What to do when you feel like giving up

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We all have moments in our lives when negative things happen that sometimes force us to ask questions like:

  1. “What is the point?”
  2. “Why do I even bother?”
  3. “How could this happen?”
  4. “Why is nothing I do ever good enough?”
  5. “Why me Lord?”

At these moments in life, we often feel at our lowest because in those moments it seems like nothing is going our way.  As if the universe decided you know what, “I’m going to turn his or her life upside down and see what happens!”

I’m here to tell you, you are not alone!  We all have our moments of frustration, depression, anger, sadness and loneliness that for each of us is a difficult period in our lives.  Yes, granted our circumstances themselves may vary but does that take away the emotional discomfort we all feel about our situations.

So what do we do when we feel to give up?  Let’s first take a look at what we should not do.

  1. Give up.
  2. Hold onto the negative thoughts
  3. Take out our frustrations on others
  4. Accept that this is how life is going to be

Now that we’ve seen how we are not going to act going forward. Let’s look at our situations with fresh eyes.  The first and most valuable message I can give you is:

  1. DON’T EVER GIVE UP! No matter how bad you’re feeling or how bad things may appear. Fight that defeatist feeling and instead choose to persevere.
  2. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way?”  By first determining the cause of your emotional discomfort, you would be better able to treat with your feelings.  I have often found that until I could pinpoint the cause of my upset – I remain stuck in my feelings for a longer time.   So if you want to feel better, you need to identify the cause.
  3. Ask yourself, “Is this a situation within my control or outside it?”   This is very important, too often we beat ourselves up over things we really have NO control over in particular other people’s actions and decisions.
  4. REFUSE to stay stuck in your negative feelings.
  5. CHOOSE to be happy and actively pursue it.  There is always something positive in your life that you can smile about. All is not lost, you will overcome this!
  6. Do not transfer your negativity.  Easier said than done, I know.  Take control of your emotions, do not let them take control of you.
  7. Talk about it with someone you trust and respect.  Keeping it bottled up inside is not healthy.
  8. Pray about it. Ask for God for guidance and clarity.

I understand that in the moment we feel how we feel and I respect that because I feel like crap too when I’m in that zone. However, I try to find the cause; determine if I can or cannot fix it; fix what I can and accept what I can’t.  I choose not to remain stuck in the negative emotion.  I choose to feel better and YOU CAN TOO!

Motivation and Inspiration

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For most of my life I have felt lost and unfilled and often wondered what I was really meant to do.  A few months ago, I had an unexplained urge to write a book titled, “What is Your Gift?”   I wrote it and shared it with my best friend and sister, Candice.  She is my main go to person when I need advice.  She tells me like it is and I can trust her to tell me the truth.

She read my draft and gave me her reviews.  Now let me remind you, I had NEVER done any previous writing of this nature before and had just decided to document my thoughts and ideas and ended up with a book.  My sister’s reviews that night changed my life. She said, that she had no idea that I could write like that and if she did not see me working on it herself she might have doubted that I actually did it.  She found the work quality to be very good and the messages very helpful.  You should have seen my face beaming with pride.  As our eyes met at one point they were almost to tears because we both knew my life story and she was proud of me.  She always tells me how great I am but that night she said, “Cherylene, I believe you have finally found what makes you happy.”  My eyes lit up and it was as if I had been set free.

At that moment, we started talking about starting a blog so I could reach people, share stories, ideas and hopefully make a positive difference in someone’s life.  I loved the idea of writing because the more I did it, the more I wanted to do it and the more I wanted to share it with the world.  Writing for me is a tool for expressing  and  communicating with others my perspective on life and the world at large.

As can be expected with trying anything new, I was a bit intimidated at first but I knew that if I really wanted to become a writer I had to write and publish my work.   The experience and constructive feedback would only improve my writing.   The truth is, some people will like it and some people may not.   However, that would not hinder my contribution it just pushes me to present my best self.

Motivation and inspiration my friends can come from anywhere, at anytime, from anyone. Sometimes we just need to open not only our eyes but our minds to get what we really need.   Do not limit yourself to your personal circles for encouragement sometimes you just have to dig deep and jump-start within yourself those creative juices that started your passion in the first place.

Stay focused. Stay in touch.  Let me know what or who motivates you.

Who Am I?

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Who am I?  I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend.  Hmmm, maybe what I am is really a Customer Service Specialist turned Liaison Assistant who transformed into a Collections Officer and Supervisor reborn as a Business Analyst who explored what being a Monitoring Officer was all about.  A few obstacles and blessings later to resurface as Head Administrator and Teacher.  Now I am an aspiring writer and motivational speaker.

Do all these experiences define who I am?   I don’t believe they do.   All they tell you is who I am to the various people in my life and where I have been in terms of the jobs I’ve held but who am I really?   To answer this question, I think I have to look at who I was.

I was always trying to please everyone and spent little time focusing on the things I loved doing.  What that was exactly, I didn’t really know until recently.  I would try to improve various aspects of myself hoping to make others like me but I soon realized that the ONLY person I really needed to like me, was ME.

