Giving UpDec 20, 2019
Were you like me? As a child I was not allowed to give up on anything. If I joined softball, I was going to play softball through the entire season whether I decided I hated it on the first day, the 15th day or right before the final game. There were many times when I wanted to quit softball, track, flute, swimming, nearly every activity I was involved in throughout my childhood. Each and every time I tried to give up though, I was told, "You started it, and you are going to finish it." There was talk of commitment, obligation, duty and responsibility all throughout these lessons that culminated in me staying involved through the end of each of these endeavors. Sometimes, I even reenlisted the following season. The perfect parent "I told you so" moment.
What I now know, and appreciate, is that our thoughts and beliefs that we have as adults start with the lessons our parents teach us early on and then develop based on our experiences and relationships. So these lessons are a solid foundation for becoming a responsible adult. They are good lessons, with good intentions. Unfortunately, in our adult hands, they also become excuses.
As we move through life and develop these lessons into adult thoughts and practices, we also gain reason, perspective and intuition. We learn how to determine whether something is working or not. We are able to acknowledge opportunity and choice. We recognize our abilities and intuitiveness and can use them for positive change and growth.
But we also gain a new level of fear.
This fear, unchecked, breeds self doubt and uncertainty. It becomes the reason we say things like "I would 'y' but I committed to 'x'." Even though 'y' is this incredible idea you have that has endless potential for bringing you success and fulfillment. Even though 'y' doesn't mean having to fail 'x'. Or better yet, leaving 'x' makes way for someone else's development.
So, actually, not trying is synonymous with giving up. And obligation becomes an excuse for not trying. But excuses are just messages of giving up. They are self-sabotage hidden in an unfounded expression of reason. It is letting fear drive your decision.
It's time to put fear in check and throw out those childhood ideas of giving up. Use your intuition and power to walk away from things that don't serve your development goals and towards those inspired growth opportunities. Growing through and beyond an experience is part of personal and career development.
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