When things are not going according to plan or life throws you a curve ball you swear you just didn’t see coming, throwing in the towel is probably something on your mind. It may be the right thing to do. But wait — you might be standing at the precipice of your ultimate success! Whether you are stuck in business and you feel you really can’t make it or you are or going through a life crisis and feel you can’t push forward any longer, here are seven questions to ask yourself before you throw in the towel.
1. Why did I want this in the first place?
If you ‘re not clear on your why, you will not pull through anything that tests you and transforms you. Couples who make it into old age together say they hit rock bottom and that that major episode turned things around because one or both asked what they really wanted most in life. When they were clear they wanted to be together, they found ways to make it happen. A lady who received countless death threats for helping trafficked women and children said what pulls her through is her belief that God will help her child. An entrepreneur explains that he got into his own business because he could no longer stand working for a company that was so focused on the profits so he wanted to model a business that puts people first and transforms their lives. Getting clear gives you what you need to pull through.
2. What is this hardship trying to teach me?
Things happen for a reason. You hit major roadblocks when you’re not getting something and that something usually isn’t just a simple skill that you can learn overnight. It’s deeper. It’s a way of being that you bring to this circumstance and other areas of your life. In other words, you’re being presented with a life lesson. Break through this life lesson and you break through a major barrier to your success.
3. Am I being authentic?
When you embrace a part of yourself that people can easily accept and hide away or even bury all other parts to you, you will never be truly happy and impactful. Life will find ways to remind you you’ve left parts of you behind. Be bold in bringing that whole self out to play in the world that you get to be in for this little while. Remember, if you can’t connect with all of you, you are cheating your partner from knowing you, and you just won’t be able to fully connect either with your co-workers or your clients. Open up possibilities to connect and see new pathways to the impact you want in this world by opening up to all of you.
4. Am I being love?
Love is the most potent political force on this planet. It trumps all the power to force or manipulate things to happen. Absolutely everything is energy and love is the highest form. Therefore, it is what transcends all else. It can turn ugly situations into brightness and ugly relationships to loving ones. When you respond to your situation with ego through anger, sense of victimization or feeling of powerlessness, you can’t break through successfully. When you breathe, go within and feel the expanse of your true being that is connected to a higher being-ness of love and One-ness, you become a fearless, compassionate force to reckon with.
5. Am I taking cues?
Learning and growing is key to moving forward. If you’re not learning and growing in new capacities and ways of thinking then you will shrink. But learning and growing isn’t just about gaining skills. It’s about learning the specific things that are meant for you to learn that go beyond the course or the classroom. They manifest — because everything is energy — in cues. If you’re missing deadlines, failing to see the curve ball coming before it smacks you, then the cues are trying to tell you that you’ve got to see the details in things. The small stuff probably isn’t so small and you need to start paying close attention to detail before something even bigger caves in your life. This is just one example. Look for the patterns. What patterns keep coming up? These are speaking directly to you.
6. What am I thinking?
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” What you focus on becomes your reality and what you believe you can be and do becomes what you be and achieve. What have you been focusing on? Is it thoughts that you’re failing, things are not working out, or you’re doomed? Or even how is it everyone else is successful and I’m not? Do not throw in the towel until you’ve given yourself a chance to recreate your reality by thinking of yourself as successful.
7. Am I taking responsibility?
Successful people take 100 per cent responsibility for their reality. They do not blame. They ask themselves all the above questions and take ownership of their destiny. You cannot control everything. But you can choose to take 100 per cent responsibility in charting your path. Have you given your power away or have you taken full responsibility? Don’t throw the towel in until you’ve taken back the controls and charted a path in trust that there is a plan for you that is better than you can imagine and you own it.
You chose what you did at some point because you believed in it. It had meaning for you. Is there a way you can re-create that meaning again — in new form? As Henry Ford also reminds, “Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again.” The darkest hour is just before the dawn. Breaking through into the dawn is sometimes through what has appeared as failure.
Originally published at medium.com