Feel Like Giving Up? Pause For a Mindful Break!
Whether you are working on your dream project or just trying to get done the work assigned to you, it is very normal for anyone to feel like giving up. We feel giving up on our goals when they demand more than what we can give from our end.
Many times we come up with unrealistic goals and then push ourselves hard to attain them. Even a person who is so passionate about what he is doing can still feel the urge to quit and walk away. It is not a sign of weakness or self-doubt. It just means that we need to pause and assess our goals mindfully. This is the right time to ask a few questions to ourselves answer them honestly.
Tackle the “why” first. Why do I want to achieve the goal? What is the purpose to run behind the goal? How is it going to serve me?
Once we know the reason why we are chasing the goal and realize what it takes to move towards it, now is the time to introspect if we really want to achieve it. Can we modify the “unrealistic” goal to a more doable one? Or can we split our humongous goal into smaller parts? As they say “Eat the elephant one bite at a time”.
When we are stuck with a job that we hate but still have to do it due to circumstances, then it becomes even harder to keep pushing. There are situations and circumstances that we cannot control. There are deadlines and targets assigned to us that we have no control of. Clearly, we cannot edit or modify our goals here. But we can mindfully tackle the overwhelm without making our life miserable.
I recently wrote an article about things to do when life seems overwhelming. You can read it here. While we cannot always change our circumstances and situation, but we can use mindfulness as a tool to get grounded and live in the moment instead of frantically worrying about how to get things done and meet those deadlines.
Take Mindful Breaks
When life overwhelms and you feel like giving up, just pause to notice your feelings. Are you tired? Running low on sleep? When was the last time you enjoyed a hearty laugh with a good friend? Have you been eating well? Keeping yourself hydrated? Most of the time it would just be the fatigue that is weighing you down. A good night sleep will work wonders and give a fresh start.
When we are madly running behind our dreams, we forget the basics to nourish our body and soul. Pause from the mad rush, rest and rejuvenate.
Leave your train of thoughts aside and take a mindful break. Go on a mindful walk around the neighborhood, stretch your body, play with your kids, have a heart-to-heart talk with a loved one.
Progress over perfection
Perfection is overrated. It is a myth that we all believe. Perfectionism may result in fear of failure and will also be the reason for you to procrastinate. Instead of working towards perfection, aim for progress.
Do you see yourself progressing towards your goal? Celebrate and feel proud even if it is a tiny win. Every small effort counts. Make a progress chart and let it motivate you to keep going.
Do you know that you can benefit more from just 20 mins of exercise every day than torturing yourself with ONE rigorous 2-3 hrs session at the gym? I love this quote from Gretchen Rubin’s –What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. Just show up. Even if it is a minuscule effort each day, it builds the momentum to drive you forward.
Quit Comparison game
Almost all of us have fallen prey to this dangerous monster called Comparison. The best way to break out of the comparison trap is to focus on our strengths. Improve your self-confidence by believing in yourself.
Believe you can and you’re are half way there.Theodore Roosevelt
Everyone wants to project their put together lives for the outside world. Social media makes it easier to portray the so-called “perfect life”. Which could actually be a “perfect lie” 🙂 What we see or hear in the success stories about others is just one part of their lives. We have no idea what goes behind the scenes.
Instead of using our energy in comparing with others and pulling our selves down, we could use it constructively and make it work for us. Mute social media every now and then and see how it helps for you. When you catch yourself comparing with others, take mindful breaths and meditate on an affirmation that you love.
Last month was not so good for me. Uneventful things happened one after the other and suddenly I felt like everything was falling apart. Honestly, I couldn’t help myself comparing with others. Then I felt even more miserable for the act of comparing when the universe has blessed with me with so many wonderful things.
It was hard to control my thoughts about comparison and self-hate. But I had to do it for my own good. I turned my focus on self-affirmation and gratitude.
I cannot stress enough on gratitude. Gratitude reduces stress, induces optimism and improves health. Every night before I retire for the day, I close my eyes and say thanks to “3 Things” which made the day easier. You can find my gratitude practices in this post.
I can see myself becoming a more contented person after I started the gratitude practice. I admit that am not a monk and I do feel negative emotions like hatred, envy, and shame. But I have become more mature in handling these emotions by being mindful and by practicing gratitude.
When you feel like giving up and want to quit, be grateful for the progress you have made so far. Be thankful for everyone in your life that has helped you in your journey to attain your goal. Feel grateful for your own body and mind that has pushed you all the way long.
You come this far not to quit but to win and conquer those goals. Rest, rejuvenate, make progress and reach for your dreams.