downward spiral, and to allow our own negative thoughts to control us, but this is a way of thinking we have to move beyond – we’re our own worst enemies, and worst critics, after all!
We all know the saying “If life gives you lemons” so we need to remember to take the lemons and make lemonade, using both the external and internal negativity as inspiration to improve the situation. Just because something negative has happened, doesn’t mean there’s not something positive to come from it.
Whenever you receive a negative comment, or something negative happens, think about the positives that can come from it – even a bad haircut means you get to wear some fab headscarves!
If you are feeling like you’re not good at your job, and that you’re underqualified or out of your depth – don’t quit, don’t give up, and don’t let the negatives get you down. Think of it as an opportunity to expand your knowledge, learn something new and improve. Just focus on those positives, because you’ll never see the silver lining if you don’t turn it inside out!
Use your support network
When you’re feeling overwhelmed and are about to give up on something, call someone. Don’t send them a message, no IM, get on the phone (or even better – face to face!) and have an actual conversation with someone in your support network whether it’s friends or family.
Whether it’s someone in your family, a good friend or boy/girlfriend, or a teacher – there’ll be someone who will be your cheerleader and help you through. They’ll not only give you encouragement to persevere, but may also help you approach the issue from a new angle and perspective, so giving-up will be the furthest thought from your mind.
In fact, your support network may have been there, done that, and they know you, so the empathy and understanding they’ll offer will be invaluable.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your relationship, things are moving too fast (or not fast enough) or you simply feel like you’re not good enough, your support network will help you through and remind you that the good outweighs the bad, and that giving up will only cause regrets later down the track, and more importantly: you are good enough!
Listen to your anthem
We all have that one song that when we listen to it, it gives us the energy to get up, to move, to keep on keeping on. Music is a hugely emotional experience and it can manipulate and change our moods quickly and un-invasively, so by changing up your tunes, by putting on the music that drives you and encourages you, you’ll be more encouraged and determined to keep going before you know it.
If your assignment or thesis feels like it’s never going to be finished, that you have been labouring for longer than you can remember and it’d be easier to just give it all up, put your anthem on and let the music work its magic and inspire you to keep on going.
Remember: You’re pretty awesome
No matter what the situation, no matter what it is you are wanting to give up on – just remember you are awesome. Look how far you’ve come! Look at what you have already accomplished. No one else did that – you did. If you can do all of that, well, why not keep on going and find out what else you can do!
It might take a moment to reassess, to move past the negative, get some moral support, or find some amazing tunes, but remember: You are amazing in your accomplishments and what you have achieved so far, you do have the drive, the ambition and the talent, so keep on keeping on – not for anyone else, but so you can say “Yep, I’m pretty awesome!”
So remember, no matter what you do, no matter who you are, self doubt aside, negativity aside, just keep on keeping on.