Learning Not to Quit When Life Gets You Down - 7 Ways on How to Not Give Up
I am re-sharing a blog I wrote in 2018 when a monumental event happened to me that actually spanned over a number of years. I feel it's essential to talk about not quitting when the going gets tough. it's about finding ways to not give up when that's exactly all you want to do.
Enjoy the read and I've added a list of seven ways to not give up when life throws you a banana (or is it lemons?)!
The Story Way Back When...
Today, I am writing a very personal post. I'm a believer in sharing stories so that others may realize that they're not on their own when life gets tough. And while it may be tempting to give up, we simply can't quit.
This morning I walked, full force, into a wall. The force was so hard that I banged my nose hard enough to make it bleed, causing me to curse and swear enough to make a hardened trooper blush! I was quite impressed actually by my choice of vocabulary!
I felt my nose to find out if it was broken. Once I got over that little drama (my nose is not broken but very tender and my face feels like it’s been punched a few times!) I sat down and was reminded of something we spoke about during the shaman workshop I attended earlier this week.
When we bump our toes, ankles, shins, elbows, noses, or forehead it means we need to look within as to why we're being passive-aggressive. It didn’t take me long to realize how angry, resentful, and frustrated I am feeling about my deteriorating eyesight (which is why I didn’t see the wall when I walked into it, in case you were wondering!). I realize then how much I was suppressing these feelings, pretending that “Hey, it’s part of life.”
To cut a long story short, I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in 2006. RP is a degenerative condition of the retina and eventually leads to blindness. To make matters a little more interesting, I was born hard of hearing. I've always accepted my deafness and have adapted well to it.
But the thought of losing my eyesight as well was not a prospect that I wanted to take lightly. And, yet I had to. So, when I was told three weeks ago that I was to stop driving with immediate effect, I took this in my stride. I was determined not to let this latest development in my deteriorating eyesight bother me……. until this morning.
The stark reality of being deaf and blind is a frightening one. It makes me mad that I've been dealt with such a rotten tomato especially as I'm the only one in my family to inherit this genetic condition.
It makes me mad that I have to fight through life living with not one disability BUT two, working harder than others to get through each day.
It makes me mad having my independence slowly taken away from me – I can't drive anymore, I battle to find my way through dimly lit areas, and I have to rely on someone to help me navigate through crowded areas.
I endure embarrassing moments of not hearing someone, walking right past people because I simply don't see or hear that they're there, making them feel that I'm ignoring them.
Today I am tired of life and yet, when I saw a quote on Facebook, I was reminded that while I can be tired, I simply CAN'T (and won't) quit. I must learn to rest so that I may pick myself up again and continue with life.
I don’t want to quit. I have always believed that life is an exciting journey. And, my latest exciting experience is unfolding as a result of my disabilities.
I have recently been encouraged to have genetic testing done so a proper diagnosis of Ushers syndrome (an inherited condition characterized by progressive vision loss and hearing impairment) can be made.
Huge strides are taking place, in research fields, for finding treatment for those living with RP/Ushers Syndrome. Clinical trials are revealing exciting developments in gene replacement therapy. This means that those living with RP/Ushers Syndrome, may, one day, have their eyesight and hearing loss restored.
I am excited to be part of this journey. I count myself lucky to be unique enough to be involved in ground-breaking research so that our future generations may have a better prospect of living with RP/Ushers Syndrome.
I want to remind everyone out there that yes, life can get hard and yes, you can get tired and want to give up. But, don’t. Discover your own incredible uniqueness and realize you have so much to offer to the world. If you don't believe it now, work hard on discovering it because it's there, deep within you.
Life is a journey - you can choose to make it a worthwhile experience or you can choose to opt out. I prefer to see my life as a gift. I also choose to see life as an adventure. I encourage you to see life as such too. So, when you do get tired, remember...learn to rest - not to quit.
If you want to learn more about RP, read Katie McCoy's book, "Retinitis Pigmenosa 101: How to Understand, Accept, and Live Your Best Life With Retinitis Pigmentosa."
The Story Today...
Yes, I was diagnosed with Ushers syndrome, and three years down the line, I'm now walking with a white cane. This amazing and phenomenal tool is literally my BFF! There are many days when I do still want to give up but instead, I remind myself of the incredible journey I am on. I wouldn't want to give it up for the world.
So, when you feel like giving up on life, give yourself a break. Then pick yourself up and get going again. Here are seven ways of not giving up when the going gets bad.
1. Embrace an Open Mindset
When you have an open mindset, you only see possibilities. So, even on those days when you feel like quitting, your mind will tell you to "chin up and check out how the world is full of opportunities."
You can adopt an open mindset if you've identified your mindset is more fixed than necessary. By telling yourself the following you'll get through any hard day:
I'll find a way around this one
This is only temporary
I know there's a solution to every problem
Persistence is key!
I won't let this one take me down
Read this book for children (but it's just as good for adults needing to find some perseverance) by Mary Ninh - Gritty Ninja: A Children’s Book About Dealing with Frustration and Developing Perseverance (Ninja Life Hacks) Paperback.
2. Reach Out for Help
Sometimes, when the going gets tough, you need to reach out and ask for help. I did that when I needed to raise funds for my Ushers syndrome testing. It wasn't cheap and I wasn't sure how I was going to pay for it. By reaching out for help, the funds were raised in no time at all.
While you're responsible for how your life turns out, asking others to help you along the way is one of the wisest and simplest things to do. People do want to help. Let them. By the way, hiring a life coach is a good idea when you're looking for help.
3. Why Are You Doing This?
Asking yourself "why" you're doing something that means so much to you but it's so darn difficult is often the only question you need to ask to push you through to success. How many times have you been on the brink of giving up completely only to have the solution land right in your lap?
That's because you had a "why" that motivates you to persist, find a solution, or simply not give up.
4. Take a Break
Working on a goal can be heart-wrenching at times especially when it's not working out quite how you planned it to. This is when you need to take a break and do something you really enjoy. Taking your attention elsewhere, and finding some pleasure gives you the energy you need to keep going.
Recharge yourself, be kind to yourself, and then pick yourself up and keep at it. This is NOT the time to give up.
5. Learn From Your Failures
There will be times when you fail and you're not sure whether it's worth carrying on. Failures happen and they can be disappointing. But, if you use an open mindset, you'll understand there are NO failures - only lessons.
By learning from your "failures", you're giving yourself a stepping stone towards achieving whatever your goal is. Use it wisely.
6. Watch How People You Admire Keep Going
Watching the actions of people you admire will teach you so much about the traits you need to adopt in order to keep going. Learn from these people. They've also had many "down times" and if you ask them outright, they'll gladly admit to them.
Why? Because they know that's where some of the most valuable lessons take place.
7. Keep Going!
Ultimately, it's all about acknowledging that only you're responsible for your life and how it turns out. You can choose to hide under a rock and not take action. Or, you can grab life by the horns and keep going!
Remember, your life is what it is because of the action you took...or didn't take. Let that sink in.
I get it when life knocks you sideways. It happens many times and I assure you, it'll happen again, over and over. And it sucks! But, what I can tell you is that only you can change the way your life turns out. Giving up may seem tempting but it's not the solution.
Keep going! Take responsibility. Have an open mindset and embrace the lessons of your failures. Watch others and see how they DON'T quit! And, ask yourself why you doing it to remind you why you simply can't give up.
This post was originally published on April 14th, 2021, and updated on May 25th, 2022.
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