7 Ways to Not Give Up
By Molly Jo Realy (@MollyJoRealy)
You may have noticed I haven’t been around for a while. But if you follow me on social media, you also know I’m makin’ a comeback. (gulp. Or so I hope.) So, trading off my own, very personal, personal experience, here’s my take on 7 Ways to Not Give Up.
Growing up, I’d rather spend my time in books than outside. Or, at the best moments, outside with a good book. Some of my favorites still are Little Women and the Anne of Green Gables series.
“When you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worth while.”
This quote by the title character written by L.M. Montgomery is spot-on, and reminds us to continue bringing positivity into our lives.
When you fall off a bike, they say get right back on. They neglected to mention you may have to relearn your balance. DANGNABBIT!
So. Here’s my encouragement to you:
This is the “pay attention” part of the ride. The end isn’t always in sight, but the destination is always there. Sometimes a look back is all it takes to see how far we’ve come. One of the best ways is to journal through the journey. Keep track of the high’s and low’s with your daily thoughts. Make a schedule/plan, and mark off what you’ve accomplished. Give yourself grace for the things you haven’t. Find out what works, what doesn’t, and whether you need to clear your path or forge a new one. Notes help clarify your thoughts, and once they’re on paper, they’re less likely to keep you up at night by buzzing around in your head.
Here’s the best part: No one else has to read what you write. So you can be as honest, as sloppy, as thorough, and as thoughtful as you want to be.
DO YOUR RESEARCH.
Before you go full-force back into something, do some prep work. If we’re still riding with the bicycle metaphor (and of course we are), check to see if there’s new equipment needed. Depending on how long it’s been since you rode your bike you may want a new seat, need a new chain, or flourish some awesome handlebar streamers. At the very least, you want to clean it up a little.
I’m just sayin. If you’re coming back, come back in style, okay?
KEEP A LIST (OR TWO).
I already know this is my mom’s favorite part of this article. She loves lists (and now you know where I get it from). It’s easy to get bogged down in the brain with a lot of plans and “what if’s” and howcanidothisstuff thoughts. Putting a plan on paper helps visualize goals. Identify problems. Ignite creativity. Organize thoughts. A single notebook can hold your world in its pages.
Bicycle metaphor? Uhm … I got nothin … Ooh, wait: You can use lists to track your maintenance, suggest destinations, and write out your memorable moments. BAM. There it is.
REASSERT YOUR POSITION.
Maybe the path shifted. Or maybe your destination has a new finish line. It may be time to regroup, well, your group. Don’t build a “yes”-team full of people who only tell you what you want to hear. We need encouragement, sure. But we also need those who will help us through the journey. God. Friends. Coworkers. Mentors. People in the industry. These are our allies. Allies have your back, but they also walk alongside you so you know you’re not alone. They give you honest feedback. Help you make important decisions (like which path will get you where you’re going or which basket will keep you stylish and organized at the same time). Different journeys call for different allies. Reach out. Build your street team. Plan your journey.
Sometimes you want to bike on the sidewalk. Some journeys require a new path.
GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING.
This is deeper than the points above. It’s okay to return to the fork in the road and head in a new direction. Look, you’ve already relearned the bike riding. You’re gaining your balance back. But now what? Remember why you started in the first place. Track how you got to where you are. We all have our favorite people, stories, music, places, and memories that we go back to over and over. So. Do it. Again. And again. And each time, add a little lagniappe. (lan-yap. That’s Lousiana Creole French for “a little something extra.”)
Newer models are launched all the time, based on the originals. This is YOU: 2.0.
TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF.
This is a choice, yes? Take the pressure off. The thing to remember is if you’re already on hiatus, it’s okay. If you need to continue to focus on other matters, do so. Don’t stress. Extend your personal deadline as you work forward behind the scenes. Ask for feedback and help. Enjoy a relaxing moment with friends and family. This choice does not have to define every part of you or your life.
If you’re moving forward, and you fall off your bike, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It means you’re trying.
GIVE YOURSELF GRACE.
Show of hands: Who remembers the first time y’all rode a bike a didn’t crash? (You can’t see me, but I’m waving high right now.) Everyone, right? Because we had to practice and try and fail and needed a helping hand and training wheels … until we didn’t. And suddenly, we could do it. We were doing it. Awesome sauce.
But did anyone quit riding a bike forever because the learning curve was just too painful? It’s the same with re-entry into any project, hobby, or activity. Give yourself the same advice you would to a loved one. Then take your own advice.
Get right back up on that bike and try again. (Oh, c’mon. You know I had to put that in here somewhere!)
Now it’s your turn: Leave a comment and let me know how you keep going when you want to quit or needed to pause.
I would love to share with you about God, writing, tea, and being okay. Drop me a comment or send me a message.
Come alive, stay wild, and always, savor the journey!
Author of the romantic location mystery novel, NOLA, Molly Jo Realy is an award-winning writer and author coach. Encouraging others to embrace their unique talents to come alive and stay wild every day is her cup of tea! Addicted to cats, coffee, pens, and planners, in no particular order. Savor the journey, y’all.
BTW: At the end of each post, I will share social media or marketing links, like this: