How to start again when you've quit a million times before
Being Great at Giving up
Sometimes it feels like the most significant thing I’m good at is giving up. I have a very vibrant fear of success, something that I should probably work on more with my therapist. That’s a topic for another day. Today I want to talk about how to start again when you’ve quit a million times before.
I know I’m not the only person out there that has dealt with this heavy feeling of sinking despair. That question of “how do I begin again when I’ve quit so many times before?”. Along with despair, there is an enormous helping of shame that taps in for the heavyweight championship prizefight.
So, what do you do then? How do you tell yourself that THIS TIME is the time it will work? I would love to tell you that the minute you decide that you are going to try again, that it’s all positivity and motivation! All the doubt and darkness will fade away, and you will be unstoppable! Like I said, I would love to tell you that, but I can’t. I promised to be truthful. So let’s keep it transparent here.
The very, VERY, harsh truth.
In the beginning, the hope and motivation WILL be there, and yet every step is going to be a constant, never-ending battle…One decision away from giving in to that fear and quitting again. If you’re thinking well damn Amber, that sounds bleak. You’re right; it does. Yet it’s the nonsugar coated reality of someone who is a chronic quitter. The voice in the back of your head whispers to you, telling you this is just another round of the same game. You know the outcome, you know you can’t beat it, you’ve always quit before, and you will quit again. So how do you start again, when you’ve quit over and over again.
Maybe you will, but I think there comes a time that you finally figure out what it is you are meant to overcome. I truly believe there comes a moment in life where realization dawns, reality checks you, and everything shifts into the right perspective.
I have tried every gimmick there is out there to lose weight. Weight watchers, you bet! Imagine binging all of your points for the week AND next week all in one sitting because you were so emotionally triggered you couldn’t stop yourself? Trust me, been there done that! Low-fat diets, low carb diets, pills, shakes, and potions. You name it, and I’ve tried it. Heck, I even tried to be a vegetarian for a year! The only thing that changed for me was my ability to believe in myself as I failed time and time again. My heart, mind, and self-worth were sinking into a black pit, while the number on the scale continued to climb higher and higher.
Where the mind goes, so follows the body.
What I realized almost too late is that these “gimmicks” weren’t the answer. Don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of people these lifestyles have worked for, but in the end, the reality is they are tools you USE, not a magic spell to solve all the problems. If you lack proper knowledge and the right mindset, then a tool is just a tool. It can’t do anything for you, without you!
That’s how I kept failing, you see. I didn’t realize I was the missing ingredient for success. See if you don’t believe you are worthy of good things, of being able to succeed, accomplish your goals and create a better life for yourself, then you are right. You become what you tell yourself you are. This is why working on finding your value is so vital to the fulfillment of your life!
Learning how to start again, when you’ve failed a million times before, comes down to one thing, mindset. To change the mindset, you are going to have to have a candid conversation with yourself.
Step one: Re-evaluate
Think about the past, what you have done to try and create change in your life. What steps did you take? Why didn’t they work? Did you believe these things would be the answer to all your problems? What is it that you are missing from your life now?
The list could go on and on truly, but you get the idea. I’ve thought about all the things I used to do, what worked, what didn’t. Trying to find the common denominator in all that is not always easy, but it’s there.
Step Two: Forgive yourself
Forgiveness is so powerful and yet so challenging to give, especially to yourself. I could more easily forgive a person who broke my heart than I could forgive myself for anything. It comes down to knowing you are worth it.
I’m at this step right now. In my path the last few months, I’ve had to let myself go to find myself. During that time, I gained the weight I lost back, and I’ve started to struggle with being as physically strong as I used to be. It’s a humbling moment to acknowledge where you are emotionally in a moment, and then tell yourself that it will be ok. Guess what, though, you WILL be ok! What’s more important is YOU GOT THIS!
Step three: Create small, honest goals for yourself
We all want the big picture outcome, so it’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed by that picture. While it’s okay to have that picture in your mind, break it down into small manageable pieces. For me right now, that’s trying to regain my strength and mobility. Walking has become something painful for me. I’ve been avoiding it because of the pain. So instead of being sad and frustrated with myself for it and not doing it, I have set a goal to walk a certain amount of time, three times a day, to build up to longer walks. I was mad at myself for having let myself down to this point, and yet I have to accept that I can either be angry about it and let it get worse, or I can work on it and move forward.
Give yourself smaller steps to accomplish more significant goals. Create a plan, and execute that plan. Remind yourself that you are worth every bit of effort it takes.
Find your people!
Having a support group is probably the best thing you can do. It doesn’t matter if you’ve told these guys before that you are going to do this. Don’t be afraid to ask for their support again. People that genuinely support you and love you will be there for you day in and day out. They push you forward and keep you moving even when you want to stop. Most importantly, they don’t let you beat yourself down.
My friend went walking with me yesterday, something she didn’t have to do, to support me, get me started, and, most importantly, to stop me from beating myself up because of my limits. Just having her there encouraged me to go again when it was time. So find your people, and lean on them when you need to. Put your pride away, and share the good along with the bad. Trust me when you need that extra push to get to the next level, those are the ones that will be there sharing their strength!
The Bottom Line
Learning how to start again when you’ve given up a million times before is no easy task. It takes a willingness to let hope be reborn within you, and some bravery to face the fear of possibly failing again. The truth is, though; if you keep trying, then you really can’t be failing, can you? Failure is just learning how something DIDN’T work. Love yourself, allow yourself the room to fall, to grow and to love. The more space you create in your life for these things, the more success will expand into those spaces.
Be reasonable with your expectations, and always lean on your support group when you need them. You don’t have to be alone in anything you try to do in this world. You aren’t alone! Going forward, I will be working on my own goals, which I will keep you posted of, my triumphs and my missteps. Until next time, remember to be safe, and love yourself. You are worth it!
** If you are interested in a few tips for starting to work out when you are overweight or have limited mobility check out this article I found at VeryWellFit.com As always consult a physician before starting a new workout or health regime! play it safe friends!
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