I felt as though I always needed the approval of others. Making a decision on my life sometimes seemed terrifying.  Some people profess to never care about what others think but that was a real problem for me.  I am certain that I’m not the only person out there who has felt like this at some time or another.

One day I realized that I was not really ‘living’ but rather just existing.  I was tired of doing the same things over and over that did not make me truly happy and more importantly it was time to fix it.   I told myself,”enough is enough“.  No more excuses, no more self-pity.     Fear of the unknown and criticism would not be allowed to hold me back.  It is my time now!  The reality was it could have been my time anytime I wanted, the problem was, I was not ready to claim it.

‘Living’ is a state of mind that requires us to take action. You see, knowing that you’re not happy or satisfied in any area of your life is one step but actually doing something positive about it is where the courage comes in.

I am smart, strong and determined.  I am pursuing my dream and loving every moment.  I know, who I am.

Now ask yourself, “Who am I?”

12 Signs You are ‘Living’ and not just ‘Existing’

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‘Living’ versus ‘existing’, is there a difference?  Is it important?  How does this apply to my life?  First, let me say that, there is a difference.  Yes, it is important, only if happiness is something you want for your life.  As for how it applies to your life, you would have to read on to find out.

Living for me, goes beyond the typical definition that is, “possessing or exhibiting life”.  It is taking the life you have and making the best and most use of it.  When you are living you are constantly moving, improving and learning. Existing on the other hand, means “having existence or being or actuality”.  My version, just sustaining life.  We do this when we go through our daily routines day after day with no real drive or sense of purpose other than to get through the day and hopefully not die while we do it.  Our lives should be so much more than that.

Here are my Top 12 Signs you are ‘Living’ and not just ‘Existing’.  

  1. You make time to treat yourself ever so often rather than list excuses as to why you should not.
  2. You make time to do fun things with your family and friends. It is not just about work, work, work.
  3. You do not allow the challenges that life brings your way to keep you down or depressed.  
  4. You are always seeking knowledge and wisdom in various areas of your life.
  5. You are willing to explore new things and places. Start small by doing simple things example, try new foods, go to a dance class whatever excites you.
  6. You are resourceful at solving difficult situations.  You are not afraid to go after what you want. You do not allow the word “No” to discourage you instead you use it as a motivator to find a solution.
  7. You do not let negativity of any form keep you from enjoying your life.  You know that life is too short to waste it on negative thinking or negative people.
  8. You strive to be positive and not negative. You choose to enjoy the good moments; learn from the bad and move forward.
  9. You recognize that you don’t exist in this world by yourself and thus you try to help others less fortunate than yourself whenever you can.
  10. You recognize and accept that no one is perfect.
  11. Your focus is on striving to be your best self and living your best life.
  12. You do not leave your happiness to chance.  You recognize that true happiness comes from within and thus do not depend on others to make you happy.

Living versus existing is therefore a state of mind.  Someone who is ‘living‘ makes the decision to do more with the life they have and often push themselves to do more because they expect more.  Whereas a person who is ‘existing’ often chooses not to “rock the boat” opting to do no more than they have to as they go through the motions of their daily life.

Ask yourself, am I existing or living? What is more important though is, what are you going to do about it?

 

 

The Power of Limits

Why do we need limits?  Limits are the things that directly and indirectly affect our lives either positively or negatively. They encompass your values, attitudes, behaviours and thoughts.  They provide guidance as to what you will and will not accept or put up with as it relates to yourself and others. In this article, I will …

The brain and tongue are more than just organs in the human body.  They have the power to make you feel like a million dollars or make you feel invisible.  Together they are lethal weapons for either positivity  or negativity.   These organs create  what I call ‘limits’ in our lives.

Some limits we learn from our parents growing up; others we tell ourselves based on experiences we’ve had and the rest come from people who we consider to be near and dear to us like family, friends and a spouse. These ‘limits’ encompass our values, attitudes, behaviours and thoughts.  They are the seeds that are planted by us as well as others that can directly and indirectly affect our lives either positively or negatively.

In this article, I will try to show you the pros and cons of limits so that you can use them to improve your life.   I believe that limits can be classified into two main types that is, the one we set for ourselves and the other, is the one set for us by others.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages since both have positive and negative limits within them.

Some examples of positive and negative limits we set for ourselves are:

POSITIVE

  • “I will strive to be positive in my thoughts and behaviour.”
  • “I will not be excessive in my shopping buying things I do not need.”

NEGATIVE

  • Using the words “I can’t …” as a justification for not doing something.
  • Negatively stereotyping yourself.  “I’m too old.” or “I’m not pretty enough.”

Advantages of Positive Limits (set by ourselves)

  • They can provide guidance for various situations such as what you will and will not tolerate from yourself and others – for example, negativity, abuse and self- pity just to name a few.
  • They give a sense of power and control over our lives.  We ideally determine what, who and how we feed and nurture our mind, body and spirit.
  • They tend to attract similar minded people to you.

