When To Give Up On A Dream

So you’ve had this dream or goal for a while, but are considering letting it go. Maybe it’s become too hard to achieve, doesn’t fit into your life anymore, or the results your getting from your efforts feel lack-luster. But your dreams are what make you you, and without them there is a possibility of a much less exciting life and ignoring the call of your soul. If you are considering giving up on your goal or turning your back on a dream you’ve had, read this first to be sure there isn’t another path to take.

WHY YOU ARE CONSIDERING GIVING UP

You Aren’t Getting Results
Not getting the results you planned on- in the time you imagine- can be super frustrating. There’s a few exhausting components here: you have decided on the results that will make you happy and the time frame they need to happen in to make you happy. When they don’t, unhappiness (disatisfaction, disappointment, defeat) creep in.

You Are Drained:  You have been investing in your project with all your might- you give it your extra time, your energy, and siphon off dough from your bank account to fund it. Yet, it’s not giving back in the way you desire and so it feels like a one-way relationship. Your tired, especially because most goal achievement doesn’t happen in a bubble and you’ve been giving to it while also maintaining every the other area of your current life.

Nay-Sayers Abound: You have so many “realists” around you who remind you of “how hard it is to make it at _______” and you can’t help but feel slowly eroded by their voices, especially because they speak to your secret fears.

The Old Dream Doesn’t Fit With Your New Life : The super-fun ideas that charged your 20’s are having trouble fitting into your 30’s goals or 40’s lifestyle or 50’s responsibilities. Your dream of being a world-renowned artist at 23 downgraded to locally-known by 33 and at 43 you don’t even sketch a picture because you are “too busy”.

CUT YOUR LOSSES OR KEEP ON FIGHTING? Its a terrible mental and emotional debate, and can feel like an un-win-able game of ping-pong. The key question is this: why did you get involved in this pursuit to begin with? What about this idea lit your pants on fire and made you take all the steps you have taken so far? In essence,

What makes you passionate about your dream? And if you took out all the challenges and work, does that passion remain?

Your level of current passion, not 10-years ago passion, is tantamount because that is the energy you are creating from and with. Your immediate level of inspiration and interest in your dream is directly informing the results you get. The less passion, the less pure, sweet results.

WHAT TO DO Before you let go of what you have worked so hard for, consider doing these things first:

Take A Break: If you are suffering from low-inspirational energy, simply take a break for a while. Maintain the fundamental workings of the success you have already created, and otherwise just step back for a bit. Often, you will become rejuvinated once again in surprising ways- you’lle read an article about someone who is achieving YOUR dream, get feedback about your good work from someone, the season will changes and somehow lift the fog that was draining you, and voila! you will be back in the game.

Raise Your Energy: You want any and all efforts you make towards your goal to get maximum results. To do this, only work at your dreams when you are feeling high energy so that your efforts are infused with your positive momentum. To consciously raise your energy: decide to have a lot of fun (make a “fun” list and do one really lively, adventurous thing a week), knock other things off your to-do list (you will feel inspired and charged-up when you get looming items that drain you “off your plate”), exercise and meditate with visualizations.

Bring On The Brainstorm: Your ideas and perspective may have gotten a little stale or unmarketable over time and that may be killing your success mojo. Ask a friend or two to join you for a brainstorming session to think up new ways to add umph to your goal achievement and to tweak ideas in ways that may make a huge difference. You will be amazed at how valuable putting heads together with others is. Check your ego at the door to get the most out if it. Surround yourself with other achievers who love success! Joining a business development or Mastermind group can be priceless.

Hire A Professional: Lots of time we try to achieve our dreams on a shoestring budget and in a bubble. But big success- like that empire you want to build or that best selling book you’ve written in your mind) often needs the help of many and money. Is it time to hire a business coach, get a PR specialist, or a manager? Do you need professional help to upgrade, gain expertise, and learn the right “next” moves beyond your free blog-space and low-cost website?

