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Giving up Is Not an Option! How to Not Give up and Stay Motivated

Giving up Is Not an Option! How to Not Give up and Stay Motivated

We all get them – those feelings of doubt, fear, lack of self-confidence and lack of self-belief. Whatever it is we want to achieve in life, no matter how much we want it, there will always be times when you hit a challenging period, your motivation hits a wall and you feel like giving up.

You’ve heard it, “giving up is not an option”, but when it comes to how not to give up, it could be difficult sometimes.

In this article, you’ll learn that tough times make even the most motivated person consider giving up and this is completely normal.

Despite the overwhelming feeling of wanting to just give up, it’s actually the most important time not to.

Video Summary

What makes you want to give up easily

Identifying the reasons why giving up seems like the best option is so important. There are many reasons why people want to give up and each is driven by different motivations. However, there are a few human instincts that come into play here.

  • Mistaking lessons for failure: Not being able to see the roadblock for the lesson it is and keep going anyway.
  • The outcome is more important than the journey: Putting more emphasis on the end result and dismissing the importance of how you’re getting to the end goal and growing along the way.
  • Seeing the failure before it’s even happened: Self-sabotaging yourself by creating the thought that it just won’t happen. This is usually down to limiting beliefs and lack of self-belief.
  • Lack of discipline: Realizing that achieving your dream won’t just fall into your lap within a few weeks but will actually take hard work and determination.
  • Not adjusting to changes: Not embracing changes in direction, the need to tweak ideas or finding things evolve differently to how you originally imagined it and taking it as a sign it’s not meant to work out, are showing you that you’re not open to changes and the natural evolution to something even more amazing.

People often say, the moment they almost decided to give up was the moment just before they had a breakthrough. While demotivation, failure and giving up feels horrible, there’s a reason for this: it’s because you’re giving up on something that deep down you know is possible.

Why you should think twice about giving up

The power lies with your mindset and shifting this is key to keeping up the motivation you need when the going gets tough. This is why it’s important to realize why you shouldn’t give in and give up.

Instant success is a myth.

It is a generation of instant gratification which creates the illusion that everyone needs what they want. People look at other successful people and assume they got overnight success but in reality it took hard work and a lot of failing to get where they did. Most never see the journey but only the destination, and they fall in love with this idea that they don’t need to work hard to get it.

Understand this is a myth. Don’t be deterred by this because actually the journey is where the magic happens and makes your end goal ever more sweet.

A different approach maybe needed.

People judge themselves so harshly and assume that they are just not capable if they seem to be failing at something they want. It could simply be resolved by trying a different approach.

People are often so focused on the end goal and believe there’s just one or two ways to get there. In fact there may be a hundred more avenues that their mind isn’t opening up to.

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Open up and change your perspective. Are there other ways you can do it that feels better to you?

You’ll always wonder ‘what if’.

That feeling of regret can hit you hard. What if I’d just stuck with it? I could have achieved it by now. What if I hadn’t given up, how different my life would be?

While regret is the number one thing you shouldn’t waste your time doing, before you quit your dream just imagine how your life could transform and where you could be in a year, two years or five years.

Don’t give your future self the chance to become regretful because of the one decision you make in the present moment.

You could be quitting right before your success.

Many times, when people give up, they’re actually just a step away from success like this:

    The toughest times are a precursor to a major breakthrough to success. Think of it as being tested just to make sure this is exactly what you want.

    Decide yes, I still want this more than ever! You’re pretty much saying yep, give it to me now I deserve this after all I’ve done and this is usually the time it happens. Keep going! It’s all about trust that it’s going to work out.

    It’ll happen again and again.

    Do you find yourself quitting things a lot?  By default, your habitual mindsets and thought patterns play out over and over again throughout your life if you don’t identify and change them. Don’t think, ‘I’ll have another go in a year’s time’ because you are really likely to repeat exactly the same pattern again.

    It’s important to sit down with yourself and identify why you have a tendency to give up. This may feel uncomfortable and you may feel resistance to doing the process. But once you actually work through your limiting beliefs, they can be released really quickly and help you to remove mental obstacles you didn’t know were stopping you.

    Struggle does not equate to failure.

    We’ve been led to believe en mass that struggle is something to be ashamed of. It’s somehow a negative representation of our core character and ability to move through the world. I’m here to tell you it’s not. Never think of hard times as failure. In fact, just take failure out of your vocabulary. Stop caring about what others think and just know and believe you are capable of getting through it and coming out the other end.

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    Struggle actually builds character. It’s there to serve you – to help you learn something you’ll need to use later on. Stop assuming struggle is negative but see it as a blessing on your road to great success.

    How to not give up and stay motivated

    The thing people tend to forget when all they want to do is give up is that failure doesn’t fix anything. Maybe for a moment you’ll feel relief because you no longer have to face that challenge, but the satisfaction will be fleeting.

    Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, drinking, or any kind of bad habits; or whether you’re trying to achieve a goal; the misery you were experiencing will be back, one way or another if you choose to give up at the most difficult time.

    The real challenge you’re experiencing in that moment is your own weakness manifesting in a physical form. When you accept that you aren’t worthy or good enough, that’s the mind set you will keep.

    No matter what challenge you are facing (be it work or play) you will struggle with maintaining your optimism, dedication and will power because you haven’t addressed the real issue: yourself.

    Imagine the Great Challenge as a big rock in front of you.

      If you choose to give up, you work around the stone just to go around it.

        Yet the fastest way to get over it is to break this big rock and go right through it.

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          It’s the same with your weaknesses. You could continue to adjust your life to fit your fears (i.e. no longer job-hunting because you’ve accepted you will always fail), or you could keep sending out applications and calling to follow up and schedule interviews.

