"Energy and persistence conquer all things." -- Benjamin Franklin
A few years back, I had an eureka moment. I realized my job in finance was affording me a nice lifestyle, but not a whole lot more. I didn't feel fulfilled at a deep, personal level. I didn't feel I was making a difference or using my talents to the fullest, so I decided it was time to make a switch and pursue my passions. The fact that I had just given birth to my first child certainly focused my attention on my future and all the operational struggles that come with being a new mother and trying to launch a new career as an entrepreneur. This was especially challenging as my new path required learning many new skills.
There have been a lot of challenges along the way. There were times when doubt cast a gloomy shadow over my aspirations and goals. Money became tight, and I wondered whether I would ever get off the ground. Sometimes I thought it would be a lot easier to give up on my dreams and go back to a career in finance. It certainly would have been easier -- but I wouldn't have been fully fulfilled. I vowed I would never, ever give up on my dream.
As a busy mother, working mother or mompreneur, it's not difficult to feel overwhelmed, and maybe at those times you want to give up goals that are most precious to you but seem so far out of reach. If you've been feeling that way, here are five reasons why you should never, ever give up on a goal that is important to you.
1. Life isn't about talk; it's about commitment. A dream isn't worth anything until you try to put it into practice. When you dedicate yourself to your dream, whatever it may be, you find yourself at the intersection of perception and reality. This idea has probably existed in your mind for years, taking on a particular shape and existing entirely as a function of your own imagination. Now, when you put it to the test, it's time to get real. It's time to give birth to the idea and fully commit to nurturing that dream the same way you would nurture a child.
2. Resilience and adaptation are the keys to a vibrant life and healthy mind. When you are trying to manifest any idea, there will be setbacks, failures and disappointments. Newsflash: Setbacks, failures and disappointments are good for you! They are the best education you can get, as they teach you to adapt. Giving up is like dropping out of school; you miss out on critical experiences and important lessons, and do not learn the enormous value of failure.
3. Quitting can become a habit. If you give up on the things that matter most to you, you will likely establish a pattern of giving up on anything when things don't go the way you hoped. You will not learn the importance of persistence -- and anything worthwhile requires persistence.
4. Values are the most important thing. Persisting with goals that are important to you means placing most significance on your values, rather than convenience or expedience. Hopefully, you wouldn't ever give up on your values, and you wouldn't give up on the ideas that reflect those values.
5. Self-belief is everything. Giving up on your important goals is tantamount to giving up on yourself. You are a unique person with your own gifts and talents and no one will invest in them more than you. Perhaps millions of people have had the same goals and dreams as you, but everyone manifests these aspirations differently -- and uniquely.
So what does never giving up really mean? It means believing in yourself. It means willingness to accept "failure" so you can learn the critical skill of adaptation. It means not compromising on your most important values, and walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk. It means living the life you want and are passionate about.
I pushed through the struggles I faced during the startup of my new businesses, and learned a lot about my dream by implementing it and bringing it to life. I learned to adapt. I learned that if you're not being challenged, you're not living life to the fullest. I learned that if you follow someone else's dreams, you won't be as engaged and excited as you are when following your own. I've also learned that all of these benefits are good for your brain, as well as your soul. So never quit on the things that are important to you. Self-belief is the most important belief there is.