giving up on yourselfWho hasn’t felt like giving up at one time or another?

I can recall certain periods in life in which I wished the earth would just open up and swallow me whole. I wanted to disappear.

I didn’t think I had what it took to persevere through trials – both within myself and in very difficult circumstances.

Yet, with real life obligations, people who depended on me as well as my own (albeit conflicted) desires to overcome, I knew I had to avoid giving up on myself and press on.

That’s life at times, right? Find a way to press on!

I’ve always been a fan of resilience and perseverance, so when I ran across an intriguing post by Santa Barbara-based life coach Jesse Brisendine that outlines the limiting beliefs that can sabotage your desire to press forward and overcome obstacles, I reached out to him.

I was delighted to discover that Jesse is the author of the book: Ouch, My Heart is Broken: A Heartbreak Survival Guide. Here is a man who has been through pain and come out on the other side with something valuable to share.

I asked Jesse if he might expand on this idea of giving up on yourself and share a few of his thoughts on how to get through tough times. Here are Jesse’s answers to a few key questions about giving up.

How would you define giving up on yourself?

When you lock away that “inner voice” aka “THAT feeling,” that you feel deep inside that you get when you know you are meant for more, to do something, to take action towards what you really want.  Anytime we take this feeling/voice, lock it away, and throw away the key – that is giving up on oneself.

Why do people give up on themselves, in your opinion?

Often times people have grown so accustomed to allowing the limiting beliefs of their lives to run the show that they do not know a life exists without limits.  The make a mistake and immediately interpret it as a failure (which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy) vs seeing it for what it truly is: feedback. Feedback from others and life can be the most valuable lesson on how to improve and do better next time.

Is it smart to give up at times? What would be an example of that?

I would not encourage someone to give up, but I would encourage someone to re-direct the energy they are putting into something that is not serving them into a more fulfilling pursuit.

An example would be working at a job that isn’t meeting someone’s primary emotional needs.  I would encourage them to re-direct that energy into looking for a job/career that does do that vs expending that energy trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

How would I know if I am giving up too early?

That same inner voice/feeling that lets us know we are meant for more is also a guiding light in our pursuits.  If you learn to listen to it you will know when you are at the finish line.  I encourage people to train themselves to cultivate and nurture their relationship with that voice/feeling vs focusing on the perceived obstacles that may scare someone into giving up.

What are some strategies for persevering even though you feel like giving up?

Reference your past – everyone has a time in the past where they encountered an obstacle/challenge and were able to persevere in spite of that.  Examine those experiences closely.

How did you handle that experience?
What specifically did you do at that time that allowed you to push forward?
What did you think about/focus on?

Within your answers to those questions, you will find behavioral characteristics that you can tap into to face any present challenge you face.

You can find Jesse Brisendine at JesseBrisendine.com. Jesse is also the author of Ouch, My Heart is Broken: A Heartbreak Survival Guide.