Is it ever OK to give up?

“Don’t give up!”

“Don’t quit!”

“Giving up is not an option!”

These are all messages that we are reminded of on a regular basis in the pursuit of our dreams particularly in the entrepreneurial and professional space. I have been advocate for not giving up but not necessarily in the same was a most other people would have you believe. Most others, especially in the personal development/high energy motivational speaking circuit would encourage you to keep going at all costs.  We become conditioned to keep going through the face of adversity regardless of how we feel or the impact that “failing” has on our overall well-being.

I know in the early stages of my own professional/business life I fed into that narrative but something didn’t sit well with me. I still believe that you shouldn’t give up on your dreams, I still wholeheartedly believe that many of us have been gifted with unique talents that make us special and that we must not give up on ourselves. I still believe that we must always have faith and hope to keep us going when times are hard. But I do believe that when things get tough or if something is not working that you should give up on the manner in which you are choosing to achieve your goals. Does this make sense? If you for example you are constantly busy and working relentlessly to the point of exhaustion, to the point of illness in pursuit of your dreams and you are reaching a certain level of success but other areas of your life are falling apart including your health and well-being then you need to STOP. You need to find another way.

If you are working hard and you have the skills but you’re not getting the results from your efforts then you need to give up doing things the same way. Find new ways of working and expand your network. Don’t get so stuck in your own habits that you end up giving up on the dream itself because you won’t try something new to achieve them.

What if you do all of this and you still feel like giving up? What if you have tried everything that you think you can do, tried new ideas, stopped overworking and still nothing? Does that mean that you need to give up on what you set out to achieve? No. What you need to do at that point is rest, literally just take some time out to reassess and refocus. Now I know some of you might argue that you can’t pause because the money might stop or you will miss an opportunity or the connections might dry up but even if it is a holiday (or a staycation if you can’t afford to travel which means staying at home & unplugging) do that. Take the time to clear out the mental pressures that might be blocking you, get yourself a therapist or counsellor to talk to, pray, meditate, find a way to relax and rejuvenate. You might find out that actually you have a completely new dream and you have to give up on the old one after all but at least you can allow yourself the space to create that new dream or goal and you won’t feel guilty about “giving up”. Ultimately giving up is only ever really a problem if you give up on yourself and who you are, remember that when you feel like you’re losing hope.

How To Get Over the Fear of Failure

The fear of failure stops so many of us from living truly fulfilling lives. It can be challenging to overcome it but you have to take the steps to get over the fear of failing. In this video I offer some advice and guidance on how to get over the fear of failure. Failing does not define who you are, if you make a mistake your mistake does not define you. What is the worst that could happen if you fail? If you can get through failing at something that you have made an attempt at you would keep going and learn from your mistakes. Is it because you are more worried about what other people think of you than actually achieving your goals? You have to become detached from the feelings of shame or embarrassment that you might feel when you fail because failing does not make you a failure.

Watch this video and share your experiences:

How To Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination is an enemy of progress. We’ve all done it at least once in our lives but for some people it becomes more than just an occasional issue, it becomes a habit, a habit which leads to a lack of progress.

How to stop procrastinating

When you find yourself procrastinating you have to ask yourself some key questions:

What are you hiding from?  Sometimes procrastination is a way of hiding from what we need to do, to get us to where we need to get to. If we keep putting off what needs to be done we can justify our lack of progress and stay stuck in our stories. We enable ourselves not to achieve our goals if we keep putting off the work we need to do, and so again I ask what are you hiding from?

What will happen if you do complete that task that you are putting off? Some people love to look busy, in fact the very feeling of being busy makes them feel as if they have a purpose when the truth is being busy doesn’t mean that you are necessarily productive. If you complete that task will you feel accomplished and give yourself credit or will you look for more work put off and thus fill the void?

Are you being realistic? There are some things that you are putting off which you might not be the best person to undertake them. Have you considered outsourcing some tasks? If you do not have the budget then take it step by step but TAKE those steps. You have to find ways to overcome procrastination and get moving.

These questions are designed to give you some food for thought but I don’t want you to create a new story with them; by that I mean you are allowed to be flexible and even emotional through this process you are not being judged.

Take the time to learn what keeps you stuck and come to terms with how you can move forward – you will resist, that is natural, you will go back to old habits but the key here is to take things step by step and to be kind to yourself.