What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up: 8 Steps To Elevate You From Despair

When one fine morning you suddenly hit a wall in despair, because things are just NOT happening as fast or as far as you want them to be, take a deep breath and remind yourself what was your “why” at the beginning. You had a purpose. You still do. What will help you keep moving forward CONSISTENTLY?” — what I have written on my Facebook page. 

Some people hit the “like” button and move on, while others take another minute, reflect and realise that there is more to it. I received several private messages that day, but this one puts all of them together in a single line:

But what can I do if things are really bad and I am about to give up?

These are what you or somebody you know can do:

1. Do NOT make an emotional decision right now.

As you can see from that single sentence, that person is truly in despair. Being in despair is like being in an emotional black hole. Your inner compass is off, as is your sound judgement. Any decision you are going to make right now will not reflect the ‘real’ you, and it might harm you more than serve you. This is NOT a good time to decide whether you should or shouldn’t give up on your dream.

2. Break your routine.

I mean it literally – go on vacation or at least go somewhere where you don’t have to deal with your daily routine. Allow your mind and body to rest and put yourself in new situations and experiences. Sitting alone in a hotel room somewhere on a tropical island is going to lead you into even more despair. Get out and see the world. Walk. Swim. Talk to people. Make yourself useful.

3. Turn off your mobile and shut down all social media… for now.  

That’s right – get real again. Technology and social media are amazing tools … if they are used in a moderate way. There is a reason why people make videos like this one. (Please don’t mind a 10 second ad. The video is worth it!)

A happy life blossoms through a balanced living. (My own quote.)

Talk to real people in ‘real’ life (including your potential clients) at least as much as you talk to them via social media. Try to live without your mobile and social media for at least few days; you will see the changes. Drastically.

4. Call a friend.

Call a close friend and say that you feel really miserable and you need support. If that person really cares for you, he/she will be there. Go have a drink. And talk, talk, talk … until you feel that you’re running out of all the miserable words you have. (Make sure you buy LOTS of drinks for your friend and remember to ACKNOWLEDGE that amazingly patient person for being there for you.)

Important to remember: buying drinks for yourself and spending an evening alone with the hope that things are going to sort themselves out tomorrow, might NOT be a good option. Drink socially, not compulsory.

5. Talk to people who made it.

Reach out to the professionals in your industry and ask how it was for them. How did they deal with all ups and downs? What was their motivation to keep moving forward? When we talk to others, we often realise that no path is easy. It is all about the attitude.

There is a little Difference in people, but this little Difference makes a Big Difference. The little Difference is Attitude and The Big Difference is whether it is Positive or Negative. ~ W. Clement Stone.

6. Evaluate your options.

After you break your routine, turn off your phone for a week, have a drink with a friend and have conversations with those people who made it, you will be ready to look at your own situation again. Take a piece of paper and make two columns: Pros and Cons. Two questions to ask yourself: “What are the pros and cons if I continue going after my dream?” and “What are pros and cons if I stop right now?” Simply write it down as it comes out, don’t overthink it too much or analyse what you are writing.

7.  Ask your heart.

Now, after you’ve taken some time out, cleared your mind and completed your pros and cons – close your eyes. Then, ask your heart these two questions: “How do I feel when I think about continuing to go after my dream?” and “How do I feel when I think about stopping right now?” Listen to what your heart has to say.

Still not sure about the heart intelligence? Check out this institute! They have tons of research.

8. Surrender to your deeper knowing.

It is common that our mind is not able to grasp a bigger picture of our life. We go through experiences and often ask ourselves “Why is it happening to me? I don’t understand.” You don’t always have to understand. Sometimes you can just go through something with the trust that a situation you are in, is precisely where you are supposed to be.

Wondering what your deeper knowledge is, how you can connect to it and how it can help you to make a positive shift in real life?

Always remember: “Your situation is only as bad as you want it to be.” (Another one of mine).

Don’t forget to join me on Facebook where I share regular articles on life, love and careers as well as inspirational quotes. See you there!


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Yana Fry

Yana Fry is a transformational executive coach, group facilitator and thought leader who has taken her message of soulful business and empowerment to students and clients worldwide.

Yana's area of expertise is helping people and organisations pinpoint their hidden, unexplored areas of talent and potential and turning these into increased results. She also helps leaders find their bigger why so they lead with passion and authenticity.

In addition, Yana operates an active blog, a thriving web TV channel where she interviews leading titans of industries and get them to share their words of wisdom.

Yana's goal is to positively impact the lives of people worldwide, and show them how to lead a life of passion and purpose.

This post was first published on and has been reposted on Connected Women with the permission of the author.
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