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Constantly Combating: Giving Up

Hello, friend. You may or may not remember me, but I'm Rosie. If you're new or seasoned, welcome to Self Known. You may want to grab a cup of tea because I like to make it cozy in here. Please introduce yourself to me in the comment section below. Give me your (nick)name, a unique fact, and tell me something exciting that's happening in your life.

Now, without further ado...

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Constantly Combating: The eternal feeling of giving up.

I am a Project Starter. Maybe you've heard of my kind before? We usually get LOTS of ideas, especially in the middle of the night. We keep notebooks on our nightstand, in our cars, and in our bags. We have lists and notes on our phone. "Shampoo bottles for the blind" and "Evil villain that disguises himself as Pikachu" are just a few of the things we've written down when struck by our muse.

When we're inspired, it's as though there's a fire lit under our bums. We GO. We DO. We already have the end result in mind, complete with a movie starring young Patrick Swayze and a great discount on popcorn if you happen to attend opening night.


Sometimes, that's as far as we get. The Dreaming phase. Other times we get to the actual Planning phase. Insert elaborate planners, excessive research, inspiring success stories and more wishful dreaming.

And then comes the Doing phase.

The hard work. The dedication. And the realization that reality doesn't exactly bend to our will like we want it to. So we shuffle things around, we squeeze in projects between other projects, but no matter what we do, something is placed on the back burner.

More often than not, that project fizzles out to be placed in the sink with a quickly accumulating pile of other pots and pans.

(Score for the dirty dishes analogy.) BUT SERIOUSLY. Am I the only one?! I mean, come on now. Twenty years in and I'm still not any of the things I want to be (a different post for a later time, eh?). I feel like I've tried my hand at so many things and not one of them has turned out.

It's come to the point where, if I get the idea for something new, I kind of write it off. Because I "know" I won't accomplish it.

And this has leaked into other areas of my life as well.

I occasionally constantly feel like quitting school. Because it's a lot of work and I have no idea if I'm even heading in the right direction.

When I'm not thinking about school, I'm thinking about blogging and how for several years now, I've wanted to grow, expand, and build community while also making enough money to support myself. I don't see myself working for another company. Yet I can't seem to come up with the right idea for establishing my own.

When I'm not thinking about blogging, I'm thinking about how I should work on my books.

How I should read.

How I should declutter my clutter-free room.


All these shoulds are a weight. Like heavy textbooks slid into a bag because you think you're going to have time to study all 5 subjects you're taking this semester in a one hour break period between classes.

All these weights are unnecessary. I know that, in my head. But when it comes to putting this into action (or a project), the feeling persists.

Where does this fear stem from, anyway?

About five years ago I made the decision to stop dancing. Now, this was a pretty big deal for me, because, for several years, dancing was my life. It was in everything I did (no joke!). From the way I made my cereal to the way I bent down to pick things up. Dance. Was. Rose.

Rose was dance.

Until dance meant wearing leotards that revealed too much, thin costumes, and the focus of a professional career. In the past, I had wanted that career. I thought I did. But then I couldn't take the pressure. I couldn't subject myself to being objectified, criticized, or compared.

So I quit.

Sometimes the feelings come back to haunt me, especially when I see old friends posting pictures together. It makes me yearn for that old flexibility and community. But I know that if I would have stayed, I would be a completely different person than I am today.

I wouldn't be blogging, writing, or even in school.

What a scary thought.

How to combat that constant "give up" feeling:

1. Stop making emotional decisions

Okay, I'll be honest, I'm still working on this. But that's the whole point of this series. To express what works for me, hear what works for you, and work on solutions for our problems together.

A solution for me is releasing those emotional decision-making tactics, and instead, approaching the situation in a new way. Instead of deciding to quit, try stepping back for a while, and getting your mind off of it. Or reach out to someone and say, "Yo, I really need help with this, and I trust your opinion... What should I do?"

2. Try anyway

Way, WAY easier said than done, especially if you're a busy bee. Begin with the projects you've already started and then see where they take you. Perhaps you'll begin something new -- or maybe you won't. You won't know unless you try.

3. Ask yourself, "What if I did?"

What if I did give this up? What would I be making room for? Would I be letting go of a dream?

Am I "quitting"? Or am I letting something go to make room for something bigger and better to happen?

Truly, friend. Take a moment to ponder. Maybe you won't come to a conclusion right away, but that's okay. Just think. And if you think too much (#guilty), you can walk away from it for a while. Distract yourself. Read a book, submerse yourself in nature, or just nap.

Naps are nice.

4. Realize that every situation is different and you're gonna have to work through it to the best of your ability.

You won't get it right every time. There will be some things you should hold on to and something you need to let go, and the sad thing is there is no guaranteed formula that will tell you what to do.

Though you could flip a coin.

There will always be times where you remember an old project and wish you would have just stuck with it. But it's never too late to pick something back up.

Let me be real with you here. There is no quick fix for anything in life.

TRUST ME. I am the queen of trying to find corners to cut, discover loopholes, or even create my own rules. And it does. Not. Work. You always have to go back and redo something. Always.

So when you click on posts like these and find that maybe there isn't a true solution for you in it, I encourage you to stop and think. I mean, I can't fix your life. I wish I could sprinkle my magic fairy dust on you that I keep for special occasions like these. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that if this doesn't help, you are capable of finding something that will.

I believe in you.

What do YOU do when you feel like giving up? Do you stick with it or let it go? 

Irony of the day: I almost gave up on finishing this post.


  1. I HATE feeling like I gave up on something. I'm a fighter. I will fight for what I want. But sometimes, if I don't really want it, then I let it drop. Motivation comes and goes, persistence is what gets us anywhere. It's something I need to work on for sure.

    I hope you feel more direction in your life, you're loved. I'll be praying for you. <3 <3 <3

    ~ Ella Marie

  2. I have definitely almost given up on things, and some things I have not given my A+ effort and that kind of haunts me. (Like playing the banjo. Why did I buy a banjo and give up trying to learn? GAH. It sits in my room just taunting me.)

    I love the cadence and tone of your words and the message! We don't have to give up, we can keep going. Your decision to move on from dance and pursue school and blogging makes me think of all the alternate paths that could have existed had I decided to do things differently in my own life as well. That's crazy to think about!

    GAH this is kind of a lengthy comment but suffice it to say that you are NOT alone and I am definitely more of a Project Starter than I am a Project Finisher some days!!

  3. I relate to this so much! I am a dreamer, full of ideas but my follow through needs work. Also I always regret whatever I give up and constancy wonder what might have been.

    I try to remember the things I have done, and the projects I have completed it makes me feel better.

    I mean you have written a full book, it's compelling and unique! That is a win! :)

  4. This is such wonderful advice. Thank you for it. <3


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