We’re at Week 3 of Challenge Yourself, the month where you become the driver for your own Growth. This month is about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, taking on new things, and tuning into your experiences with the mindset that whatever lies ahead holds an opportunity for you to learn, improve yourself, and grow.
Now… a Challenge is exactly what it sounds like. It’s hard. It really, really is, and in my first blog on this topic, I had asked you to pick something that Challenged you, personally.
And when things get difficult, you might get frustrated. You might find yourself telling yourself that you’re just not up to the task you’ve set yourself. You might find that there are unwanted voices that are calling you out on being less than, reminding you that failure is something to be avoided, persuading you that your time is better spent on something easier and more quickly rewarding.
And… you might get the urge to give up. Actually, you might have already set aside your Challenge for the time being, thinking that the time is not right yet. You’re not quite there. You might be thinking you’ll try again later, when things are more aligned for you.
If giving up is even remotely on the back of your mind, or if it’s at the forefront of what’s happening right now, then read on.
Nothing about wanting to give up makes you a bad person, it doesn’t make you weaker or demonstrate that you are less than. Let me just put that out there right away. Wanting to give up is 100% normal. We’re humans, and our brains are hardwired to seek reward, especially if we’re facing difficulty. We look for gratification, and the harder things are for us, the more pressing our need for gratification is. That’s a natural part of being a human, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
But, knowing that it’s normal, you also need to know that you have the power to override the urge to give up, in favor of pursuing something that will give you more instantaneous gratification.
Now… whether you want to override the urge to give up, or bow to it, is up to you. But let me tell you something straight up. The more rewarding things that you are looking to achieve ARE the ones that will trigger your urge to give up. They’re harder, they take more effort and probably more time. They’ll test your abilities, and they’ll likely require you to expand your skillset. You design the life you want for yourself, and if that life includes those more rewarding things – more money, comfort, a bigger impact on the world around you – then you need to commit to addressing the urge to give up, and to overriding it.
And, I suspect you do want those bigger rewards, otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this now.
All right, with all that being said, here’s the point where I ask you to do something. Either make the commitment to yourself, that you will stick to your Challenge and override the urge to give up, and then read on. Or make the decision for yourself that this is where your journey ends, because you’re prepared to settle for the less than. In which case, feel free to click away from this blog and get back to your day.
I’ll give you a minute.
I see you’re still reading this, and just want to say… congratulations on your commitment!
Like I said, the urge to give up is one you can completely override and, with time and practice, you’ll find yourself having an easier time overriding it. All you need is to make sure you’re addressing the urge to give up properly and appropriately, by taking care of your needs.
Below are four ways to keep yourself focused on what you need, and giving yourself the care and space that you need to carry yourself through your Challenge.
- Remind yourself of your Why. You’ve undertaken a Challenge, and that Challenge serves a purpose for you. What is the result you’re looking for? What is this Challenge designed to teach you about yourself? What positives can you get out of what you’re doing? What is the need that you’re taking care of by taking on this Challenge? By keeping your Why firmly at the forefront of your endeavours, you’ll find it easier to override the urge to give up. You put yourself, your own needs, and your own goals at the heart of what you’re doing, instead of focusing on the difficulty that you’re facing. Your Why is one of your biggest motivators, so make sure you’re constantly reminding yourself of it. If you’re a visual person, put up a Vision Board to remind yourself of what your Why looks like, and keep referring to it when you feel that niggling desire to walk away. Put up some motivational quotes that relate to your Why, or write yourself a few notes that you can stick around your space to remind you of your Why.
- Ask yourself what giving up will give you. It’s a legitimate question. You have an urge to give up, explore the reasons for it. More likely than not, what’s happening is that your brain is craving a reward for all the effort you’re putting in. Figure out a way that you can give yourself the boost you’re looking for. Maybe schedule time for attention/affection from a loved one, plan a special treat after dinner tonight, book some time for yourself to do something you love. Make a concrete plan with yourself to get a reward, and look forward to it. Also… don’t flake on yourself, when the time comes, respect your commitment and give yourself the reward you so thoroughly deserve. Your needs are important, take care of them accordingly.
- Take a break. If something is getting too fidgety, it’s teasing your brain too hard, you just feel like you’re hitting a wall, take a breather. Set yourself aside a chunk of time to get your mind off things, and take that time to do something different. If you want, do something enjoyable like listen to music or doodle a bit. Maybe get your blood pumping a bit, physical activity is a great way to alleviate stress and it’s also a great way to empty your brain a bit. Take some time to pray if that’s your thing, or maybe meditate if that’s more your style. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you’re doing it within the allocated time. This isn’t about giving up and walking away, so don’t let yourself off the hook by vaguely committing to get back to what you should be doing at some point in the future. Structure your break time, and use that break to recharge before getting back to it. Take care of you. Facing a Challenge is NOT an excuse to run yourself into the ground, so don’t make it one.
- Remind yourself of your successes. You may have faced difficulties previously, but you have achieved so much. Be your own inspiration. Remind yourself of the difficult moments that you have gotten through to get you to where you are today, and take pride in them. Tell yourself the stories of how you got yourself through what you’ve faced, how you’ve had the strength and courage to do what you needed to do, how you’ve withstood storms and walked away to tell the tale. You did not recognize what you had back then, but you can certainly take the time to recognize it now, and to take pride in your journey. Your life has been full of progress, growth, resilience, and strength. Remind yourself of how far you’ve come, and be proud of you. You are the hero of your story. Give yourself the kudos, congratulate you, pat yourself on the back. You’ve got a lot to celebrate already. This Challenge is just icing on the top of the cake.
Fix your crown.