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  • Susi McWilliam

Should I give Up?

Updated: Jan 26

Do you know when to stop? Or when things get tricky do you give up? There is such a fine line between giving up because it’s too hard and continuing because you feel duty bound. I remember my sister once saying to me how much she admired the fact that if something wasn’t working for me that I would make that decision to stop. However this compliment didn’t come from a place of hey sis, when things get tough you bottle it and give up. But more hey sis you can recognise when whacking your head against the wall aint going to change anything.

So here’s where this blog is coming from. I actually struggle giving up on anything! I’m like a dog with a bone when I get an idea or decide to do something. However over the years I have managed to fine tune this determination and go getting. Because frequently I would be putting my energy into something trying to make it work when quite frankly it really wasn’t meant to be.

I recently started morning pages and made a commitment to myself that I would follow through on the whole process. Morning pages is an exercise discussed in the book “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron. It requires writing 3 full pages every single morning in your journal. Not deep and meaning prose but all the crap of the day that’s in your head, the random thoughts, the noises you hear, your moans pretty much every thought that comes in your head. You’d think that would be easy as I know if you follow me you too probably have a million thoughts racing through your head in the mornings. However it is very time consuming taking me anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour. And some times in the mornings I will have to do it in a couple of sittings as I’ve discovered how easily I get distracted. First few days loved it, then moved on to hating the fact it was drawing me away from my meditation first thing and my usual journaling process, then I was in the that’s it why continue if its not bringing you value. Then something happened week 3. I decided I would start the day cracking on with other things and maybe do it later of I felt like it. Guess what I missed it. I missed those ramblings, I’ve grown to make friends with that journal and its supporting me more than I thought. I chat to it like it’s listening. Its now my morning companion and friend.

But let me give you couple of other exapmples to get you thinking.

I decided to do a meditation course. It was a course I was so looking forward to, a different style of meditation and I was super excited. Day 1 came and I took part and just wasn’t feeling it. Day 2 tried again to give it benefit of the doubt, still not feeling it. I chatted to a friend on day 3 who asked me about it. I explained to her my thoughts and she said just stop then. Find one you love. Hmmmmm that reminder that we have a choice. My internal dialogue wasn’t giving up easy though. It was giving me all the chat. You’ll look really bad giving up given you’re a meditation teacher, what will people in the group say, what will they think. Day 3 came and you guessed it I went to the course. I missed out on time with my family, we had a family birthday and I was compromising that time. I spoke to the same friend again. Almost seeking permission I suppose. At day 4 I stopped. I felt such a sense of relief. When we are basing decisions on purely letting others down we often compromise what’s right for ourselves.

One thing when my anxiety was at its worst was this inability to give up. The inability to stop despite my mind and body failing me and screaming at me enough was enough. As we tried for a baby, then went to start IVF this was an example of not stopping despite getting the cues. It was only when panic attacks consumed me and vertigo turned my world into a spinning mess that I stopped.

I’m now so cautious of checking in when making decisions to start or stop things.

Here’s the actions I take, I hope that they may support you in your decision making process.

- I stop and pause, I check in with my breath. I breathe deep and connect to that silent space inside. Me. Once I have found this quiet space I ask for guidance as to what I should do. I listen without judgement to what comes.

- I often journal about my feelings in a situation to see what comes up.

- Ask myself will I regret this if I do not do it?

- If someone else forced me to stop doing this how would I feel? Relieved, Upset, grateful? (this is a great one.)

- Who am I trying to please by doing this?

- Soemtimes I will chat it through with a friend for insight in case I am missing another option I hadn’t thought of. But not to be swayed or to pass my power to another individual.

- What is my gut telling me?

We always know deep down what is right for us. When is the right time to keep pushing, when is the right time to stop or change direction. There is no such thing as failing, only trying and making choices. And you can always choose again.

Sending you my love

Susi xx

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