This year isn’t exactly turning out the way we expected it to back in January. Instead of days filled with inspiration and motivation, we are going through endless months of stress, boredom, and despair. It doesn’t help that we’re in quarantine, unable to freely meet with friends and vent frustrations in person. All of these things combined with the constant fear for our health and safety can cause even the most “resilient” of us to give up and give in to burnout. Sure, 2020 has thrown quite a lot of curveballs our way, but it’s entirely up to us how we’re going to look back at this period of our lives.
Think about how far you’ve come
When you feel like giving up, overwhelming feelings of negativity cloud everything else. It magnifies your discontent and casts a shadow over all your accomplishments. But before you actually quit, take a step back and revisit the facts. Give yourself a little credit! After all, it’s not only the huge accomplishments that deserve to be recognized and celebrated, it’s also the small wins, the ones you’re more likely to overlook: making a friend smile, helping a sibling finish a module, putting together a fantastic deck at work. Stick to the facts, write it down. The next time you feel like you haven’t done anything noteworthy, pull that list up and let the facts speak for itself.
Lean on the people who care for you
It’s a relief to know that we don’t always have to carry the burden alone, we’ve got special people in our lives willing to carry the load with us. Don’t be afraid to get vulnerable with those you can rely on. Or if you’re emotionally constipated (yeah that’s a thing), you can always steer clear of the cheesy tear-jerking stuff and make it emotionally PG. The point is your friends and family will understand and they’re there to support you in any way they can. Sometimes you’d be surprised to find out they’re going through the same thing or they’ve experienced it before. There’s a certain comfort in knowing people are cheering for you on the sidelines even though you might be lagging a little in the race.
Remember why you are where you are
There must be a reason why you’re working at your current job. It could be you living your dream career, a stepping stone to an ultimate dream, or simply a means to pay the bills. At one point in your life, you decided to take this path, you just need to refresh your memory and look back at what made you do it. Once you answer the “why,” hopefully your life goal will be clearer.
You can always take small steps
It’s a fast-paced world we’re living in but that doesn’t mean you can’t move at your own pace. You don’t have to rush your success or overexert yourself trying to be on top of everything. Sometimes you just have to slow down and try taking life one (baby) step at a time. When you’re on the brink of quitting, remember that slowing down is an option. You know yourself best so you should learn to take care of yourself.
It’s a bad day, not a bad life
You would do well to remember that. When you’re stewing into all the negativity and self-pity, it’s easy to think that the rest of your life will look like this. No, it’s not going to. It’s just a bad day, a bad project, a bad week — it will pass. Like superheroes in cool action movies, sometimes we need to know what it’s like to be down and at our lowest to appreciate the highs.
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel
Cheesy as it may sound, there’s always hope that the future won’t be this difficult. Like what was mentioned earlier, it’s simply a bad moment, not a bad life. The overused saying “when you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up” is actually true. You go through hardship before you reach success. Stay persistent and keep at it, there’s bound to be a breakthrough soon enough.
You’ve got a dream to believe in
But no matter how many words of encouragement you get showered with, it won’t matter if you don’t help yourself. Ultimately you are the only one who can pick yourself up. You decide whether you want to stay like this or change your mindset and outlook in life. Believe in your dream and in your goals that have put you where you are right now. If you give up now, all your hard work in the past is for nothing.
You might regret it if you let go
Will the you of five years from now be able to look back at this moment in regret or in pride? Will you say you should’ve tried harder or would you be proud that you’ve turned this moment of weakness into a moment of strength? Whenever you feel like giving up, think about how happy you will be in the future knowing that you’ve triumphed over all the challenges in the past.
Times are certainly difficult but all the more reason why we should never give up on our careers and dreams. The next time you feel like quitting, take a pause and assess. Go back to the basics, take small baby steps, and fight. Keep going, you’ll be proud of yourself soon enough.
What do you do when you feel like giving up?