what to do when you feel like giving upDon’t give up.

Hang in there.

Keep going.

This is the advice you may have gravitated to when you’ve felt like giving up.

Maybe you had the desire to throw in the towel at work because you felt unheard and unappreciated.

Maybe you’ve been tempted to give up on a big dream or goal for fear that you’re just not good enough.

Maybe you’re on the verge of ending an important relationship out of sheer exasperation.

Or maybe some days you just wish you’d go to sleep and not wake up. You’ve given it all you’ve got and not you just feel like there’s no more to give.

With the unrelenting demands of contemporary living, where so much is expected of us, many people eventually come to a place where they feel like the demands are just too much to bear.

At this point, even mundane and routine tasks feel insurmountable.

For some, this may turn to thoughts of suicide or self-harm. If this is the case, seeking professional help is paramount.

But for many others, the feeling of giving up feels like the loss of a sense of meaning, purpose, and motivation.

Most advice columns focus on helping the reader find ways to not give up. But what if ignoring the urge to give up is causing you more harm than good?

Sure, maybe it’s not time to give up the thing you’re tempted to give up, but your soul may be communicating there is something that you need to give up.

For instance, you may feel like giving up on an important relationship but maybe you need to give up attitudes that contribute to the strife in your relationship.

You see, even as important as our close relationships are, they are easier to give up or sabotage in the short-term, but detrimental to us in the long-term.

Attitudes and bad habits are much harder to give up but if we ignore them, we tend to take them with us everywhere we go, leaving a trail of destruction in all our relationships and circumstances.

What you really need to give up

So what should you do when you feel like giving up?

Give up!

Not necessarily the issue at hand, but the deeper problem.

See the urge to give up as a summons to examine your interior life. What are the attitudes, beliefs, and values that may be holding you back from living your best life?

What are you being asked to give up?

Your self defeating thoughts?

Your self-absorption?

Your self-pity?

Your need to be right?

Your need to have your way all the time?

Your need to do everything?

Your ego?

Your anxiety?

Your fear?

Your lack of trust and openness?

Your anger?

Your hatred?

Your pride?

Your uncompleted tasks at the end of the day?

Giving up the right things

It’s much harder to give these things up than calling it quits on a dream.

But if you’re ready  to experience lasting relief and freedom from your suffering, you’ll see that dropping negative beliefs and attitudes may be easier than you think.

Once you’ve determined the attitude or habit you’d like to drop.

Imagine it as an object in your hand. Imagine yourself opening your hand so the object freely falls to the ground. That is all it takes. Just open your hand and let it drop.

Once you do, you’ll gain the clarity and courage to fight for what’s truly important to you.

Because in the end, you have much more to gain than lose when you decide to give up the right things.


Cylon is a spiritual chaplain, musician, devoted husband, and busy dad of seven. He blogs about practical spiritual tips for living well at Spiritual Living For Busy People - sign up and get his free guide 20 Little Tricks To Instantly Improve Your Mood Even If You Feel Like Punching Something (or Someone) You can also purchase his book Self-Love: How to Love Yourself Unconditionally


  1. Wow! This is a unique way of looking at the feeling of wanting to give up. I’m going to take this into my quiet time and reflect on it. Thank you so much.

  2. I love your list of self-defeating thoughts to give up. Inspiration and encouragement are always needed when a person feels like giving up.

    • And you must have felt this so often in the past Cathy, with the oh so difficult experiences you’ve had to deal with. I’m so happy that you are using your experiences with family members and addictions to help others who are struggling. You bless our world. 🙂

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