Never give up.
Just like my teeth have to be brushed daily to be healthy, my attitude needs daily motivation to be healthy. So, inspiring sayings have motivated me for as long as I can remember.
In the past, I tended to view the two short sayings above at face value. Which meant if I had task to do or a dream to pursue, come hell or high water, I wouldn’t quit or give up until I had succeeded at it.
And thanks to Apollo 13, “Failure is not an option” was another popular saying I lived by. So, if I wasn’t sure if I could complete something in one specific way, I wouldn’t even start the project or follow the dream because quitting or giving up on my original plan meant I had failed, which was not acceptable.
The combination of those three sayings meant death to many of my ideas before they even had chance of moving from my mind to reality.
In the past decade, I’ve gone through major changes, some by choice and some not. Recently, as I was reflecting over those years, I realized that in order to survive, I’d changed what those sayings mean to me.
These changes helped me not only survive, but also thrive. My new thought patterns about quitting and giving up helped me recover from traumatic accident injuries, survive the accompanying depression, return to running and publish a memoir.
Trying to pattern my life after others.
Thinking I had to make everyone else happy.
Worrying if I was handling trauma and depression like I ‘should’ be.
I gave up…
The need to be perfect.
Thinking my new normal should match my old normal.
Thinking my memoir should be written or published a certain way.
I didn’t give up my long term goals, but I gave up feeling like there is only one way to succeed at them or that I had to reach them in the same way others did. Instead I began doing what I can, with what I have, where I am. Much to my surprise, I began reaching some of my goals.
Life improved when I shifted my focus from insisting something has to be done a certain way to be called a success to figuring out the best way that works for me.
When I explored alternative publishing options, my memoir won a publishing contest and was released four months later. When I used a run/walk/run program instead of forcing myself to run continually, I was able to complete a marathon (26.2 miles) on the anniversary of the day I almost died.
And most recently, writing a guest post for The Well Written Woman only happened after I quit worrying if my posts would be as good as the others here.
Life is too short to be miserable, so if you haven’t been able to reach goals that would make you happy, maybe you need to give up or quit what you’ve been doing and find new ways to reach them.
Janet Oberholtzer had big plans for her life. Waking up in the hospital to discover that she’d almost died in an accident twelve days earlier was not part of her plans. Nor did she plan to spend four years recovering from horrific leg and hip injuries. Somewhere between the ongoing surgeries, therapy and meds, she was sucked into the dark vortex of depression. Finding herself debating whether or not life was worth living scared her enough to seek help from counselors. With their help and her determination (some may call it stubbornness, but determination has a nicer ring) Janet has learned to live well again in spite of the pain, limitations and deformed leg she now lives with. She was able to return to running four years after the accident and on May 20, 2012 (the 8th anniversary of the accident) Janet completed a full marathon. She is now training for the New York City marathon on November 4, 2012.
Janet is an author, blogger and motivational speaker. Her memoir, Because I Can: Doing what I can, with what I have, where I am was published in September 2011. You can connect with Janet on her blog, Facebook and Twitter @JanetOber.