Whenever I scroll through my social media feeds, I often stumble across posts where someone feels like giving up or feels discouraged and demotivated. I can totally relate, because I’ve found myself in that rut too many times to count.
After drawing from my own experiences and years of research, watching videos, reading books, articles, and listening to podcasts, I came up with 13 things you can do when you feel like giving up and how to get back on track again.
1. Remember your WHY
Remind yourself why you have started something and bring yourself back to that reason. Your why is what is going to motivate you to keep pushing forward. When making mistakes or failing, remember what you’re giving up by not trying. You learn from your mistakes and failures. More mistakes, more failures = growth and a stronger you.
2. Push through the slump
When you first start pursuing a goal, everything is exciting and you feel motivated to get to where you need to be – you feel unstoppable! However, there comes a time where that initial excitement wears off, and your goal doesn’t have that “new car smell” like it used to. Very few actually push through this slump – and it’s those special few people that end up successful in life. Align yourself with likeminded individuals who inspire you to push forward, despite outside influences. Remembering your why is very important here.
3. Re-examine your expectations
As a creative being, you may set expectations of yourself that are so high that you end up feeling like you’re lazy or not doing enough. Sometimes it’s good to take a break, or resetting every once in a while to remind yourself how lucky you are that you get to do what you love. Not everyone has that luxury.
4. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
When you step out of your comfort zone, only growth and strength can come from daring to go there. The brain is designed to protect you from discomfort and most of the time, you end up not doing something because of the way you’re feeling. And those feelings are triggered by your thought patterns. You can break those thought patterns by getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and doing what needs to be done in order to reach an end goal, despite your feelings.
5. Remember that consistent persistence is key
The gap that lies between where you are now and where you want to be can be overwhelming when you keep focusing on it. Instead, reflect on how far you have already come, and focus on creating what you want in your life today, on what you can do in this moment now. If you keep focusing on your daily habits with consistent persistence you will eventually get to where you want to be.
6. Acknowledge your wins, no matter how small
Start a gratitude journal or “Thank Bank” to feel more grateful. I have a notebook where I do daily reflection on the highlights and small wins of the day, and what I’m grateful for. When you focus on what you’re grateful for, you can’t help but feel blessed. The amazing thing about keeping a record of these is so that the next time you’re feeling down and want to give up, to go through your journal and remind yourself of how far you have come and how lucky you truly are.
7. Avoid comparing yourself to others
People tend to share the best version of themselves on social media, a highlight reel of their lives, and it can leave you feeling like you’re not doing enough or make you question what you’re doing with your life. You don’t know the moments in between those posts or what really went on behind the scenes, or what they had to do in order to achieve that, so focus on your own journey. Turn off notifications or logout of social media for a while – unfollow, unfriend, block, if you must – just keep focussing on your own journey.
8. You decide your self-worth
Do not measure your self-worth based on what you think others think of you. Avoid paying attention to people’s negative opinions. As long as what you’re doing makes you happy, that’s all that matters. The likes, the views, or the follows are not a measurement of your self-worth. Only you can decide your self-worth.
9. Remember that feeling sad or withdrawn is not sign of weakness
When you embrace the fact that you’re feeling down, it is but a stepping stone to becoming stronger and to build resilience. Avoid bottling up your feelings, instead, find a way to release it by talking to a good friend, by doing stream of consciousness writing, or just having a good ol’ cry. It’s really okay to take a time out and reset.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you don’t ask, how will anyone know when you need help? You may be surprised at how many out there are willing to be there to help you – friends, family, a stranger, a coworker, a therapist, or even a book! Also, don’t be afraid to help someone else out when you can. Random acts of kindness and service to others can be the best therapy for your soul.
11. Decide what courage means to you
Courage doesn’t have to be something bold and daring like climbing Mount Everest! Sometimes having courage is to be able to get out of bed in the morning, or taking that next baby step. Decide what courage means to you and keep celebrating those small wins.
12. Change what you can
Stop worrying about what you cannot control and only change what you can. It’s not always easy, but you owe it to yourself to step up despite how you may feel. Remember to focus on progress over perfection.
13. Trust in the plans the universe has for you
While things may not make sense right now, remember that the universe is always guiding you to where you need to be. Sometimes not getting what you want is the universe’s way of protecting you or simply leading you in a different direction so that you can take the path that is right for you. Things happen when they are meant to and it’s up to you to pay attention to the signs by following your intuition. If something makes you feel uneasy and contracted, then it’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t go in that direction. However, if something makes you feel a little bit anxious, but at the same time it makes you feel excited and expanded – that’s the universe guiding you.
All the experiences and events in life, whether good or bad, are like a pieces of a great puzzle that one day fall into place to reveal the big picture.
If you have read this far, thank you. Before you decide to throw in the towel on something you truly want, give these 13 things a go first.
No matter no hard the journey may be, always know this – you could be inspiring someone else out there, and it becomes a ripple effect.
Photo Credit: Marc Williams Photography