Ever feel down and discourage? Do you wonder if all the effort you’ve putting is worth it? Should you just let go of your dreams?
I have been feeling this way recently and was seriously considering quitting the goals and projects that I had decided were important to me in this season.
When You Feel Like Giving Up
The truth is… having a go at achieving your goals is hard! Don’t give up on your goals!
Here are 4 thoughts to help you regain your motivation, and encourage you to keep moving forward.
1. Talk To A Good Friend
A good friend is able to give you fresh perspective on whether there is value in the process of trying. They can also look at things you are struggling with more objectively, and affirm the progress you have already made.
Choose a friend who will be supportive and encouraging of you. My expectation often is, that whether or not a friend gives me the encouragement I need, there is still value in sharing what I am going through.
- Would I regret it later, if I quit now?
- Would it still be worthwhile for me to keep going even if I don’t succeed in the end?
- Would I prefer to fail trying or fail because I quit now?
I also shared my struggle with an online group of women I am part of. Now these are people I don’t know well, and some I have never met in person.
Yet their responses were so encouraging. Almost all of the women that commented could share about how they have felt discouraged about their lack of progress at one time or another.
How encouraging it is when we are reminded that we are not alone in the struggles we have!
Action Task: Choose a supportive friend or group and share what you are feeling discouraged about. Seek out encouragement and strength through good relationships.
2. When you are feeling like giving up think about why you started
Identifying the reasons you want to achieve your goals is important. Having a strong “why” increases your motivation and helps you stay on track when you feel like giving up.
While I vaguely knew the reasons I wanted to achieve my goal, I hadn’t written it down. So one morning I sat down and wrote out a list of reasons why achieving this specific goal was important to me.
It surprised me that I was able to come up with 12 benefits, why it made sense to keep moving forward. That was motivating!
The truth is you really only want to be pursuing goals that matter a lot to you anyway. It is harder to achieve your goals when you either don’t have a strong reason to make changes in your life or you haven’t specified what those reasons are.
Action Task: Take out a piece of paper and pen, and write down as many benefits as you can think of, for achieving your goal.
3. Show Kindness To Yourself
Gosh my thoughts towards myself can get harsh at times! Anyone else noticed that?
Why did I think I could even do this? I fail at everything, so I’m going to fail at this. No one else seems to be having as much trouble as I am making progress! And on and on…
Yet being kind and compassionate with yourself is so important especially when you are having a go at something that is difficult and requires a lot of sustained effort.
What you and I need at these times, is compassionate self-talk.
I am reminded of my oldest child’s first attempts at walking independently. As their parent, my heart was to encourage and cheer them on, regardless of how many times they fell down. I’m sure I even have photos of the first time they stood up holding onto a chair, we were so impressed with their progress.
That’s the heart you and I are to have towards ourselves, cheerleaders!
Ways To Practice Self Compassion
Focus on your progress, not perfection!
Personally, showing kindness to yourself means acknowledging the progress you have already made. It also means agreeing with the truth that you are capable of having a good go at this goal. Your journey towards achieving your goal might look different to other people’s and that’s ok!
Also do a check-in with yourself.
- How is my physical, mental and emotional health?
- Have I been getting enough sleep?
- Am I feeling more tired than normal?
- Have I been going through any stressful events lately?
- Am I feeling isolated or lonely?
- How long has it been since I did something I really enjoy or find a lot of fun?
- Do I need to go for a walk?
Personally, I find lack of sleep or poor quality sleep to be one of the biggest contributors to feeling like giving up. Now days I have a habit of reminding myself that I will probably feel and think differently after a good night’s sleep. Most of the time I do!
Action Task: Grab a cup of tea or coffee and sit down in your favourite spot. Appreciate the progress you have already made.
If this task is difficult, I encourage to imagine instead you are talking to a close friend. How would you say it to them?
Also reflect on your emotional and physical health. What is one small thing could you do immediately to increase your emotional or physical well being?
4. Just Do The (Easiest) Next Thing
The secret to success, to parenting, to life, is to not count up the cost.
Don’t focus on all the steps it will take.
Don’t stare into the abyss at the giant leap it will take.
That view will keep you from taking the next small step.Regina Brett
I have noticed the more frustrated and discouraged my mood becomes, the more my focus flitters everywhere. I become easily distracted from my main tasks. Instead of getting on and doing the work, I am looking for a quick fix or a short cut. Anything to help me feel comfortable again.
What I need to be doing is just the next thing!
Action Task: What is one thing you could do to move forward in achieving your goal? Break it down to the smallest step and do that one next thing.
Don’t give up on your dreams!