Life has trained you to push yourself as far as you can to realize your dreams, but sometimes, things don’t work out the way you planned them. Emotions rise, morale drops, and as much as you want to try, you learn that there are certain walls that you can’t break and mountains that you can’t scale; it’s then that your gut tells you that the best course of action is to give up and let go.
In a competitive society, giving up is often seen as a lack of perseverance, or something to be ashamed of. Psychologists believe the opposite, in some cases: Abandoning certain goals can be important in achieving happiness. "An obsession with success can have negative side effects on what arguably matters even more in life: being happy," says Raj Raghunathan Ph.D. in a Psychology Today feature. So if you find yourself in any of these situations, it may be time to learn to graciously accept defeat:
1. When you only keep on trying because it makes other people happy
Only a few things can make you more miserable than running after a dream that isn’t yours. Although there are times when you need to make sacrifices and adjustments to stay financially afloat, the decision to pursue a certain career or a lifestyle should ultimately be yours. If you’re only pushing for something because other people are telling you to but it fosters nothing but hate in you, then ignore their opinions and let it go.
2. When your quest for success is overshadowing other aspects of your life
Passion is different from obsession. Passion drives you to be the best that you can be, while obsession blinds you to everything else vital and important other than your goal. Denying yourself of the happiness that other aspects your life brings you just to achieve something will only give you hollow victory. Joy can be found outside your definition of success.
3. When you’re not even sure if you still want what you want
Sometimes, trying becomes a habit. You just go through the motions without even bothering to ask why because you’ve already gotten used to it. If working towards a goal feels like an empty routine rather than something to be excited about, then maybe it’s time to ask yourself if you still want the same thing you did before. Changing perspectives is inevitable, and when you’re not even sure about what you want, then it may be time to follow a different dream.
4. When you’re starting to hurt yourself
The path towards the person or the thing that you’ve always wanted isn’t smooth, but it isn’t something brutal either. It shouldn’t suck out your personal happiness, nor should the journey make you feel like you aren’t good enough for the destination. Don’t let your dreams tear you apart; although they should challenge you, then shouldn’t break your spirit
5. When you’re sacrificing so much for someone who doesn’t even acknowledge your efforts
There are times when you try to salvage a seemingly hopeless situation out of the desire to keep things or people together. However, the sad reality is that not everything is meant to last, and sometimes even the person who you’ve been working hard to keep seems to care the least. You deserve much more than that. Give up and move on.
6. When the only thing that is making you happy is the thought of giving up
At some point you just get physically, emotionally, and mentally tired of everything, and you start wondering if all your efforts were even worth your goal. If the thought of abandoning something or leaving someone makes you profoundly relieved and happy, then it’s time to consider your options. Giving up is not a bad thing. In fact, it can open you up to things that are actually meant for you. After all, the world is a big place. For sure, better things are out there.