          No matter how great the challenge is, breaking it down is a must.

          In order to truly stay motivated, no matter how great the challenge is, you’ve got to learn to break the Great Challenge down.

            To truly overcome your weakness, you need break down the big rock into smaller pieces and deal with the small stones piece by piece.

              Right now it may seem impossible. It may seem like this is the hardest thing you will ever go through. But remember how often your threshold changes.

              Below are some tips that can help you take those first steps in keeping your chin up and truly facing the difficult choices in your life:

              1. Figure out what you lack

              No matter what the challenge you’re facing may be, there’s a reason it’s challenging to you. If it’s a job, why is it you aren’t getting hired? Go back through the job listings and skills required and find the common thread your resume doesn’t have. Is it not listed because you don’t have it? If so, work on doing something to give you that skill. Be it an online course or a volunteer project, do something to help push you closer to the “perfect candidate.”

              2. Be patient with yourself

              No one becomes a CEO overnight. If you have big dreams, you’re going to have to do big work to accomplish them. It’s okay to take time figuring out the best way to proceed, but it’s not okay to walk away because it’s challenging.

              3. Be proud of yourself for every small win

              Have you ever noticed how a small mistake can weigh on you for days? Whether or not you categorize yourself as a dramatic person doesn’t matter when it comes to the guilt we so often put upon ourselves. But when we make small strides in achieving our goal(s), we never seem to give ourselves much respect.

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              When we fail to pat ourselves on the back for little victories, it decreases our motivation and makes it much harder to achieve big goals.[1]

              4. Remember that you aren’t the first to feel this way

              When we face difficult choices or events in our lives, we often forget that we are not the first/only/last to experience this. Everyone faces hard decisions – be it deciding to end a relationship, changing careers, moving to a different place and leaving friends behind. We all go through it.

              So don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends or family for a sounding board. In some cases, they may even be able to offer you advice you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

              5. Know that you will grow as a person just from going through it

              We build character through those hard times. The old cliche, “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” is true. When you go through something challenging, you learn from it, regardless of the outcome. Recognize the opportunities for learning and personal development.

              6. Remember that you have choices

              No matter how hard the challenge you’re facing may be, one of the best things you can focus on is that you have choices. Only you can decide how you handle something and the steps you take. More so, only you can decide how you take the next step.

              You have the power to stand in your own way and to get out of it. Allow yourself to stay motivated by choosing to be stay motivated.

              Choose to see obstacles as lessons. Ask yourself, what is this showing me? What is it bringing up for me? In most cases, they’re there to point you in a direction you’ve previously not considered. Trust in this and keep going.

              Final thoughts

              Great things never come easy. When difficult times do stop you in your tracks, you need a way to push through.

              Learn and understand what it is that’s truly demotivating you. Adjust your mindset, learn to deal with challenges and you’ll come out the other side a strong and successful person.

              Featured photo credit: Vecteezy via vecteezy.com

              Reference

              More by this author

              Leon Ho

              Founder & CEO of Lifehack

              10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want How to Improve Memory: 7 Natural (And Highly Effective) Ways How to Increase Brain Power, Boost Memory and Become 10X Smarter

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              Last Updated on November 11, 2019

              Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

              Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

              A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

              You know how this looks:

              • Parents constantly comparing children.
              • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
              • Domestic violence.
              • Adultery…
              • And many others.

              For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

              Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

              Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

              This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

              In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

              If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

              How to fix a dysfunctional family

              In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

              And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

              Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

              It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

              Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

              Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

              There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

              Dysfunctional… Or just average?

              Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

              The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

              You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

              A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

              Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

              Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

              • Unrealistic expectations
              • Lack of interest and time spent together
              • Sexism
              • Utilitarianism
              • Lack of empathy
              • Unequal or unfair treatment
              • Disrespect towards boundaries
              • Control Issues
              • Jealousy
              • Verbal and physical abuse
              • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

              You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

              If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

              Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

              How to turn it around

              When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

              But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

              One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

              We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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              As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

              What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

              Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

              Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

              Correction is possible

              In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

              Verbalize it.

              All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

              Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

              This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

              But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

              So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

              Putting it to work in real life

              In real life it would be something like this:

              “OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

              Or:

              “Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

              Or:

              “Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

              As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

              This is what you have to remember:

              1-Stop.

              2-Why it’s wrong?

              3-What you need.

              And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

              It’s a family thing

              A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

              Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

              In other words, you will need cooperation…

              So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

              Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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              We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

              You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

              It’s not a free-for-all battle

              In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

              No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

              Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

              And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

              The method

              1. Drop the ego

              Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

              You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

              Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

              What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

              It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

              After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

              Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

              Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

              Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

              And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

              You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

              2. Not blame, but responsibility

              When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

              But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

              When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

              What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

              Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

              As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

              You will do something like this:

              “Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

              I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

              You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

              I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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              It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

              What happened here?

              We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

              We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

              We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

              And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

              You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

              This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

              3. Doing the work

              What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

              This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

              Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

              If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

              It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

              “When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

              I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

              But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

              You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

              Love is all you need

              You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

              That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

              And what happens if it simply is not there?

              What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

              What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

              There is only one thing you can do:

              To break away.

              Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

              There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

              “We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

              If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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              Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

              You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

              Putting distance

              So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

              What do I mean?

              Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

              Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

              Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

              Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

              They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

              Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

              I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

              I choose my peace of mind.

              And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

              Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

              Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

              How to prevent it

              There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

              • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
              • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

              Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

              You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

              Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

              Priorities and clear thought

              You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

              You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

              You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

              Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

              If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

              And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

              Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

              But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

              Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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