Things To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up
In life, business and relationships, hard times are as common as the air we breathe. Yet, having learned that fact doesn’t make them any easier to handle or deal with.
I consider myself a mentally strong individual, well most of the time at least. I feel like I’m well equipped with enough tools in my emotional bag of tricks to help deter and keep negative thoughts at bay.
Somehow, even with all the tools I might possess, life finds a way to smash me against a brick wall, bringing me down to my knees with an overwhelming sense of powerlessness.
Hard truth is, this is just life. I’ve got hardly any control over what it throws at me. The good news is; I have absolute and utter control over how I respond to it.
Thank goodness for free will.
Starting my own business not too long ago, was one of the most exhilarating & adrenaline-pumping decisions I’ve ever made. If you, the reader, happen to be a business owner yourself, you’d know it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s actually more like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole.
So how do we deal with all of this?
How can I help myself when faced with adversity and frustration while trying to grow my business?
How do I minimise the chaos, fear and raging emotions when I’m faced with a health scare, a loss of a relationship and a slow period in my business all at the same time.
Was it all really worth it leaving a high paying job because I believed in myself?
Short answer. Absolutely.
I simply believe that hard times don’t define us; it’s how we respond that does.
I wouldn’t have become the person that I am if I wasn’t put through trials & tribulations throughout my life and career.
I wouldn’t have learned the things I today know if I just stuck to a 9-5 job. Nor would I have had the career experiences if I ran away from taking risks travelling around the world for different jobs.
So what do I do to remind myself that hard times are just a learning experience, and that without darkness there will be no light?
I simply try to do the following:
1- I never isolate myself, too long.
When am struggling with pain, or feeling overwhelmed with sadness or frustration, I try to take a step back and acknowledge my feelings.
I retreat from my surroundings. You know, lock myself out from my environment for a bit.
This is not shutting down in defeat; this is my approach to identify with what I’m going through. Calm and quietness help me rein in those raging negative thoughts.
I allow myself few hours or even a day of having a bad time. I let my mind process during that quite time. I give my feelings names and voices to help identify them and understand what I’m going through. I write this article.
I time limit this process, which is most vital. I write those feelings down or voice them to a friend, partner or a family member.
Negative thoughts happen, but I view them as opportunities for a positive outcome, because it’s how we respond to these thoughts is what matters, thus I act wisely.
It’s a simple process that I apply here in this short isolation period.
Step away, identify feelings, and voice them back.
Just like when I get a cold, I get it, incubate it for a bit, then it leaves me just a bit stronger and ready to fight better the next time around.
2- I Find avenues for growth
Here is an oxymoron for you. There are good things about the bad times.
With the right mindset, I find difficult times a fertile ground for personal growth and positive change.
I remind myself that sadness; failure or fear makes me stronger. They change me to become more empathetic & compassionate.
They help me be more receptive to the needs of those around me going through similar issues.
I become a better friend, or a loving partner.
For example, if you’re running a business like myself, then you’re no stranger to rejection and the feelings of humiliation that come with it. It happens more times than often.
If I take this personally every time it happens, I’ll be out of business in no time.
So I dust myself off and try to learn how to do it better the next time. I ask for feedback or even help.
It’s the only way I know how to grow. I can’t succeed if I don’t fail. So I fail fast, learn and move on.
It’s during my most challenging times that I develop and grow the most as a human being.
3- I show gratitude
I understand that sometimes things are too dark to achieve what you’ve read so far. I get those days too.
If I feel too bruised by a life event that has knocked the balance out of me, and my bag of tools seem inefficient for the situation, I resort to the most basic of emotions we humans are blessed with, gratitude.
Gratitude is my way of affirming the goodness in my life. It’s how I appreciate the gifts that I’ve received form this world.
It doesn’t mean that my life is perfect because am thankful for being alive and drinking clean water.
It just simply allows me to look at life as a whole, where gratitude encourages me to see some amount of goodness in my life.
As many of you would know the feeling, a couple of slow months in your business could send shivers down your spine.
However, if you step back and look at your annual output, performance and that project you’ve successfully delivered a month ago, it’s more than likely you’ll quickly realise that everything will be okay.
If gratitude doesn’t work, I shift my focus onto someone else who needs my help for an hour or two, because a smile and a warm thank you almost always makes my day.
I wouldn’t throw in that towel just yet if I were you. I’d try to go out there and be strong yet humble, speak up yet softly, and most importantly; embrace the transformation that comes with adversity.