Call On The Universe, Silly! Don’t be bashful. You need all the help you can get- and using your ability to attract circumstances to help you is tantamount. Visualize your success daily, tell everyone you know about your intended goal (stop keeping it to yourself to keep yourself “safe”), and create a major mantra (“I am a best-selling author!”, “My band sells out our venues”, “I run one marathon a year”, “Success comes easy to me. People love my product/book/ideas/services.” You’ve got to own it and claim this reality as yours. This creates results.

Put Your Big-Goal-Achiever Panties On: If you want to be a dream achiever, you can’t behave like someone who gives up. You have to tap into that part of you that is resilient, strong, and determined. Standing out at something only happens by actually standing out, and this means taking action steps and having dedication that the majority of people won’t do or have. Read some stories online about people who have succeeded, especially the ones who had some fits and starts along the way. Failure is nothing but a fine-tuning of ideas and processes.

Get Back In Touch With Your Passion: Do whatever it takes to get back to basics. Why do you care so much about your goal or dream? Because it is what is special about your very soul, your contribution to the world, your unique design. It speaks to you because you are uniquely created to deliver it to the world. And that means doing it in little ways if the big ways haven’t supposedly panned out yet. If you are a writer, write. A painter, paint. A singer, sing. A community organizer, get people together. Don’t focus on only big results to confirm you are where you should be. Do what matters to you- feel it – and the results that matter most will come. That is the flow of life, and it can only be stopped if you resist it’s inevitable success. Do not give up on anything you truly have passion for.

Whatever you do, don’t give up on your dreams or on all of the hard work and choices you made to get this far. Remember that success comes as long as you keep going!

The Absolute #1 Trick To Stop Anxiety And Stress Immediately

If you have stress, worry, or (gulp) even anxiety attacks, you know how frustrating and exhausting it is. And even though you know you shouldn’t “sweat the small stuff” and that it’s a waste of time to worry about things, you keep doing it anyway. In fact, I’m sure you’ve noticed that everyone considers being stressed a new- and acceptable- normal. Yikes.

I’ve been helping people with anxiety (and it’s equally annoying cousins, stress and worry) for over 20 years  and I know how daunting it can feel to transform. When starting to work with me, my clients usually describe having few actual tools to use or relying on an age-old strategy of trying to push away or ignore their stress. As Dr. Phil might ask “How’s that working for you?” Usually the answer is not so good. You might be really surprised when I reveal the

#1 go-to trick that will seriously reduce your stress, worry, and anxiety because it will be the opposite of what you would imagine.

For example, if you feel an anxiety attack coming on, your instinct is to run from it, to push it away, to keep it form happening by fighting it. And if you feel stressed, your impulse is to try to move faster, bark orders, or do more  so that you can fix whatever is stressing you. But believe it or not, I am going to tell you that the best strategy you can use if you feel stress, worry, or anxiety coming on is to go into i.

“What?” , you say. “This lady is crazy herself and she’s a psychotherapist? She is recommending that, just as I am about to become frustrated by my day or descend into the hell of an anxiety attack, I should just let it happen?”

Well, no, not exactly. But that’s close. Let me explain.

My suggestion is called Radical Acceptance, a Buddhist technique that says if we accept what IS so wholeheartedly and completely, it will enable us to then change. See, the problem is that most of the time we don’t accept what is true in the moment and this makes us much less able to shift and transform because we haven’t totally grasped where we already are.  Running from what we fear causes stress. Being with it, making friends with it. tames it.

Radically Accept Stress? SeriouslyLet me give you a concrete example. So let’s say you have 7 deadlines for work all due within an hour, a big meeting later this afternoon, your starving, and you just got a run in your tights. Typical Monday morning stuff. Your habit would be to get really ramped up, try to do several things at once, maybe yell at- or cry to- the nearest person close by, and scramble to get it all done, probably spilling your coffee or slamming your finger in the car door along the way. Later at night you will beat yourself up for not doing a good enough job (even though you were great), for being a jerk (for being a little too assertive with your child/partner/employee), and for the bag of chips and glass of wine (actually 2) you just consumed to numb and reward yourself. Sound familiar?

