What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up
"Life is difficult."
No truer words have been spoken. Yet there are times in life when it gets so hard it makes you feel like quitting. Just giving up and laying it all down.
Can I let you in on a secret? This is something that is experienced by all of us and one time or another. Life's frustrations take us to the edge of the breaking point.
I have been past that breaking point before. Psychologists call it "depression." I call it "I just can't take any more."
I am a Christian and this probably sounds sacriligous. But it is true. At least it was my truth.
At the time, I was juggling multiple priorities and demands and trying to balance my personal and professional life. And if that wasn't enough, I had my own high standards of perfection. I was trying hard but felt like I was disappointing the whole world. My husband wasn't happy. The children were not happy. My boss wasn't happy. And I was miserable.
I simply felt like giving it all up. I remember driving home from work one day thinking to myself "I should just keep right on driving." Then the next thought came, "Where are you going?" "I don't know. Away from here." Yikes! I was officially arguing with myself.
In the middle of my monologue, I suddenly caught a vision of the faces of my children. And the tears began to roll down my cheeks. "I can't give up. I can't quit."
Over the next few months, I repeated this conversation. And each time, it was the same conclusion. "I can't quit."
Fast forward twenty years and here I am. I'm still pushing, still believing, and still dreaming. Back then, I thought of myself as weak for wanting to quit. Looking back on it today, I can see the strength in my weakness. It is called "tenacity." It is called "perserverance." It is the refusal to quit under heavy loads and while facing pressure.
Here are three quick strategies to keep yourself pushing through the hard times:
Remember that everything changes. Sometimes the hardest thing to remember is that nothing ever stays the same. If you wait, things will always change. Don't get caught up in today when tomorrow is right around the corner.
Take a deep breath. Breathing is not just a normal response. Deep breathing has been proven to relax and calm people. Have you stopped to take a deep breath lately?
Live in the moment. Most of us imagine more trouble than we will ever encounter. We allow our fears and worries to take over our mind and control our thoughts. We envision impending disaster. Living in the current moment slows us down and helps us focus on the reality of now.
Be grateful. No matter how bad your situation is, there is always someone who has it worse. Take a look around. What do you have that someone else wish they had? Learn to appreciate the simple things. And be grateful.
I don't know what you are facing today. But I have a message for you. You can't quit.
You can't control what life gives you. But you can control your response to life.
Refuse to make throwing in the towel an option.
And know that I am right here cheering for you.