(Read Time: 4 min)
Quitting or giving up is seen by most to be a sign of weakness. The standard built up around never giving up, however, is holding many of us to paths that might be destructive or harmful to us.
Not only is it possible to give up gracefully, but sometimes it is also essential to our survival!
Sometimes we have habits or routines in our lives that are unhealthy that we need to give up.
Or maybe it’s a disagreement with someone that isn’t worth the loss in friendship…
Or a goal that made sense years ago but, as things have changed, no longer serves you.
It’s important that, when trying to give up something in your life that is unhealthy, you remember to take it one step at a time.
Just as much as choosing to forge ahead has merit and value, choosing to let go of something that’s not worth pursuing is an art form of its own.
Here are the 3 steps to giving up, stepping down, and letting go:
The first step is to become aware of the issue and the fear that is present surrounding it.
Often, we don’t think about it until we’re in the middle of it… and then we push it aside and don’t think about it until the next time it comes up.
Each time you become aware of the problem is an opportunity to give it up.
It’s at this moment that you can choose, with a clear perspective, whether to continue to let fear of appearing to fail control you, or to drop it and walk away…
Freeing yourself from the shackles.
Awareness is important in every aspect of our lives, and having the ability to recognize when we are doing something harmful to ourselves or others is important for maintaining good relationships.
This is the action of embracing your fears and giving up any resistance that is holding you back.
You give up on the judgment of what is good or bad and release the idea of fault, and blame. Is giving up on something that’s no longer serving you a failure? Or is it a logical action that’s in your best interest and will serve your future better?
Accept that you tried. Accept that continuing along this path isn’t helpful.
Step down and accept the responsibility for your own actions, and be grateful for the learning opportunity this experience has provided.
This step is exactly what it sounds like. This is when you declare to yourself, “I give up, I am stepping down.”
There is immeasurable power in declaration that works if we own it in the present.
Just the simple act of declaration, whether it’s aloud and in front of others or in silence and in private, sets the intent into motion. It also puts our attention on what we want to have happen, and takes our intention off what is stopping us.
Great things don’t ever come easy. When difficult times try to stop us in our tracks, it’s important to know which hills are worth dying on and when it’s better to give up, cut your losses, and focus your efforts elsewhere.
Is there something in your life right now that it’s time to walk away from?
Write it down.
List the ways this is serving you on one side of the paper, and the ways that it’s costing you on the other.
Put it down in writing: I am letting this go. Write down 3 reasons that this is the right choice for you, and 3 things you have learned from this experience.
Now, create a game plan. Will you need to share your decision with others? Do you need to make cancellations, phone calls, or take other action to disentangle yourself from this?
Get down your plan of action on paper, and do what needs to be done.
Giving up something that’s been burdening you is one of the most freeing experiences in life… don’t let pressure from others or fear of failure trap you into something that’s not helpful or healthy!