When Is It Okay To Give Up?


Growing up, we’re taught to believe that giving up is a behavior associated with negative connotations. We were constantly being fed by information and messages that urge us to never stop chasing what we think we want and what we think we need. It’s already complicated enough for us to figure out what we want and what we need in life, let alone having the extra ability and room to imagine giving up on what we think we want and need.

Instead, we should focus on something more significant: what do we, as individuals, truly want and need in terms of our own lives, without having being told what we should want and need. Once we have that figured out, shouldn’t we then give up on those wants and needs shaped by the society and others’ opinions? This poses the ultimate question – when is it okay to let go and give up on something?

Knowing what you want and need may take half a lifetime to figure out because life unfolds itself as we live each day. Every experience teaches us a lesson, and this lesson always plays an important role in contributing to our realization of our needs and desires. Someone could’ve wanted many materialistic things because she was being told that they hold value, yet as she continues living her life and exposing herself to more people and things, she realizes that materials do not fulfill her happiness, thus her needs and desires can shift. She then gives up on pursuing certain goals because they no longer fulfill her happiness and that is completely okay. The bottom line is, don’t ever let the value of “giving up” affect your happiness. Giving up doesn’t make you a loser or a failure.

We should always help ourselves evaluate when it’s acceptable and okay to give up on something or/and someone. This might sound a bit selfish but after all, this is about self-improvement and growth, so this is about you. Therefore, this is all about how you feel and how it affects you. Ask yourself the following questions to better evaluate when and whether you should give up on something or/and someone.

Is it serving you?

Is it helping you grow?

Is it making you happy NOW? If not now, will it later?

I’m not talking about 10 years from now because let’s face it, no one knows what that’s like. So don’t lie to yourself that it might make you happy in 3,5 or 10 years because most likely it won’t if it isn’t NOW. We have to be realistic here. It isn’t harsh, it’s just the truth. Focusing on the NOW is the most important in order to make you happy.

Is it/he/she hindering you from becoming better in the future?

Is this negatively affecting other areas of your life?

Is it starting to make you feel poorly about yourself?

What does your gut tell you?

Most of the time, your gut is right, it’s just your mind holding you back, making you second guess yourself and asking questions like “what if I regret my decision? What if I don’t have someone to fall back on? What if I go broke?”

Growing up, I always hated giving up on things and people. Call it the stubbornness in me as a Taurus, I have always been this crazy “bull” with a hot temper and a deep sense of loyalty. Once I believe in something and someone, it is difficult for me to give up on them. It has always been part of my philosophies in life and part of my identity.

While this might seemingly be an excellent trait to have, it also impeded me from growing in life. I failed to give up on people and things that were no longer serving me and helping me grow. Furthermore, they were no longer making me happy and they were affecting me negatively.

Although I knew that in my gut, I chose to deny that truth and continued pressing myself to such loyalty because it was part of who I thought I was. Giving up on things and on people, even if they were toxic to me, made me feel like I was not only betraying them but my core value as well.

However, I began to realize that I can’t spend my entire life punishing myself for giving up on people and things that were no longer making me happy by staying true to this value. I can still retain this trait and hold onto this belief of mine while choosing the things and people that deserve it. It takes a lot of love, care, energy and beliefs to contribute and apply this value to people and things in life, so why should you seemingly pretend to be selfless when this is about you in the first place?

We can’t love, care and value others if we do not value ourselves, this means that we have to be happy and well in order to value others. You can’t be selfless and remain steady for the people and things if they are no longer giving you a positive purpose in life at the moment. It may sound harsh at the moment, but you will appreciate this down the road because you know it’s the right decision to make.

So don’t be afraid to give up. However, in this case, it’s not giving up, it’s letting go and choosing happiness. Life is short, so pick something and someone that will make you happy and serve you right. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Molly Chen enjoys writing about motivational and positive things that focus on finding growth and happiness for the mind, body and spirit.

Keep up with Molly on thepositivetelescope.wordpress.com

More From Thought Catalog