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I Almost Gave Up Yesterday

Thanks, Julia’s concept popped into mind eight or nine months after Lou was born. I wrote about it here. In his honor, I opened for business on his first birthday, on November 8th, 2019.

Going back to the beginning of this business reminds me of my initial purpose: I had a goal to help people live easier. I pictured this unfolding in a way that excited me and made me happy. I was looking forward to feeling this for a while. But four months in, COVID appeared, changing everything about my work.

Growing an online business through a global pandemic hasn’t been super fun. While I knew it would be hard, I had no idea. I feel like maintaining a hustle, in the midst of a pandemic, is somewhat traumatic. I’m sure as hell NOT chasing the thrill of a victory right now. I feel defeated, every moment of every day, always. This feeling isn’t caused by the business, it’s caused by me. And it’s exhausting.

It’s emotional and heavy to consider quitting. I’m tired because I’m consumed with pandemic parenting my own children. While running two businesses, I’m about to embark on a true homeschooling journey. One that first required me to self-train to be a Waldorf teacher. While I have lots of support in place, I miss the spare time I once had. I especially miss seeing mama friends. I miss seeing our kids playing together. I miss the in-person community we once had. I grieve this most during COVID.

I managed the first six months of the pandemic with a lot of strength but now, I’m feeling this way. Finding out my Dad has advanced cancer at the midpoint of all of this was crushing.

Yesterday I wanted to call it and throw in the towel.

I know there are a lot of other people struggling with feelings of doubt, fear, and frustration during COVID, like I am. I clicked around a lot yesterday, looking for them in my different mom groups. Then, I signed off from work early. I journaled and read a little. I drank a lot of water. I asked my husband to take the kids to Potbelly so I could have an hour alone. I ordered a burrito and queso. I ate it while watching the latest episode of Intervention. Then when my family came home, I snuggled the shit out of Lou. And went to bed at 8:20PM. I slept eightish hours. This morning I had a nice breakfast, took a 45-minute bike ride, and felt ok again.

Ok enough to write. Ok enough to show up for others. And ok enough to realize it’s worth not giving up.

7 Things To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

1. Remember Your “Why” and How Much You Really Wanted It
Think back to the moment that this project, goal, or concept was conceived. Remember the joy and thrill of the adventure ahead? At the beginning, you had a goal in mind; a beautiful picture etched in your mind of the finished task. Beginning was simple; carrying through has become difficult.

Going back to the beginning brings into focus the purpose of your endeavor. The memory of anticipation of the job accomplished is stirred up again when you begin to contemplate the reason you began in the first place. Breathe in deep and recall your purpose.

2. Look Into the Reason Why You Want to Give Up
The feelings of wanting to quit can be overwhelming. The generalized feeling isn’t clear; look at the reasons why you want to quit. Are you physically tired? Have you been consumed with things and not taken care of yourself in the process? Do you feel little support? Are you lacking ability? Have you come up against some difficulties that you are unprepared for? Do you need to just take a step back before continuing on?

There are many reasons why you may want to quit. Be diligent in figuring out what the real issues are and tackle them specifically. Once you see what is causing the feeling, you can address it.

3. Picture in Your Mind the Ultimate Result
Keep in your mind the picture of the end result. A visualization of what you want to accomplish will keep you moving forward. 

Whenever you want to quit, ask yourself, will the end result make you happier? Press on; you can do this.

4. Make a Plan and Have a Backup
Before you undertake anything, always have an outlined plan of action.

There are various ways this can be done. You can write a list, make a breakout chart, or form a checklist for tasks completed along the way. By having a plan in place, when you feel like giving up you can look at the plan and refocus on the steps needed to reach the goal.

Also, have a backup plan in mind before beginning; this way when you are frustrated and want to give up, you will have an alternative plan to put in action.

Life will knock you down sometimes, but don’t give up!


5. Find Support From Others

Don’t isolate yourself or hide your feelings of frustration, and don’t be afraid to seek support from others. Reach out to family, friends, co-workers or even online forums to find someone that you can talk to and rid yourself of what is dragging you down and causing you to want to quit.

I promise there are so many other people out there that are struggling with feelings of doubt, fear and frustration just like you are. Finding another person who has gone through a similar crisis will strengthen your resolve and help you get back on course.

6. Be Grateful for the Good Things While Struggling
Yes, you may feel like giving up. Yes, you are struggling. Yes, you are overwhelmed at the moment. I know this may seem like a strange thing to say, but remember to be grateful. This is essential in a resilient mindset.

Whenever you feel like giving up, stop and make a list of the things you are grateful for in your life. You have so much positivity in your life to be thankful for. When you shift your focus to becoming grateful for all things, tasks that seem overwhelming take on a new light. The way you look at the situations around you depends on the attitude with which you view them.

7. Celebrate Your Victories, No Matter How Small They Seem
You deserve to acknowledge all the victories that you have made along the way. Instead of feeling overwhelmed at all that you have left to do, write out a list of accomplishments you have already completed, no matter how small they may seem.

By celebrating your progress, you will renew your energy to complete what you are doing. When you see all that you have done, it will excite you to take further action until the finish line.

Do what your future self will thank you for, not regret. Don’t give up!

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. All month, mental health advocates, prevention organizations, survivors, allies, and community members unite to promote suicide prevention awareness. While my story represents a hard day in business, I’ve also wanted to leave for good. So it’s an important month, especially during this dang, neverending pandemic.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

  • What are your resiliency strategies when you’ve been knocked down by life?

Share what you can. Add your experiences and best practices directly in the comments. Thank you so much for reading, for your candidness, and for helping others by doing so!

With gratitude,
Julia

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2 thoughts on “I Almost Gave Up Yesterday”

  1. Hi Julia,
    this is beautiful, so heartfully expressed.
    Parenting is what brought me to my knees 31 years ago, and the was way before adding the dynamics of covid.
    I’ve come back around to working with parents again now, because their oxygen masks are more burdened than ever before.
    My resiliency strategies are
    *Deep breathing
    *Immersion in nature
    *gratitude
    *giving my self full permission to cry, rant at the universe- then ask for help

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah,

      Thank you! I remember your story fondly. You told it over coffee earlier this year, before COVID came. Thank you for sharing your self-care rituals. They’ll inspire others!

      With a hug,
      Julia

      Reply

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Hi, I'm Julia

Founder of Thanks, Julia​

I’m here to assure you that when you invest in your own support system, you add priceless value to your family life, your career, your social time, your passion projects, and your overall quality of life.

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