On Finding Peace with Giving Up

When was the last time you felt good about giving up on something?  I don’t mean giving up crap food or cigarettes or alcohol.  I mean, when was the last time you felt good about giving up on a goal?

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Don’t look at me like that – this is a serious question!

American culture is extremely achievement oriented.  We measure our success (and therefore our worth) by how much we are able to accomplish or attain.  We push each other to strive for “greatness” in the form of more education, more money, better jobs, nicer homes and cars, etc.  Even those of us who have rejected the stereotypical forms of success (material/status indicators) compete over who can achieve the most “freedom” or “peace” in their lifestyle. Quite literally EVERYTHING is a competition – everything is about achievement.

(Side note:  This is probably why the rest of the world side-eyes us so often.  We are so focused on being “the best” that we rarely take the time to focus on people – others or ourselves.)

One thing that I know from being a habitual over-achiever is that goal-orientation can be extremely stressful.  We put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve, grow, and do more that we often forget to relax and enjoy where we are in the present moment.  Now, don’t get me wrong – having a healthy desire to achieve can be good for you.  Anything that helps you become your best self is a good thing, and should be encouraged in your life.

The thing is, though – sometimes working on our goals stresses us to the point where it is more harmful than helpful to work toward them.  Goals should be a source of motivation, not a source of stress or depression.  Achieving our goals shouldn’t come at the expense of our emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial well-being.

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We need to know that it’s perfectly okay to walk away from a goal or plan that isn’t working for us anymore. There is no shame in not achieving something that no longer serves you – especially when the work you’re putting into it is detrimental to your overall well-being.

I encourage you to make it a point today to take stock of the goals you’re working on in your life.  Honestly ask yourself, “Is this still worth it to me?  When this is all said and done, am I going to be better or worse off from having worked on this?  Is this achievement worth what I’m sacrificing in order to attain it?”

If you can’t give a whole-hearted “Yes” to each of those questions, then maybe you should take a little time to re-think whether or not this still fits into your life.

Remember, there’s no shame in letting go of something that no longer serves you.

Love and Light ~

Kioshana

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