There are some motivational quotes that sometimes get so ingrained that we never question them. “Never give up”, is one of them. Using this statement to motivate someone without taking the specific context and person into account is irresponsible if not outright dangerous. Sure, life is difficult, and heaven knows we all need some tenacity, grit, and willpower to negotiate life, but driving ourselves over the edge because “one should never give up” is utter nonsense. Truth is, sometimes we have to give up.
So when should we consider giving up?
- When we realise we are making no progress, no matter how hard we try or what we do. The results are the same every time. Not giving up then makes no sense. As Einstein famously said: “If you do the same thing in the same way, expecting a different result, you are insane.” However, if there is clear improvement or progress, by all means, try again, don’t give up.
- When we are brave and vulnerable enough to admit to ourselves that perhaps this was not for us to begin with. When you find yourself thinking, “what got into me, this is not me at all”, then it is perhaps time to think again and give it up. It is essential that we stay true to ourselves and not allow the ego to trick us into getting ourselves into situations we should in the first place never even have entertained. Be brave and vulnerable and bow out graciously. Your soul will thank you.
- When we have lost our joy. The unfortunate truth is that millions of people are trapped in jobs, relationships or some kind of situation that is soul-destroying and brings them no joy. How is it helpful to encourage someone in that position to never give up? Never mind that you have no joy, never mind that you are dying on the inside, never mind that you struggle to just survive from day to day, just never give up. Sure, never give up on yourself, never give up on life, but definitely give up whatever it is that is robbing you of your joy and connect with your soul again. Give up the idea that you have no choice. Remember you always have a choice. Not making a choice is also a choice! Not making a choice is choosing to be a victim and forever blaming others.
Never give up? I beg to differ. Sometimes we need to call it a day. Sometimes it is better to give up before we give in. Face your fears, embrace the change and do the stuff that lights up your soul. It is not that easy or simple, you may argue. Perhaps. Till you try it.