When Resilience Meets Resistance

How to know when it's time to give up?

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How to know when it’s time to give up?

Venturing a new career or life project requires a hell of a lot of resilience.

Because change never comes without resistance. The resistance we’re facing around us when we’re trying to push this new venture out in the world and the resistance we’re facing within us because we instinctively fear and mistrust any kind of change.

Facing this resistance with resilience will become an artful dance we need to practice for quite a while.

But if this while takes too long, this little voice in our head becomes louder: “How long should I remain resilient and when is it time to give up?”

It’s a really good question and a question I’ve heard many, many times. In my own head and from my students.

So here’s what helps me to calm down my monkey mind and to see things clearer:

#1  Is it a “no” or is it a “not like this”?

One indicator to help me figure out if pushing through still makes sense is to take a closer look at the kind of rejection I’m facing.

There is a big difference between a blunt “no-rejection” and a “not-like-this” or “not-now” rejection. The latter still leaves room for manoeuvre. Room to take my idea back to the drawing board and make some adaptions.

Blunt “no-rejections” on the other hand give me the opportunity to become honest with myself. Does the world really need my idea? Or am I just having a hard time letting go?

So pay attention and dig deeper.

The kind of rejection you’re getting is telling you a lot about how to continue. Or, how not.

#2  Let your emotions take the lead!

Another important indicator is the way I feel. And the way I feel about pushing through or about letting go.

There’s so much wisdom in our emotions but unfortunately we often have a hard time letting them take the lead and guiding us towards an answer.

I’m a person who thrives on challenges. They fuel my determination, my creativity and my desire for mastery. And the greatest satisfaction we often get from what was the hardest to achieve, no? Those things we knew it was worth fighting for.

And that’s exactly how I need to feel when I face resistance.

Despite all the obstacles and despite all the rejections I still need to feel positively motivated and determined to stay in the game.

I still need to feel it’s absolutely worth it. At least most of the days!

Once I start to lose this fighting spirit, this positive drive and it’s not coming back for a longer period, I know it’s time to press pause and re-asses.

Emotions don’t lie.

They will tell you if it’s still worth hanging on or if you do yourself a greater favor by letting go. You only need to listen.

#3  Giving up is not an option!

If there’s one guiding principle, one mantra, that has faithfully guided me through my biggest life changes and life challenges, it’s: “Giving up is not an option!”.

I know, it sounds a bit contradictory to what I just said about the ability to let go. But what I actually mean by “giving up is not an option” is my openness and my ability to detach from a “master plan”.

This one fix idea how this venture should happen or play out in my life. Remaining open for all kinds of creative solutions is key to not feeling defeated.

Because really, there is no defeat. It’s a never ending game and every single day we can re-define the rules.

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