Or, giving up in order to try something new is an area where I should (up to this point) have some kind of medal for.
I’m well versed in the art of saying “who gives a f*ck” or “this will never work”, or “I suddenly realised that it’s not what I actually want”, or “maybe it’s not meant to be” or, “the universe doesn’t want me to do it”.
And about 10 million other excuses that I’ve given myself over the years.
And, I’ve also managed to not give up on quite a few things in my life over the last few years (despite feeling sometimes and often that I should be doing something else).
If you are thinking about giving up.
Whether it’s on your blog, or on your career, or in your relationship, or on your fitness plan or any other area of your life. I’d like to offer my thoughts & learnings so far on what I’ve found about giving up.
And I hope that you can also share your thoughts too!
The story actually starts in the outback of Australia. My brother and I were fruit picking grapes at a farm in the scorching heat, trying to earn some money as skint backpackers aged about 22.
The working conditions were terrible. If you think your office is tough, try picking grapes in 40-degree heat with no access to water and hundreds of flies buzzing around your head. It was really, really terrible.
When we asked for water, the farmer looked at us as if we were insane. We literally couldn’t believe no-one else had asked for water before. It was crazy and we had another 6 weeks of it.
6 hours in we had managed to pick a couple of buckets of grapes each (and probably ate quite a few too) I was settling into the rhythm doing my survival thing, pacing myself for the next 6 weeks.
My brother was already making an escape plan.
Lets quit he said.
QUIT?! We’ve only just started, I replied, amazed at the suggestion. Quitting just wasn’t in my vocabulary at that time. No, we can’t do that I continued.
Well, why not? He replied.
This one phrase shook me. Actually yeah, "why the hell not" my mind was saying. But I’d beat it back with thoughts of resilience, commitment, finishing what you started.
However, after several more hours of exhausting work and still an afternoon to go, it didn’t take much convincing to tip me over the edge.
So, we quit.
We basically just left our secateurs and our buckets and ran away from the farm.
Finding a tap on the way out to hydrate and filling up an empty bottle of water we found for the journey back.
There was no transport so we had to walk.
To be honest, I don’t remember the walk aside from it being 40 degrees and endless road, I’m pretty sure it took us several hours to get home.
I got heat stroke and took several days to recover so my brother has a better memory of the actual escape than me.
But, we escaped. We complained to the people who assigned us to the job and demanded better working conditions. And so, we got placed in an air-conditioned peach packing farm.
Ah, the luxury!
Water, several breaks throughout the day, lunch & air conditioning! We were made up.
Our life had been drastically improved thanks to the act of GIVING UP.
I swear this occasion then set a precedent for me and my life for the following years to come. In my head from then on it was like, but if I give up then things will get so much easier and better and my life will be improved.
So, that, I think is where my ability to give up came from.
And it’s filtered into lots of areas of my life, especially career.
I’ve tried so many businesses over the years! So many different paths! Even when I eventually found one I really loved; Teaching Mindfulness & Meditation, I still gave it up thinking that working on Ginger Marketing would be easier.
Yes, Ginger Marketing and growing this business has been easier to monetize and earn a living from, but I could have found a way to continue my meditation & Ginger Marketing at the same time.
The grass is greener affects us all.
Social media has a big part to play in it right.
We see other people traveling the world, showing us their shopping haul or sharing their business revenue. We see blog income reports and hear about others success and it’s really easy to think;
It must be the thing I picked.
It must be that this topic isn’t very popular to write about.
Or, my business model isn’t working.
Or, this industry is losing traction.
When it comes to relationships we might think that if only we had someone who was more like us, who listened more, who paid attention, who was more present to what we want, who booked more surprises and was more romantic (I’m speaking for the straight girls here as I don’t have experience of another type of relationship!).
What I’ve come to realize is. Very often, whenever I have these thoughts about giving up, moving on and doing something else the best thing I can do is to stand still.
Whenever I feel like running away and throwing caution to the wind for a better, easier, more fulfilling life I’ve realized that if I can’t appreciate the amazing life I already have, there must be something going a little bit cray cray.
Standing still when we feel like giving up means that we can start to listen to what is really going on.
The issue could be as straightforward as too much time on social media and comparisonitis is setting in.
It could be that I’ve forgotten to appreciate the little things in life that I love.
Or, it could be that it is time for a change.
Change is okay, change is great. But, that change can be something you add, not always something you take away.
As an example. Lately, I’ve realized how much I love getting on the phone and connecting with people. It’s something I did a lot of with City Calm, my meditation business. And I miss that.
Instead of thinking, well I don’t get to do that with Ginger Marketing, therefore, I can’t continue on with this business (*places hand to head in a dramatic way).
I’m thinking how that can be incorporated into my business.
How can that small change be made so that I improve on what I have already?
Often, when we want to shake things up there is a lesson to be learned.
But that lesson can be applied to our current situation without needing to completely overhaul everything and start from scratch.
Something which has really helped me with this is yoga & meditation. Without these practices, I’d find it very hard to stand still when I feel emotional, sad, confused and a whole host of other stuff.
It gives a certain resilience that despite feeling all these things you can just keep on going on!
Every time I decide to stand still, life gets better & better.
Very often a breakthrough is on the other side of that still space right at the moment when everything feels like it just doesn’t fit.
Instead of JUST DO IT (thanks Nike)
My new phrase is
JUST STAND STILL
And I hope I've encouraged you to try it out for size and see if it works for you. Your break through is just around the corner I can feel it.
Well, that’s about it, this is less of a tips post and more of a share.
I felt like sharing on the topic of giving up, its something I think we can all relate to. And, I’d love to hear about your experiences too in the comments!
Written by Cheryl A Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing (unless stated otherwise)