by Karen Doniere | Featured Contributor
Whether you’re a career woman, stay-at-home mom, freelancer, or an entrepreneur, trying to achieve the next level of success or a new dream can be challenging. It may be frustrating and time-consuming, and even affect your overall attitude. Instead of holding on to your frustration, think about your initial reasons for wanting to achieve your dream. What was your motivation? Hang on to that feeling because it’s one thing that will help pull you through the frustration, and help you avoid quitting on your dreams.
Surprisingly, there are so many reasons why you may want to quit pursuing your dreams. Maybe it’s too expensive, mentally draining, doesn’t fulfill you any longer, or it’s taking too long.
Instead of quitting, consider taking a mini-break to clear your thoughts and get a fresh new perspective. Take a weekend or day trip to enjoy different scenery. Or if possible, enjoy a few days of solitude and peace at home without electronic distractions. Even if you can only spare a few hours, plan an evening out with friends or alone to take comfort in a mental time out.
Here are four things to remember when you feel like quitting on your dreams.
1). Be patient with yourself.
New ideas and projects take time, and a lot of trial and error before coming to fruition. Thus, you have to be patient with the situation even if it’s unpleasant. In other words, trust your talent, dedication, and process. You also deserve extra patience because you’re likely doing your best to initiate change, and make things happen. Also, remember that sometimes plans can take longer than we originally expected. So again, be patient with yourself.
2). Avoid becoming discouraged.
I know it‘s easier said than done, but try not to feel overly discouraged about the slow progress of your dream. It’s okay to have a moment where you acknowledge your feelings and think things through. It’s even okay to get angry, or cry about it. But it’s not okay to degrade yourself, or anyone else because things aren’t going well. If you decide to have a moment, aka pity party, it’s fine. That moment should have healthy boundaries to help you to feel much lighter and better than when you started it.
Try this: set a timer for 15 minutes. Next, write down or say aloud everything you feel is wrong with the situation. Then, do something physical such as rip the paper up, punch the air, or go for a walk to get rid of those negative thoughts. Finally, do something positive to officially purge, and return to positivity. Do something like send a thoughtful text or an email to someone you haven’t heard from in a while, enjoy a fresh cup of tea or coffee, turn the music on and dance, draw a picture, or sing your favorite song. You should be smiling again soon!
3). Comparison is a thief.
When our plans don’t materialize, it’s easy to compare ourselves to someone else who seems to be doing well, or even slightly better than we are. If you’re not feeling inspired after thinking about someone successful, you’re allowing comparison to steal your joy and undermine your talents. Of course it’s fine to appreciate another woman’s journey, but you have to use it as genuine motivation. Comparison is very deceitful. Please be careful!
If you’re tempted to compare apples to oranges try this: look yourself in the eye in the mirror and say, ‘you’re not playing fair because you don’t know her journey. You’re very smart and talented. And, your time is coming.’ I do it all the time, and it works beautifully!
4). You did your best.
One of the most important things we should remember when we feel like quitting is that we did our best. And, who knows? You may want to try again in a few years. There’s nothing wrong with putting a dream such as a new business venture or completing a degree on hold until another time. Hopefully, by then you will have processed what contributed to things not working out, and what to do differently. Despite what happens, you owe it to yourself to remember that you’re successful and courageous because you tried, and did your best.
If you’re currently frustrated or anxious about something not coming to fruition, understand that you were talented and successful before you began, and you will still be talented and successful whether it materializes or not.
How do you manage your feelings when you feel like quitting?
Karen enjoys volunteering at her local domestic violence shelter, where she assists clients with polishing their resume and job interview skills. Her favorite titles are wife, and mom to three amazing young adults.