By nature, we want things to work out. Our jobs, our relationships, our endeavors — we go into these things with blind optimism. While fear might make us doubtful at times, we come into life pre-programmed to be our own loudest and most enthusiastic cheerleaders. But sometimes, no matter how much positive energy we put towards something, it doesn't work out. The jobs that we worked hard to get and put good time into don't always fulfill us. The relationships we build and grow attached to don't always serve us well after time. And the projects that we got our hands dirty and knees skinned with don't always turn out to be what we had hoped for.
And while inspirational posters and tell us to "never give up" or "just keep trying" or "give it another shot," sometimes the right thing to do is to walk away and give up. But knowing when to cut your losses and put your hands up is not easy. It might feel like it's never a good time to give up. It might feel like you have a little bit more energy to carry on. It might feel like you don't deserve something better. But the truth is, we walk around carrying a lot of excess weight. If you feel down, or trapped or stagnant, chances are you're holding on to something that's no longer serving you. It might be time to let go. Here are five things you should ask yourself before giving up on something to be sure you're making the best decision for you:
Can You Still Visualize Success?
When you close your eyes and really think about it, can you still see it working out? Are there too many obstacles in the way of achieving that success in order for it to be feasible?
Do You Feel Confident About Yourself?
How have you been feeling about yourself lately? Do you feel like you're performing to the best of your ability? Are the things you're involved with giving you as much as you're giving them? Are your struggles making you feel insecure or lowering you sense of self worth?
When You Think About It, Do You Feel Dread?
What does your gut tell you? When you think about the thing you're unsure of, do you feel weighed down and anxious? Does this unresolved issue feel like a burden with no potential positive outcome?
When You Imagine Letting Go, Do You Feel Relief?
Despite all the obstacles that might be in the way of you letting go, does the absence of the attachment make you feel lighter? Do you believe your life will be better without it? Do your heart and head have the same opinion?
Will You Have Regrets If You Move On?
Have you tried your hardest? If there anything else you can do to remedy the situation? Is there an approach you've been too scared to try? Is there someone else you can talk to about it? Do you have a pattern of giving up when times are tough? Think about your life in five years, will you regret not have trying a bit longer? Now think about your life in ten years — how about then? Can your heart let go, too?
Be as honest as you can with yourself. You're your best judge.