Disadvantage of Negative Limits (set by ourselves)

  • They can damage your self-esteem.
  • They can leave us feeling broken and helpless, open to all the negative energies of the world.  Note, I use ‘feeling’, not because you feel a certain way means that you’re stuck that way.  You can choose to ‘feel’ differently.
  • Unforgiveness of yourself or others.  This can stunt your mental and spiritual growth and healing.  Practicing forgiveness will break the shackles that have been holding you down for so long.  This process is for YOUR betterment no one else.
  • They negatively affect how we see and treat others.

Such negative limits only encourage negativity.  They tend to shut people out and act as a barrier to attracting positivity in your life.  I suggest reviewing your thinking and behaviour to ensure that it is fair and objective in how you see yourself and others.

Some examples of positive and negative limits set for us by others are:

POSITIVE                                                                            NEGATIVE

  • “You are an amazing friend.”                              “You will never aspire to anything.”
  • “You are a good parent.”                                       “You can’t do anything right.”
  • “You are an excellent lover.”                                “You are such a failure.”

Advantages of Positive Limits (set for us by others) – positive people

  • They tend to be positive and uplifting often encouraging us to be better.
  • They are motivating and thought provoking.  They make us stop and think about how we are behaving.
  • They tend to strengthen and reinforce a positive self-image.

If you have people like this in your life keep them close.  Let them know how much you appreciate and value having them in your life.  They are true assets to have and cherish.  Try to reciprocate in their lives as well.  Be an asset in someone’s life today. Don’t always make everything about you. Be a giver and not a taker.  Try and strike a balance.

Disadvantages of Limits (set for us by others) – Negative People

  • They tend to create or maintain a false picture of who you really are and often label you as weak, foolish and unworthy.
  • These people want to hurt you by their words and actions and tend to be consistent in their efforts to break you down every opportunity they get.
  • They use these limits as a way to control various aspects of your life – relationships, finances, emotions and how you feel and see yourself.

Many of us often underestimate the power of the spoken word.   Hopefully, if not before, now you do see that words have the power to not only build and strengthen but also damage and destroy  your self-esteem, self-worth and self-image, if you let it.  The power that the spoken word has comes from the meaning and value we put in the words and the person or persons using them.

Do not allow yourself to be anyone’s punching bag emotionally or physically.  They have their own issues to fix.    If you are guilty of this, it is not too late.  You need to reclaim the reigns of your life.  For too long, you have relinquished control to negativity.

I want to encourage you to take corrective action immediately.  If you are guilty of  negativity within yourself, then be quiet! Look for positive things such as inspirational and motivational books, uplifting music, talk to someone about it and surround yourself with positive people. This process requires a reconditioning of the mind, body and spirit and thus it would not be done overnight.

Start by identifying what and where your problem areas are and TAKE ACTION to improve and in some instances remove them. YOU are in CONTROL.  BE CAREFUL of WHO and WHAT you are listening to.  What you ultimately BELIEVE about YOURSELF is what will MAKE or BREAK YOU.

I hope that this article was useful. Thanks for reading.

What’s holding you back?

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Have you ever felt as though you were destined do more with your life but could never put your finger on it?  I have been there and I know how frustrating and depressing that can be.

Do not be discouraged. I have highlighted eleven things that I believe play a huge role in keeping us stuck in life.

  1. Distractions – refer to all of those things in life that prevent you from seeing and being everything you’re meant to be.
  2. Negativity – will only break you down. This can be internal or external.
  3. Stuck in your comfort zone – take small steps to overcome your fears. Don’t  let fear keep you from learning new things.
  4. Poor Attitude –  our attitudes both positive and negative play an important role in developing and shaping who we are and the quality of our life experiences.  Be mindful of the messages you are sending.
  5. Lacking Gratitude – showing our gratitude to others for all they have done and do for us is good, not only for the soul but our relationships with them.
  6. Lacking Perseverance – perseverance is that drive to see things through no matter what. It is critical to our success without it we tend to give up easily.  We only fail when we stop trying.
  7. Lacking Guidance –  there is no shame in asking for help.  No one has all the answers, when in doubt I suggest prayer.   Ask God to guide you as you look for answers and I believe that he will give you the answers in a way that you will understand.
  8. Unforgiveness – is toxic and unhealthy.  When you choose not to forgive, you are choosing to keep yourself a prisoner to that negative experience.  Forgive that person and set yourself free. It’s not for them but for YOU.
  9. Not knowing your WORTH and LOVING yourself –  If this is broken you have to fix it.  Repair this relationship with yourself.  You are worthy!  You are an amazing person with so much to offer.  You CAN do anything you put your mind to.
  10. Denial – gives us a false picture of what’s really going on.  Take a step back and try to view  your situation as a ‘bystander’ and not a ‘participant’,  the aim here is objectivity. Once you have done this, take the necessary corrective action.
  11. Self-pity – this is a state of mind. This is when we choose to allow negative experiences to lock us into emotions that keep us prisoners of those experiences.  STOP BEING THE VICTIM AND BE THE VICTOR!

The common element in each scenario is YOU.  YOU are ultimately in control.  YOU have the power and say in your life as to what goes and what stays. Remember that!!!

Get behind the driver’s seat and take control of your life today! 🙂