I’ve definitely been all of these little stick figure people at some point in time – some for longer periods than others. I think that this infographic captures “why people give up” pretty accurately, but I find that there is one missing, which is…because you want to give up. Sometimes “giving up” is just what makes the most sense, and it is the giving up on one direction that can set you in another direction that might be a good and right fit. Sometimes giving up is exactly the right thing to do. The trick is identifying if you are giving up because it is indeed the right decision or if you are giving up based on one of the reasons above.
The answer – listen to your gut. Really listen. It will tell you the difference between giving up because you are feeling sorry for yourself or are fearing failure or are stuck in the past versus knowing that it is time for you to turn and follow a different path. There is a difference, and you have to trust yourself that you can identify it.
So, if you are considering “giving up” on something – just sit and be still with it. Try to identify why you are feeling what you are feeling and if you think that it is something that will pass or is it something bigger. How do you feel when you picture that thing (job, project, person) no longer in your life? Do you find that all the sudden you can breath again or do you get a pit in your stomach feeling as though you would be leaving something too early? Be honest with yourself. This can be hard to do, so it might take more than one sitting to come up with your answer. Be patient.
Feeling stuck is one of the worst feelings in life. The truth is that you have a choice. Do not continue doing something just because you don’t want it to be perceived as “giving up.” Know that sometimes it is the exact right thing for you to do. The important thing is that you really take the time to think about it, because you know what the second worst feeling in life is? Regret.