These two words have a bad reputation. Giving up is cited as if it were a moral crime. Two words that inspire speeches, even ballads about why one should not give up.
But we are here to tell you that sometimes you have to give up. In fact, sometimes you have to also give up what is good. Contrary to any advice you've ever read before, we believe that giving up is good for many reasons.
If you are here, reading this article, then consider this. You haven't stumbled on this by accident. You probably need to hear this because you or someone you know is struggling to make a decision that sounds like "giving up". And, it's likely something that's working for you, to some extent, at least. A relationship with a good person you don't want to hurt. A business that has a lot of potential but your heart's just not in it. A job that is great by all measures but the work isn't very meaningful. You are likely grappling with a decision that seems like a no-brainer to everyone on the outside but something is off about it.
We've all heard the adage, "don't fix what's not broken". The thing is, the people who think that something is not broken are not close enough to see it. But you probably are. In fact, we use this as an excuse when we are afraid of change. Humans crave certainty. We want predictability to some level. This is especially true when we are considering changing something that is already working for us, for the most part.
Why we aren't able to give up.
So instead of inspiring you to fight and just not give in, let us walk you through some reasons why you may not be able to give up something.
Judgment. We are afraid of the judgment that comes with big decisions that may seem naive or even rash because we are worried about what people will say. We are not just worried about others, we are also concerned about ourselves. We are our own worst critics for the most part. We are worried that certain big decisions will make us feel judged, in the eyes of others and ourselves.
Feelings. We are worried about the feelings of the people involved in the decision. Be it a relationship we are considering, a business decision to lay off staff, or to quit a job. Making an unpopular decision is going to hurt the feelings of people we care about. This is usually the primary reason why we aren't able to give up.
Identity crisis. Many times, the decision we aren't able to make, and the thing we aren't able to give up is a big part of our identity. Our high-profile job, spouse of many years, business, etc. We've spent so much time in this situation we are trying to give up that we've forgotten who we are without it. We don't know how to be us if we eliminate the decision in question.
Larger repercussions. It is likely that giving up this thing you are considering has much larger repercussions than you can even imagine right now. It involves a high degree of uncertainty and impact on many, many areas of our lives as well as others.
So how do you know if giving up is the right decision for you? Here are some scenarios when you should consider giving up:
You are pursuing something better. If you've been feeling like you are missing something or if something is just not feeling right then it is about time you give it up. Clearly, your heart's not in it and you have likely spent years figuring out what that is. It's about time you give up if it has still not worked. You likely know in your heart that this is just not it. You are meant for bigger and better things. This is especially true if the decision you are considering is career-related.
Your life's priorities have changed. You likely went through a major life event. Something that shifted your way of looking at life in a big way. Even seemingly normal life events can do this. Having your first child, when you are an empty nester, having a near-death experience, etc. can all change our perspective in life rather suddenly. If this is one of those times, then consider giving up on something that isn't serving your new life priorities.
When you are following your heart. Put reason aside for a moment. Forget the how and when and the why. What does your heart say? How do you truly feel about giving this thing up? If you know in your heart that giving up is the right decision then do it. Follow your heart.
When it's preventing you from being happy. If you think that giving something up will make you happy, then do it. If this decision is preventing you from the happiness you know you deserve then giving up is the right decision. We are all here for a short moment. And all of us deserve to be happy, not miserable on account of judgment.
When you can't stop thinking about it. If you have been weighing this decision for a long time, then it tips the scales in the favor of giving up. Because it is quite likely that the only reason why you haven't been able to be one of the 4 we've mentioned above. Go back to it and be honest with yourself. You have been thinking about it non-stop?
Thinking about it stresses you out. It's draining you. Emotionally, physically or even financially. You are stressed about it all the time and you are just not able to relax. If this decision is adding a lot of stress to your life, and you don't see the situation improving anytime soon, then you should consider giving up whatever you are debating in your life.
The thing is, when someone tells you to not give up something, they tell you that it is the hardest thing you can do. We believe that sometimes, giving up something that is not working for you or is holding you back from being the best version of yourself, is the hardest thing you can do. It requires the ability to accept your own shortfalls, it requires strength, compassion, and empathy for those who will be affected by your decision. And more than anything else, giving up requires commitment. Commitment to go to lengths to be true to who you are as a person. So get out of your comfort zone. That's where real growth happens.
This is so nice. We always hear don't give up but no one tells us why or understands the depth of experience. It's only a blanket statement. This article helps me to dig deeper.