The Power of Giving Up


I’ve given up on a lot in my life.Goals I set for myself, relationships, certain jobs, specific desires and more - all gone, because I gave up.And I’m glad.A lot of personal development-related writings talk about “never giving up”. According to them, if you give up, you’ll never achieve your dreams, feel happy or fulfil your potential.Personally, I think this attitude is dangerous. It keeps us glued to situations where we’re no longer happy, fulfilled, living with integrity, living our values or able to grow.And that’s not development: that’s called being stuck.The ability to give up is a gift. The trick lies in knowing when to use it.

The line between ‘hard’ and ‘harmful’

A lot of shit in life is hard, and that's good. It pushes us outside our comfort zone, stretches our previous experience, tests our confidence in ourselves and provokes numerous disaster scenarios that all inevitably boil down to “But what if I don't succeed?”This isn’t the time to give up.The time to give up is when we know when we’ve had enough, we have closure and we are done trying. When we’ve done what we feel we can to turn the situation around so it meets our needs again, yet it’s not working.When you’ve tried to help a sinking relationship, yet neither person feels fulfilled. When you want professional growth and it becomes obvious there’s no room for this at your current job.  When something you’re doing isn’t aligned with your values and doesn’t get you closer to your goals. When you crave some achievement or goal, only to realise that the sole reason you crave it is to make other people happy, and that playing tennis, being a lawyer, knitting (or whatever it is) bores you silly.Part of developing our authenticity is being able to look inside ourselves and tell the difference between these two situations - between those that are ‘hard’, and those that are ‘harmful’.Part of being authentic is knowing when to say goodbye and knowing when we’ve reached our limits. It's knowing when we're better off walking away, rather than struggling on, compromising our integrity, and putting ourselves in situations that are not good for us, mentally or physically.“Giving up” is not bad - it’s part of harnessing our independence. (Click to tweet.)The only thing that’s a non-negotiable, that we can never give up on, is ourselves.************Feel like giving up on the festive season already? Join the BWYA Advent Calendar instead!Ditch the chocolate this year and enjoy real nourishment this Christmas. The Advent Calendar is a free set of 25 prompts delivered daily straight to your inbox. You'll also get weekly suggestions around how to stay connected to yourself over the busy festive season, and keep your head during one of the most stressful times of the year. Click here for more details and to sign up for free.Photo Credit: Sasquatch I via Compfight cc