When You Want to Quit, Stop Trying, and Give Up

by Rachel Miller

November 23, 2021

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When you’re tired, when all you want is to do is go back to bed–to take the day off and do nothing, where it feels utterly painful to think about the task before you. When you want to just turn your brain off and shut the world out, how do you move past that?


Pause to consider the weighty intensity of this feeling:

  • What about this feeling has got me so under its grip?
  • What about this experience has me so badly wanting to give up?
  • What about this task is so deterring that almost everything in me wants nothing more than to sink into empty distraction and let time pass me by until another day arises?

Look at these feelings, not in anticipatory defeat, but awesome intrigue. To be amazed at how alluring this desire can be—this desire to give up, to let go. To consider, if this is so painful to resist, I wonder what would happen if I chose not to comply?

Try an Experiment:

  • Consider: why not try one more thing, one last thing and see what happens? Why not push just one inch further, one notch greater in intensity and intention then you feel like doing?

  • Everything in you will despise your decision. It will be viscerally painful to oppose what you feel like doing. This is normal. Be curious at the hostility: “Interesting! Why is this so hard to resist? I wonder what there is to gain by opposing it?”

  • View it like a challenge, a game. See what happens when you completely defy what everything in you feels like doing and do the opposite thing instead.

Fast-forward and let me tell you: Wow, oh, wow, it is worth it! How can something feel so bad and so good at the same time? It won’t be easy. It will feel mentally painful, but the rewards are fascinating and so, so worth it! Just this once, try it out and see. See what happens, when instead of stopping, quitting, and giving up, you keep going. You do one more thing than you feel like doing. You push one notch further, instead.

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