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6 Common Situations When Giving Up is a Good Idea

We all grew up being told NEVER to give up.

Whether it was in school, sports, or extracurricular activities, we were all reminded that quitting shouldn’t be an option. Telling people “It’s okay” has become overrated and cliché.

You cannot deny that you too, are tired of hearing it.  The same goes with, never give up, stay strong, keep going, you got this, etc.

It’s okay to give up the things that don’t give back to you. Just because you gave up on a dream doesn’t mean you stopped reaching for them altogether.

Sometimes, letting go and quitting has a gentler angle.


Here are some signs that it might be time to give up:

1) When your health is on the line.

We all understand the drive to push our body’s limits. Nike tells us to “Just do it”.

Adidas tell us “impossible is nothing”. What we consumers fail to perceive is that we have limits, too.

And that no matter how good the adrenaline rush feels, rest is essential.

Even the greatest athletes take a day off. Why shouldn’t we?

By all means, follow the most popular sports brand’s tagline, but don’t overdo it. Don’t work out excessively.

Days sick or confined in the hospital are NOT worth the excess calories and fat burned, or weight shed.

2) When you feel more unhappy and frustrated than cheerful.

“Like creating a masterpiece, quitting is an art. You have to decide what to keep within the frame and what to keep out.” – Richie Norton

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Life is too short to invest in anything that makes you miserable.

Giving up is better than letting the hate build up. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been your friends for more than a decade.

You might’ve spent all of elementary and high school together, but things – and times – change.

If the only reason you’re keeping the friendship going is because of the years you’ve been together, you have all the right to give up the relationship. Just because you’ve been “lifelong” friends, harsh jokes hurt just as much as insults.

3) When situations become extremely uncomfortable and toxic.

“There is a difference between giving up and strategic disengagement. Know the difference.” – Bryant McGill

You no longer feel good in your own skin. All traces of enjoyment and happiness quickly wane.

Give up the negative to make room for new, positive things. You’re better off investing your energy somewhere else.

As much as you tried to stretch your fingers during all those years of guitar lessons, maybe acoustics just aren’t for you.

Don’t force yourself just because your parents said so. You would’ve been a prodigy (maybe) by now if you hopped on to instruments more suitable for you.

There’s still so much talent inside us to be built up and nurtured. Don’t limit yourself.

4) When you’re unhappy with your job.

You come home more exhausted than the day before. The cycle repeats.

Your job feels like it’s sucking the soul out of you. Remember that money isn’t everything.

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Maybe you’ll be happier as a digital nomad, so you try out a remote job before returning to the typical 8-5 desk job.


5) When you feel like you have no direction in life.

It’s time to give up when you’ve done everything you can, but it just doesn’t feel right.

I know someone who took up a major in nursing just because their parents wanted them in the medical field. They didn’t give up, per se.

After graduating nursing, they gave up their first few months of working at a hospital to go back to school and pursue their dream job, which was under graphics, design and media.

Oftentimes, choosing a job for the income and because it’s “what everyone’s doing” will end up leaving you unsatisfied. Select according to your passion and you could be happier than when you started. 


6) When your feelings are no longer genuine.

“There’s always some relief in giving up.” – Lauren Oliver

Do yourself, and the person you had feelings for, a favor and give up trying. Allow them a chance to start anew – or to find someone better.

You’re just tiring yourself out from trying to make it work. Suddenly, it occupies your mind to an unhealthy extent that you can no longer do your duties accordingly.

Don’t make them suffer with you, too. Save all the good times instead of waiting for things to get messy.

It’s okay to give up on yourself so you can restart. All the time you get alone can be used for self-discovery and healing.

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If you’re adamant on quitting, give yourself sincere justification. Make sure you are certain about the reasons behind your decisions.

If you have to, list arguments for and not in favor of moving forward.  Make sure you strongly believe that your life will be better if you gave up whatever you’re giving up on.

Sometimes, we need to give up something we want less for something greater, so never feel bad about your feelings and decisions. Often, the only things holding you back are the years that you put into it – and the opinion of people.

What do they care? They barely know anything about your struggle.

We are all humans and need a break. Giving up is just ONE method of (hopefully temporary) surrender.

It’s perfectly fine to drop everything and declare: “That’s it. I’m done.” 

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