When is it Okay to Give Up on a Goal?

Photo by Andrew McCluskey

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s in my best interest to just give up on some things. That’s right, just wash my hands of it entirely, throw in the towel and call it quits. Now I’m not saying that it’s okay to be a quitter. What I am saying is that if you’ve been at something for a long time, approached it from every angle possible and it’s still not working for you, maybe it’s just not meant to be.  For example, if a goal you created some time back is no longer bringing you joy and for whatever reason your outlook has changed and it’s no longer a good fit for you, by all means, let it go.

Another thing you shouldn’t feel bad about giving up on is trying to be perfect, especially trying to be perfect when you’re just struggling to live up to someone else’s expectations of what you should be.  The first person you need to worry about making happy is YOU so don’t worry so much about what other people think. Yes, listen to the opinions of those you care about but if they truly care about you, they’ll want you to be the best you that you can be and not try to change you into something you’re not. This brings me to another thing that you should feel no remorse giving up: relationships with people you don’t actually like or even better, people who don’t really like you. You know the ones I’m talking about. Sometimes people are in our lives because we’re too weak (or too nice) to let them go even though we know the relationship is toxic.

So how do you know when to give up? The answer is different for everyone but I know I’m ready to give something up when it starts bringing me so much frustration that it interferes with other areas of my life.  While it’s rue that sometimes areas will overlap and one will have an effect on another, if it gets to a point where it’s causing a horrible friction creating undue stress that’s when I step back, re-evaluate and allow myself to just let it go. It doesn’t make sense to hang on to something that’s making us miserable whether it’s a goal, a job, or a so-called friend. Always remember, life is full of choices and we’re in control. Things aren’t always going to go according to our master plan but if we give ourselves permission to bend and change and when necessary, give up what isn’t working for us, we can continue to grow and evolve into our best self. 

Has there ever been a time when you felt it was right to give up on something? Looking back, do you have regrets or was it the right thing for you? 

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