Never Ever Ever Give Up

I gave this to my oldest son when he was about 8 or 9 years old, engraved on a flat stone. I thought it was one of the best lessons I could impart to him as a young mom. He would often try something new and get frustrated if he couldn’t figure it out quickly. He would then throw the object or project down and give up. We would talk about it, and I could often convince him to try it again and not get so down on himself when he didn’t get it the first couple of times. He is a very persistent young man now.

But what if we don’t figure it out after lots of tries? What then? Are there a certain number of attempts we should try before throwing in the towel? I had a patient this week tell me, “I am just going to give up! I have tried so many things, and I can’t get well under this amount of stress. I’ve applied to 16 job offers, and I haven’t received a single call back. Even if I sleep well and eat well, I am so unhappy I will never heal!”

So many times, we have goals that seem impossible to achieve from where we are in life. What is the difference between those who reach their goals and those that fall short? Maybe many factors make the difference, but I am sure that one thing that gets us across the finish line is persistence in the face of any odds and suggestions that we cannot win.

Sometimes we are called on in life to do hard things. Often, we are called upon to do hard things for many days or even years in a row. When we give up on ourselves, we are often giving up on those that depend on us as well. Our decisions affect more areas of life than just our own space. We are so interconnected to each other.

When we give up on our own goals, that can be rough. When we disappoint ourselves and our personal points of integrity, that can affect us for a lifetime. I was thinking this week that life can get pretty convoluted! Decisions and choices made in conjunction with others can take us down paths that are hard to turn back from. All the threads can weave us into places and spaces we never planned to be. What happens when our path isn’t the right one for us? How do we get back? How do we get back to ourselves? Do we choose to give up when the going gets tough? Do we pretend that the relationship, job, and school are just the right ones for now until now turns into later and later is most of our life?

Having kids has, hands down, made me a better person. I know my boys are watching when I am tempted to give up on a situation or a plan that I know is right, but that might be hard for me to accomplish. They see my choices, and I remember that little rock, and I think, “Never, never, never give up!” Never give up your dreams. Never. Never give up loving even when it is hard. Never give up when the road is tough and when all the things seem to conspire against you. If you know the way is right and the goal is worthy, persist.

You don’t have to be alone. Communicate, find help if you need it, find support, and believe that you deserve it. We all have our struggles, and sometimes it is hard to ask for help. Ask for help at work; you don’t know what can be done if you talk to someone. Ask for help in a relationship. You might be surprised that a helping hand is waiting for you if you ask. Ask for help with your health. Now that is something worth working on! It can be challenging. I started a new fitness program this week, and partway through the class, the teacher asked how I felt. I told her, “Old!” My body is sure not what it was 20 years ago! It would be tempting to give up, not try to put my body through difficult motions that feel super awkward and not at all graceful. I have committed to a 6:00 am yoga boot camp this Friday morning!

I am telling you because I want to do this. I want my body in shape; I want to feel flexible and strong. I want to have excellent cardiovascular health. I want to have lots of energy down the road and not be that woman who cannot get up off the floor! That doesn’t mean it is going to be easy. I am coming back from a severe ankle sprain I sustained last September. I had started a fitness plan last summer only to have to go back to zero after having to be in a boot for almost six weeks! Then the PT and rehab! There went my built-up reserves and strength! Starting again from scratch! Thankfully, I have a great rehab specialist and an excellent soft tissue specialist! They have cheered me on and encouraged me to meet my fitness goals no matter what! A good coach is a wonderful thing!

Never, never, never give up. We all must start from somewhere. We always have to start where we are and build from there. I know that slow and steady wins the race. Being consistent every day gets you closer to the goal. And don’t forget half the fun is in the journey! That childish project turns into a dream, goal, workout, or health program. We can so easily sabotage ourselves with our thoughts and past failures. The self-talk we have going on in our heads can either help or hurt us so much!

One exercise I do when I am worried about or unsure how to handle a situation that has tempted me to give up is to write down the things I feel the most defeated about. Next to them, I write some possible solutions and who might be available to help me with them. Sometimes that simple exercise can be enough to spark a solution, remind me of someone I can ask to help me, or remind me to Never Ever Ever Give Up. I also like to keep thoughts like this one or others that I need to work on somewhere close by for easy viewing. I often have the solution in the palm of my hand, but the confusion all around me can make me miss it.

If you feel stuck in a health habit you can’t seem to break, reach out to me. I have solutions! You are not alone. You don’t have to give up. There is help! If you feel you have tried so many times that it isn’t in you to try again, I can help. I have observed that life and living can be messy. Trust yourself. Don’t give up and fight for your dreams. You deserve them, and you don’t have to ask anyone for permission to achieve them! You are enough. Your dreams are enough. Fight for them. Achieve them. Let me know if I can help.

Lots of love for the journey!

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Don’t give up! You can recover your health if you persist.

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