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What I do when I feel like giving up?

Written by Abhistha Singh
Secondary 4, SIS Semarang

Our English teacher advised us to write an article on a topic during our holidays and he also told us that “this is not compulsory, but it would be great if we could do it,” at first I had no motivation to do it.

So I was struggling. If you have ever struggled to be consistent with something you care about, maybe my struggle will resonate with you too. I didn’t feel like writing. I didn’t have any great ideas and I didn’t feel like I had the ability to make good ideas, great. So, today I felt like giving up.

So here’s what I use to motivate myself when I feel like giving up. 

Research from the University of Pennsylvania shows that “grit is the characteristic linked most closely to success”. So, I used some grit today.

Consider every thought you have as a suggestion, not an order. Right now my mind is suggesting that I feel tired. It is suggesting that I take an easier path. But if I pause for a moment, I am able to redirect this thought into a  positive idea. My mind is suggesting that I will feel very good about accomplishing this work once it is done and I will respect the character I am building. It is also suggesting that I have the ability to finish the task, even when I don’t feel like it.

Remember, none of these suggestions are orders. They are merely options and we have the power to choose which option we follow.

We want our work to be creative, useful and acknowledged, but we do not want to struggle to achieve it. We want our stomachs to be flat and our arms to be strong, but we do not want to struggle through another workout. We want the final result, but not the failed attempts that preceded it.

And yet, despite our resistance to it, I have never found myself having a sense of regret after all my hard work was done and I achieved my goal. There have been days when it was hard to start, but it was always worth finishing. Sometimes, the simple act of showing up and having the courage to do a task, even if the result isn’t perfect, is a victory worth celebrating.

So what do I do when I feel like giving up? I show up.

Do I show up and always do my best? I doubt it. But my job isn’t to judge how good or bad I am. My job is to do the work and let the world decide.