Winston Churchill once said: “Never, never, never give up!” I am reminded of this phrase often, when facing challenges. I love it when someone can encourage me. It’s nice. But in my recovery, I have learned to encourage myself. This is one of my favorite phrases to use for self-talk: -"Don’t give up!"
Most people have a lot of encouragement at the beginning, when they embark on a special project or a new job. They have high expectations, they radiate strength and a sense of empowerment. They know they'll be able to do it, because they've thought about it, and surveyed the costs; so they're convinced it will work out. Just the high adrenaline level is a sign to them, that they're on the right track.
Then, after some time, they hit a bump in the road, but they’re still strong. They overcome that. Soon, they experience some other challenge, which seems worse than the last one, but they carry on; because they know they still have what it takes to endure. But then there’s something else. And yet another difficulty. By the time they look up and gauge their progress, there’s been so much they've had to overcome they’re amazed! Although, it also comes at a cost, -if they’re honest, they’ll admit they're also tired. It takes a ton of emotional energy to overcome these things, of course.
If instead they’re nearing the end of the project or the job, they are also very excited; because completion is a good place to be. It hardly takes any energy! They know they’ll be done soon!
But what about the middle? Life happens to all of us. What about when we tried for a long time and still nothing’s changing. When the tests and the treatment are taking longer than we had bargained for. When the waiting seems eternal. When we feel like we don’t have a category to describe the amount of effort we’ve put into this; and it just didn’t work out! It’s easy to become disappointed, and doubt ourselves. We realize we need an extra level of strength we seem to lack. -So now what? It’s tempting to give up because it’s become so difficult, it frustrates us.
I love what Ben Francia said: “The moment you’re ready to quit, is usually the moment right before a miracle happens.”
One of the things my sister taught me was to never give up. She was a fighter. She didn’t get all bent out of shape, because it didn’t work the first time. She taught me to keep going until I got my “yes”! I watched that from a first row seat to her life, and I am not about to forget it.
So the next time you’re frustrated, allow yourself the time you need to vent, but then don’t stay there, try again. Call again. Ask someone else. Do it more determined. Re-think it. Try it a third time. Many people quit after the second time. They never find out if they would’ve got their “yes” in their third attempt. What a shame we give up so easily, -especially on ourselves.
Personally, I’m working on a project I’ve started three times this year. But I know this time my “yes” is coming. I am not going to give up. I am determined. I know the more setbacks you have, the more you could get discouraged. I like to see it in another light: if I’m having this much difficulty, it cannot get worse, it can only get better! Winston Churchill said: “Never give up on something you cannot go a day without thinking about.” If it keeps coming up, maybe we should pay more attention to it.
I hope you find hope in these words today. I think we’ve all given up on something -or worse, on someone. Failure is an event, not a person. It’s up to us, to regain that confidence, that we still have what it takes, to complete that which we’re hoping for. Come on! -You can do it!
Jacob Riis, offers the dilemma that we can never know for sure if this will be your lucky strike that actually cracks the rock, or if it was really all the other one hundred strikes, which pounded the rock open. -How would we know? Exactly, we don’t! -So don’t give up! One thing is certain: you already have your “No”. -Don’t give up until you get your “Yes”!