I’ve thought about this issue a lot over the years. What to do when you don’t seem to be making progress and you feel like nothing is working. The more I pondered the question as to whether there is ever a right time to give up, the more certain I became that if something is truly important to you, you owe it to yourself to keep trying.
This philosophy relates to goals more than relationships as, although I hold a similar view with relationships, ultimately, relationships need the commitment of two people to truly make things work in the long term. This isn’t to say that trying different strategies to save a relationship isn’t worthwhile, in fact I would advise you to do so, but in the end both people need to want to repair the relationship as a bare minimum.
In terms of goals, even (and perhaps especially) grand life goals – the type of goals that would genuinely be a dream come true – I firmly believe you need to have unrelenting grit. For example, one of my life goals is to have a book published. If after years of hard work I seemed to reach a dead end I may well want to give up and even if I didn’t, I might not be able to imagine that it would ever be published if I felt discouraged.
So what should I do?
I would rest and re-strategize.
I would go on writing courses if needed. I would rework the book, actioning all the feedback I had been given. I would improve it in any way I could. I would seek mentors and have it professionally edited. And then I would get a new agent if I felt it wise.
I would relentlessly send it to every single publisher in the country and then, if that didn’t work, I would research self publishing (after all if it was good enough for E L James, why not?!?). I would market it with everything I had. And you know what? In the end I would have my book published. Although not every goal is guaranteed to be realized there are usually ways that you can achieve what you want by a different means.
Likewise, if what you’re doing isn’t working, seek out those that have done what you want to do and research how they did it. Be flexible, you just want to get to your goal at point B, does it really honestly matter how you get there? Think laterally and change your strategy. If J K Rowling had given up after her twelfth rejection she would never have had Harry Potter published.
So is there ever a right time to give up? Yes and no. Sometimes it is wise to give up on your strategy but never give up on your dreams and goals, rather find another way to achieve them. After all, they are the very essence of your inner most desires and, to me, that is worth fighting for.
What dreams do you have? How much would you sacrifice to achieve them? Have you struggled with when to give up on something you love? Please share your thoughts in the comments below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community, we’d love to hear from you.
Following using psychology to transform my life, I founded Accessible Psychology to help empower others to live the life they long for. My journey is living testimony that no matter where you are, absolutely everyone can apply psychology in order to lead more fulfilling lives.
Oh and I love Oprah, Marie Forleo, Tony Robbins and lovely people like you!