Going after your calling can be tough!
I know I'm all smiley in this picture and seem all happy a lot of the time, but the truth is… I have days where I want to just throw up my hands and say forget it! I've had enough!
Years ago, when I was doing my out-of-the-box theatre events, loads would be going wrong and I'd end up on the ground in tears, saying ‘I can't do this anymore‘. A lovely friend who lived with us at the time, noticed this pattern. She also noticed that, ten minutes later, I'd get back up, brush my tears away, and keep going! Moving forward no matter how I'm feeling or what's going on, is one of my gifts!
As I was working on this morning on The Studio starting next week, I had this sense you might be struggling with this. I felt like you might be at a crossroads and you needed some encouragement (or maybe you have a friend who needs to read this).
First of all, I want to say, if you're feeling like you want to give up, it's totally normal! Let yourself off the hook. It's going to be okay.
Here's what I do when I'm feeling discouraged and want to give up (which will hopefully help you too!)
1. I remind myself it's not about me.
My calling isn't about me. Yes, I get to enjoy what God made for me to do. But what I'm doing in my calling and the gifts God gave me are for the benefit other people in the world. If I stop doing it, there's no condemnation. But there's loads of people who won't get to enjoy what i have to offer.
2. I look for a small success I can accomplish now.
When everything feels overwhelming and discouraging, I find something I know I can accomplish. Something really small. Clean my side of the bathroom counter. Tidy one filing folder. Even just take a walk around the block!
It gives me momentum and gets me moving AND it gives me a success I can build on as I tackle whatever is causing the discouragement.
3. I remember!
God often tells the Israelites to REMEMBER. Now, it doesn't do us any good to remember the cruddy things that happen to us. But it's super helpful to remember the good things from our past. I remember where I've succeeded before. I remember the times God has been faithful. If God and I have done it before, we can do it again!
4. I eat and sleep and REST
A lot of times, the reason I'm feeling discouraged is simply because I'm TIRED. I check in with myself about how I'm doing. Have I had enough healthy food to eat? Have I had enough sleep? Do I need to take a 20 minute break and read a good book, sit outside and stare at the birds, do something to refresh my soul?
5. I check to see if maybe it IS time to GIVE UP
This isn't always true, but sometimes the reason I want to give up, is because I'm supposed to!
There's a great little book by Seth Godin called “The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). I found this book a couple of years ago when I was making a decision about whether to move forward with a big project I was starting. In the end, I chose to quit it. And… a lot of what I'm doing now is because of that decision! My giving up on the project made room for me to do what I am today. Sometimes the best thing you can do is quit!
I hope that encouraged you and you will keep moving forward in some form or the other.
To see me talk more about this… with facial expressions, prayers and all, WATCH this video I did earlier.
If you're feeling like you want to give up (today or some day in the future), I pray grace and clarity for you! May you have grace to move forward. May you have clarity for what to do. You and God got this!
Lots of love,
P.S. If you want to be part of a group of dreamers, creatives and movers & shakers, who are journeying together to live their calling, jump into The Studio. Look forward to seeing you there!