3 + 1 Things to Consider When You Want to Give Up
Updated: Aug 22, 2021
If you’ve taken the initiative to start something new like a business, a blog, a book, or an organization you'd notice just how quickly overwhelm sets in.
Every creative adventure seems to start out in similar fashion. There is a sense of determined optimism guiding you. Your adrenaline spirals up and even the essence of your days take on a new and hopeful hue. You work late, you gather ideas constantly, and you invest time, money, and energy into this thing you passionately care about.
But over time, that “I can do this” voice in your mind begins to fade. It gets drowned out by other louder voices, ones that ask, “Is this really what I want?” or “Is it too late to get my old job back?” or “ Why am I even doing this?” or even worse, "Why did I think could do this"?
And let’s be honest here: it’s at this point that a lot of people choose to give up.
They trade in their ambitions and goals for something safer, or more likely, they just gradually slow down their efforts until there is nothing left to develop. The dream fades back into the ethers whence it came. And you know what? You damage your emotional life when you allow this to happen. There is no shame in modifying your aspirations for the sake of reality.
But if you’re experiencing this type of epic doubt right now, then dream with me for a minute: maybe, just maybe, you are meant to do exactly what it is you are doing. Yes, it feels uncomfortable but all great journeys are that way. Maybe you are on the cusp of something fantastic. Maybe if you can just hold on a bit longer, you will start to see some real results from all of your efforts.
But who can be sure? The hard truth is that there is no way to know for certain that success or failure is around the corner. It feels more like a leap of faith than an exact science. That being said, if you find yourself questioning whether or not you should quit, then here are a few things to consider before throwing in the towel and dumping on yourself:
1. You started for a reason
All you can see right now are the plans that aren’t working out or the bills that need to be paid or the schedule that just seems totally unsustainable. But think back to simpler times, waaaaaay back to the beginning. What made you begin this journey? Were you in a job you hated? Were you encouraged by friends and family to utilize your talents more? Were you attracted to the reality of this new endeavor or simply the idea of it? For better or for worse, tap into your BIG why, the real reason you wanted change. If those reasons still apply, if you still feel connected to your original purpose, then I encourage you keep going.
2. You are not the only one
Starting your own business or pursuing a creative career by most standards is a fairly insane thing to do. Beginning any new endeavour comes with a pile of uncertainty and safety seems like a long way off. When doubt springs up, that’s basically when your sanity starts to kick in. In those moments, you begin finding the idea of building your own path a lot less charming. These moments of self-doubt are not for the weak of heart.
Everyone goes through the dark forest of doubt at the start of any new enterprise. Everyone. You might be tempted to believe that your lack of confidence signals a lack of ability, but that’s simply not true. Every wildly talented person you've admired has been through this dark tunnel. They’ve just been determined and committed, some might even say crazy, enough to keep going.
3. Fear is a liar
There are plenty of good reasons to give up. A lack of finances, fading interest, a change of circumstances, but fear just isn’t one of them. Fear lies. It paints mind-pictures that have the ability to lead you astray. It points to all the negatives, and covers the positives, and highlights the 'what ifs' as though they will happen. If you find yourself staring down fear find a way to reframe your thoughts. For example, when I’m feeling particularly fearful, I talk to someone I trust who can help sort out what’s real and what isn’t.
4. You might need some help
Overwhelm is an immense energy drain. It triggers your thoughts of renouncing your path for something safer and perhaps easier. There is so much to do, you aren’t sleeping well, and you haven’t seen your friends and family in weeks. If that’s the case, it might be time to enlist the help of an assistant. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It's the best way to leverage your resources, time, and energy. So often we try to handle everything ourselves because we assume that’s what we’re supposed to do. All the top people in their field eventually came to the realization that they needed help. It freed them up to forge ahead within the realm of their talents and gifts.
If you need someone to help you design your website, enlist a designer. If you need someone to consult with, look into a business coach. If you need help with personal development and spiritual connection, get a mentor. Plus, there are plenty of ways to receive help free of charge. Join a local community of creatives, attend a meetup, hop on a Twitter chat – whatever you can do to feel less alone, do it. Perhaps with some support, giving up will seem like a far less attractive option.