I originally thought I’d do a single post for all 5 of these, but -as with most oversimplified cliches- it takes some explaining to break it down and replace with something useful. So, instead I’ve created a 5 part series I’ll intersperse across several posts. Keep an eye out for the others!
Cliche #1: Never give up.
I laughed when I saw a t-shirt saying “Rehab is for quitters.” We all can get caught in the “don’t quit” mindset, continuing to invest in what’s not working. Sure, perseverance helps accomplish great things, but sometimes giving up is essential to allowing something better to happen. To get out of the “Never give up” trap, ask yourself these 3 questions:
1. What is it you truly need?
Look deeper into why you are doing this thing and what you are hoping to gain – at a human level. For example: connection, safety, purpose, love, affection, wisdom, joy. When you’re inspired to persevere, THIS is the thing to keep pursuing. Don’t confuse the method with the outcome. For example: If I’m reading a book and it doesn’t grab me by the third chapter, I stop reading it, AND I pick up a different book. I give up that particular book, but not the pursuit of literary fulfillment.
2. Where is the desire to stop coming from?
If you can identify sabotaging thoughts (fear, hopelessness, overwhelm) and dissolve them, you are then able to evaluate your options on their merits. For example: Do I want to stop my run early because I’m overwhelmed by the distance or because I’m about to injure my knee? Before giving up, ask yourself: “Am I stopping out of sense of fear or a sense of love?” If it’s coming from fear, can you abate the fear, then continue?
3. Where is the fear of stopping coming from?
If a part of you identifies giving up with failure, insecurity, or criticism, you better believe it’s gonna put up a fight! When you quiet these fighters, you have a clearer view of which concerns are founded and which are exaggerated. You have access to your creativity and ability to think of varied solutions. For example: “I can’t leave my soul-sucking job because I have to pay for my fancy apartment” may melt into… “I’m going to talk to my spouse about options” or “ I’m going to go on a few interviews and decide later” or ” I will check out other apartments “
After moving through these 3 steps, you may choose to quit or persevere. Either way, you will feel more fluid and comfortable with your choice and it will probably be the one that serves you best at the time.
If you’re like me, you’re thinking “ ok, but HOW do I dissolve these negative thoughts? “ Good question. I list a variety of self-help practices on my Resources page, but my clear favorite is a mind/body technique called ‘tapping’. If you’re familiar with tapping, click here for tapping guides on this topic.