How would using Radical Acceptance help this scenario? First, before you even go to work, start talking to yourself with total acceptance, like this: “This morning I have many things to accomplish. I accept that I have set up my day this way. I also know and accept that I will get done what I can. I accept that it may not all happen perfectly.” This will help to reduce the pre-work anxiety. Later, as you feel yourself getting stressed or tense during your morning, use Radical Acceptance by talking to yourself aloud like this: “I am starting to get stressed. I can feel my body tense and my mind race. I am feeling frustrated that I have so much to do. But I can only do one thing at a time. I am going to take a very deep breath into my belly and simply slow down enough to do one thing at a time. I am present.”

By describing to yourself aloud what is happening in your body, how you feel, and then what you are going to do to problem solve, you are Radically Accepting the situation. It will instantly calm you down and enable you to handle your situation with presence and grace, instead of panic and pressure.

“Acceptance” and “Anxiety Attacks”. Isn’t that, ummm, counterintuitive?  Not at all. In fact, Radical Acceptance is your immediate way out of hell if you are panicking. Let’s say you have had a few anxiety attacks over the last year. When they happen your heart beat races, you feel like there is an elephant sitting on your chest, your body shakes, your paranoid that people can tell you are freaking out on the inside, and you mind is foggy and preoccupied with wondering if you are about to die. One of the main problems with this experience is that it leaves you petrified of the next time it will happen again. Now you fear your next fear response, you have anxiety about having an anxiety attack. You worry that you are not in control of your own body, emotions, mind, or behavior and without that what do you have?

Here’s what to do: When you feel the symptoms of anxiety coming on, begin practicing Radical Acceptance. Describe aloud what is happening.

“My heart is starting to race and my mind is getting overwhelmed. I am sweating. I am beginning to have some simple anxiety. That’s all. I am feeling stressed by something and it is causing adrenaline in my body. That’s all it is. I will take deep breaths and sit still for a few minutes. This will help.” Yep- I’m telling you to go right into it. Don’t avoid it. Describe it and feel it and tell yourself that it is just stress. This will help you be okay with WHAT IS much and shift you into the solution. Breathing, sitting still, calming down.

Radical Acceptance 1-2-3-4-5

        1) Stop moving, slow down. Become present and aware of yourself.

 

        2) Describe what is happening, preferably aloud. I am having anxiety.

 

        3) Describe how you feel in your body. My heart is racing and I am sweating

 

        4) Describe your emotional feelings. I feel fear and worry.

 

      5) Now tell yourself this is only an excess of adrenaline in the body and can change quickly.


Now begin your belly breathing to reduce the adrenaline in your blood stream and repeat “I radically accept that I have too much adrenaline in my blood and this can get better very quickly.”

But Isn’t Acceptance Approval? Nah. Acceptance is just being in the NOW. We don’t approve of stress, we don’t want it, but since we have it we need to befriend it’s existence in order to work with it and change it. And if there is anything I’ve learned from helping both the people who have the garden variety of unhappy stress or those with intense anxiety, fighting what is only makes things worse.

Keep in mind that, like hot sauce, you can use Radical Acceptance on everything. It’s not just for stress, worry, and anxiety. Try it on your next problem and see what happens!


Beth Miller is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Life Coach, energy healer, and spiritual counselor in private practice in Sayville, Long Island, New York USA.  She has one foot firmly planted on the earth while the other is exploring the spiritual mysteries of energy.  She works with individuals in person and via telephone, teaches workshops and groups, and has a lively youtube channel in which she teaches tools to cure anxiety and get in the flow of life. She is the author of The Soul Cure For Anxiety: The Ultimate Modern Therapy To Be Calm, Cool, and Connected (no matter what happens in life), a program that delivers the most effective therapy treatment to the inbox of anyone and everyone who wants to radically change their stress, worry, and anxiety. In USA 631.327.0090