We have heard it over and over, again and again….never, never, never give up! But what does this really mean? Does it mean going through a bad experience and not feeling the pain and just pushing through? Does it mean distracting yourself with activities so you don’t feel the pain or burden of something? It is a broad and also a vague statement which I am going to try and put some sense to, in my own way…
Pushing through the pain, means different things to different people. Some examples I have seen are
- Attaching yourself to a new partner to remove the pain of a break up
- Becoming a workaholic to find your sense of self worth and not focusing on the pain of a personal situation and to use work as a distration
- Gym – I am not talking about just general healthy exercise, however some people I have seen become what I call ‘fitness fanatics’, they become obsessed with fitness and it completely distracts them to a point where they do not have to deal with their own emotional pain (until they can not exercise for some reason and this type of pain is then bought to the the surface)
- Travelling – Many people move cities, or travel over and over again to withdraw from their current situation and remove themselves from the situation that is bringing them pain
None of these are healthy ways to ‘Never Give Up’. I understand the pain of life, I understand physical pain (undergoing 3 heart operations and living with a congenital heart condition), emotional pain (break ups, including the break up with my fiance 3 weeks before my wedding) and of course psychological pain (being involved in a fatal car accident and experiencing PTSD). All of these things have caused me a tremendous amount of pain. I have however chosen to never give up. Yes, I have had my own coping mechanisms and not all of these have been healthy (or ones that I would promote). I however have learnt some very healthy ways to never give up, to allow myself to feel the pain , to experience and accept it. This has led me then to ultimately heal from the associated pain. The following are examples of what actions I take to ‘Never Give Up’:
- Tell my story to a trusted friend
- Write it out (journal)
- Dance it out
- Be involved in something bigger than myself
- Take mental health days when I feel that my emotions and pain become too burdensome, sometimes taking time out to just be still and re group has been the best source of action. Doing this regularly will help you remain calm, in control and to not quit. Sometimes, we feel we want to quit but all we really need is just some time out to re group.
- Speak to a professional and explain my pain and story to them. Speaking with a registered psychologist or counsellor will often allow you to speak about your pain in a non judgemental way. The benefit of this is that the professional can help challenge your thought process and bring you closer to acceptance and eventually healing
There are many ways to never give up. The most important thing however is to not avoid the pain through distraction. When we do this, we throw everything under the rug. While our pain and hurt lay under the rug, it can not hurt anyone or ourselves. Unfortunately what happens is one day someone will eventually move the rug, and then ALL this pain and hurt will be bought to the surface and have to be dealt with. This makes you and I feel out of control and can be very uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather deal with the pain and hurt in a healthy way and in my own time, instead of being forced to deal with it in an inconvenient and unexpected time (because someone moved the rug).
Never giving up will look different to all of us. It is vital however to always remember how far you have come. I have wanted to give up many times in my life. I however now choose to see how far I have come to help me to choose to never give up. When I look back on what I have overcome (you can read about this in my other posts), then it really does give me courage to continue on in my journey. Some days will of course be darker then others, however, if I look at life through the lens of seeing what I have been through and persevered through, than it makes me that much more enthusiastic about the future. I am not enthusiastic about going through similar or more difficult experiences, however, I am enthusiastic knowing that if I have overcome major difficulties and challenges in the past then of course I can do it again!
Many people often ask me to share my story. This can be in small groups, corporate team building days and conferences. If you are interested in hearing me share and tell my story to your team, please see the contact page for more information. I would love to hear from you!