When things fall into place effortlessly. When the Sun rises and sets as it should. When there is joy, momentum, positivity. When life is working out just fine. Then, feeling hopeful and remaining hopeful is quite a simple affair, one that happens naturally.
Then, life throws you a curveball and yet another one. And there is no break in between to take a rest from it all. That is when the experience of hope or the anticipation that things will get better, that things always get better, becomes quite a difficult feat.
Whether the curveballs thrown at you are business or work related, or they are personal, how do you remain hopeful enough to rise above the fog? What do you do when you feel like giving up?
Researchers from Olin University found that the ability to take in the bad and good when faced with hardship could help to improve a person’s psychological wellbeing. The study found that participants who were able to react to a difficult situation with mixed emotions of happiness and sadness had a better chance of making the most out of their current adversity.
To see the good and the bad, you would first have to be very present with the negative emotions you are experiencing. It would be helpful to identify the negative emotion by name, whether that is overwhelm, fear, anger, sadness, fatigue.
Being present and sitting with your emotions and acknowledging them in this way can help you to start being in control of what you are feeling. When you feel in control then you are able to gain a clearer perspective on the next step to take.
Although it is great to feel in control and indeed be in control, it is important to acknowledge that you cannot be in control of all things, all the time.
A major reason why people lose hope and feel like giving up is that they feel they need to be on top of everything. So, when you find that there are very few things in life that you can control, you lose the anticipation that things will be better than they presently are.
The truth is, some things are just out of your control and there is nothing you can do about it. What you are in control of is how you respond to life.
When you feel like giving up, remind yourself constantly that you are in control because you are choosing to respond to life in a much more positive, rational and calmer way.
Who are the people you spend the most time with? How do they truly make you feel? Do they make you feel like you can achieve your goals? Do they remind you of your great potential? Do they lift you up when you feel like giving up?
As the saying goes, ‘you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Whether you feel like giving up on your business or on life itself, being with positive people will help you see that your situation is not tremendously unique and that solutions can be arrived at.
In the off chance you cannot find positive people to ground you, look for positive experiences that will allow you to see the bigger picture. Creative activities such as meditation, working out, playing an instrument, walking in nature can be extremely valuable in allowing you to see that you are not alone in the world; rather, you are in a vast world full of things and people that support you at each moment.
Are you majoring in the minors? Are overwhelm and stress the cause of your hopelessness? It is easy to feel like giving up when you have too much on your plate to handle; this is especially true for entrepreneurs.
If you are losing hope in your ability to accomplish certain goals or to simply tackle life head on, a good place to start to gain that hope back is to stop sweating over the small stuff. Instead, focus on what’s really important at any given time.
How do you know what to focus on and what to set aside? Practice the art of breaking things into smaller pieces.
Whether you are facing a health or business challenge, or you are looking to accomplish certain goals, just break the problem into small pieces and then deal with each piece at a time. If there is a piece that is out of your control, let it go.
The art of breaking it all down allows you to see what is important and what isn’t. What is in your control and what will never be.
From this perspective, you will be able to take the actions that truly bring you closer to your goals and therefore to a place of renewed hope.
Read this article again, or get in touch! And remember this when you feel like giving up:
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