Finding the strength to push through adversity and life’s challenges is an incredible trait that all humans share, though we may not know it until a time of crisis. Whether you’re suffering from depression, struggling to reach a goal, or trying hard to change the negative circumstances in your life, giving up always seems like the easier option. While it’s certainly easier, in the long run, it’s not as valuable as pushing through until you’ve reached the goal or made a change. Adversity can teach a person so much; from humility to gratitude and patience and beyond. Here’s what to do when you feel like giving up.

FIND YOUR WHY

What keeps you going on a daily basis? What are your reasons to keep living? When adversity strikes, sometimes the best thing to do is to ground ourselves in our why. The why of your journey will be unique to you, shaped by your environment, personal experiences, and values. Why you get up in the morning will be different from why your neighbor does, but knowing that why is equally important to both parties.

The why has driven so many great people to achieve things that were never before possible. Why are you here to begin with? How did you get here? What lies ahead? Where are you going? Equally as important is the why to your wanting to give up. What situations, people, environments, or circumstances have made you feel like giving up? Did you recently have a bad breakup, or miss an opportunity?

If you’re struggling to answer these questions on your own, this is a good time to look for help in a therapeutic environment such as counseling or support groups. Sometimes, you simply can’t see all angles of a problem, and it takes an experienced second set of eyes to identify what’s really going on beneath the surface.

CONSUME MOTIVATIONAL MATERIAL

We’ve all heard of the likes of Les Brown, Tony Robbins, and other motivational speakers who’ve taken their success in life and turned it into consumable material like books, podcasts, and inspirational videos. When you’re at your darkest and feel like giving up, knowing that you’re not alone and someone else has conquered the same thing can help you dig deep to find the strength you’re missing.

Motivational books, speeches, and videos can help undo negative mental programming and help you regain your sense of personal value. Hearing positive words of encouragement again and again on a daily basis will help change how you view the world and your own adversity.

REACH OUT TO SOMEONE

Family and friends may be more understanding than you think when it comes to these kinds of feelings. When we’re feeling sad or depressed, we tend to withdraw from others. This is ironic because other people are usually the source of our greatest strength; that sense of community and unity can help pick you up when you’ve fallen to your lowest depths. Your feelings aren’t a burden on anyone, and they’re certainly not anything to be
ashamed of.

When you feel like giving up, talk to someone. There’s a high probability that the person you’re sharing with wants you around, and will do everything they can to help you pull yourself out of the dark.

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT

It’s all too easy to get caught in the trappings of daily routine and feel trapped. While routines certainly serve their purpose, if you aren’t happy with your daily life in general, it’s probably a good time to examine and/or change your routine to be less monotonous. Start by doing something different than your normal schedule. Take a walk, go dancing, go meet people, or just watch a sunset. Even the smallest interruptions of the monotonous can be beneficial to a stagnant mind.

KEEP EXPECTATIONS REALISTIC

Shooting for the moon is all well and good unless you don’t have the equipment to reach the moon; then it becomes a hopeless journey. The point here is that we sometimes set goals and expectations that we just don’t have the tools or the ability to achieve. It’s ok to have shortcomings and flaws, and sometimes those flaws keep us from moving forward.

That’s what personal growth is all about, but you can’t grow if you’re constantly setting unrealistic expectations. For instance, the saying “practice makes perfect” suggests that someday you’ll reach perfection; an entirely unrealistic expectation.

Set small goals and expectations to get yourself started, and work your way up from there. Many people fail at the starting line because they’ve bitten off more than they can choose. Know your limitations and where you need to grow, and you’ll have a much easier time navigating life’s challenges and setting expectations.

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