Never ever give up.
It’s generally great advice. A key to success. In some instances however, knowing when to give up is the more valuable skill.
I learnt this the hard way.
At school one of my strongest learnings was that quitting is not an option. That would have been failure and failure was fatal. Really? I’d regularly win those ‘consistent effort’ certificates… I was persistent at all costs.
However where’s the value in consistently, persistently or UNhappily doing the wrong thing?
It comes down to knowing if you’re on the right track.
=> I wasn’t on the right track studying a degree in fine arts. But quitting wasn’t an option, so I finished it.
(and it did instigate my move to stunning Sydney)
=> I wasn’t on the right track with my first business. It took me 2 and a half years to learn quitting could be an option. They were without doubt the most stressful, unhappy, and costly years of my life.
However, also the most valuable so far as learning what is most important to me… and when to Never Give Up v. when to Give Up Now.
When deciding if I’m on the right track I now consider 4 key factors, each of which are absolutely applicable to your weight loss goal.
How to know when to give up:
You will never know if you’re giving an approach a fair chance of working or to what extent (if any) it is working unless you track. Whether you’re doing a weekly weigh in, girth measurements, photo’s, documenting adherence to your exercise and nutrition plan, or measuring your strength and fitness levels… pick a method and commit.
2. Proven Results.
The actions you’re taking, have they gotten others the results your seeking? Specifically with regard to weight loss, are those results sustainable? You’ll lose weight on a juice or meal replacement diet – initially – and then you’ll stack it all back when you resort to your ‘normal eating’.
These first two criteria are fairly obvious… I had them covered, its the next two that took me a little longer to grasp, so hopefully I can save you some heart-ache.
3. Are you living aligned with your core values?
Your values are the emotional states you are naturally and undeniably drawn toward. Living aligned with them feels right. Living in conflict with them will be a constant battle… a source of in-congruency and pain.
OR Could you just be ‘hanging on in there’ out of habit or fear or pride.
=> Habit by definition happens at an unconscious level. From time to time we need to consciously question our unconscious habits. Are they getting a desirable result AND are they (or at least is the result they bring about) making you happy?
=> Do you Fear the unknown of changing your actions more than the predictable devil you know? The uncertainty of “Will it work” or “Can I do it”?
Isn’t it worth pulling that bandaide off, and enduring some short term pain for the potential prize of pleasure in the future rather than more guaranteed pain?
=> The often useless emotion Pride was one of the things that kept me stuck and unhappy. “Will people think I’m a failure? A fraud? A loser!”
I have more respect for the people who’ve had challenges and ‘failures’ in their journey… they learn and move on and that’s a whole lot more admirable than being chauffeured to the top with a silver spoon in your mouth.
4. Are you enjoying the journey or is your life on hold while you pine for the destination?
There is a degree of ‘know when to hold, know when to fold’ here:
=> Hold until exercise becomes a habit, this really is a non-negotiable.
=> Fold the type of exercise if it’s not getting you results.
=> Hold till meal planning becomes a habit… again, non-negotiable.
=> Fold the juice diet (or any fad) if life is miserable.
=> Hold till you can communicate how you want your body and health to look and feel… in the present tense, positive, and personal.
=> Fold if you find you’ve chosen to model someone’s body and health who leads a lifestyle that is completely unrealistic for you… modeling someone is great, however set yourself up for success rather than picking someone 20 years younger, with no kids and seemingly unlimited time and money to commit to their health!
AND Yes, absolutely it can be unsettling, uncomfortable and downright unenjoyable while you’re going through the habit creation and skill learning process. When you assess your situation from a rational, grateful, victor (not victim) mindset – For the most part, do the positives out-weigh the negatives?
Now of course to reach a compelling enough goal we can all withstand a veritable barrage of non-ideal.
Just how much?
That will come down to you the individual. For me I need to still be able to feel I’m living aligned enough (whatever that means!) with my values… that I’m enjoying the journey enough… that in my tracking I’m seeing enough results to keep me excited and to give me hope.
My enough isn’t quantifiable.
It simply allows me to feel that there is a whole lot more great than not… that I have a whole lot to be grateful for… and that I’m excited to power into each day.
Know your breaking point.
You know how you can hang on in there until all of a sudden it’s your tipping point and there is no going back. Even negotiating your best exit is not possible.
You’ve held on too long to something that isn’t working… And now you NEED out at all costs.
That was where it got to for me with that old business.
It’s like (too a less financially dire extreme) the ‘dieter’ who can never look at tuna & cottage cheese again.
Or the fun runner who will never throw on those running shoes again… that’s me too, UNfun runs were mandatory in the old business and that sucked all the fun out of them for me!
In closing, when you are certain something is worth the Never Give Up attitude then as Bruce Lee said;
Be like water.
Nothing stops water. Dump an obstacle in its way and it’ll go over, under, around or through.
Water can flow or it can crash. It can be formless or it can take any form.
You can freeze it, melt it, evaporate it and it simple changes to another form… to whatever form is best suited to the current situation it faces.
That is your mission. Take on what ever attitude best suits what you’ve been dealt today.
That’s all you need to do. Tomorrow you’ll take on whatever attitude best suits what turns up tomorrow.
You won’t know exactly what is in store tomorrow. You can know that you’ll have the goods to deal with it. That is actually the biggest and most valuable lesson I learnt from that old business.
To back myself 100%.
Not only to back my ability to never give up ALSO to back my ability to know when giving up is the best thing to do.
In this post >> Back Yourself 100% << I go into more detail with my most valuable lesson.
I’d love to know, is there a time when you decided to give up and it turned out to be the very best decision?