You know those days when you feel overwhelmed by everything and just want to quit?
You may have started higher studies, opened a small business or your own blog, gotten married, moved to a certain place, or made any major life decision that is now overwhelming you with its responsibilities and associated stresses.
And now you want to quit.
But before you do, please take time out to remember the following.
1. Remember why you started.
Before you give up, think about why you started in the first place. Why did you decide to get married? Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur? Why did you decide to do your post-grad?
Think about your why.
It can be very difficult to think of it when you’re stuck and upset, which is why you should write down all of your reasons before you start something, when you’ve just made the decision to go for it after spending time in deliberation and carrying out the Sunnah method of decision-making.
In the beginning when you’re full of hope and excitement, that’s when you should write down your list of why.
So on days when it’s difficult to keep going, take out that list and read it. Focus on it. Don’t forget why you started.
2. Everyone is struggling.
It can be easy to fall prey to feelings of inadequacy and failure when you see other people succeed at the same thing you’re having trouble with.
But the thing is – everyone is struggling. Everyone has a lot going on behind the scenes that they have to deal with on a daily basis to keep going. Everyone has to manage their time and prioritize their tasks.
Everyone has days when they lag behind too but it’s usually not advertised as openly as their successes are on social media, so be gentle with yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other people.
Set your own pace and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep going.
3. Leaving behind Sadaqah Jariyah (ongoing charity).
One of the biggest motivators when you feel low is to think about your legacy.
How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to be resurrected? What will elevate your ranks in the Hereafter long after you’re gone from this world? Who will remember you?
These are important questions that can recenter and refocus you to what’s truly important in life.
The little seeds of goodness you plant, they will bear so much fruit in the next life. The hearts you healed, the knowledge you spread, the happiness you brought, the kindness you shared, all of that will be multiplied manifold and rewarded abundantly by Allah (swt).
So keep yourself occupied with the Khayr, with good deeds and grand goals. Keep going.
4. Looking back in old age without regret.
This goes hand in hand with leaving behind Sadaqah Jariyah. When you are old and frail, you will wish you had taken more advantage of your youth and health. “A year from now, you will have wished you started today.”
Anything new is risky and uncomfortable in the beginning, but you have to come out of your comfort shell to grow and thrive.
5. The Three Year Rule.
In this fast-paced world, we are all vulnerable to the desire for instant gratification and immediate success.
You see glaring examples every day of people who apparently got it all overnight, and your weeks or months of struggle to start your business or get settled seem too long. You despair of ever achieving your goals and want to quit.
But, remember the 3 Year Rule. If you are going to commit to something, commit to it for at least 3 years. Give it that time to start up, build momentum, and finally become something.
Rome really wasn’t built in a day. Big achievements take time, so don’t rush yourself. Enjoy the process, take breaks when you feel drained, and keep going.
6. Celebrate every little achievement.
Celebrate every achievement, even if it’s small.
If you focus too much on your long term goals and forget to enjoy every little milestone that comes along the way, there will be days when you feel like it’s all a pointless race with no end in sight.
You have to actively remember how far you’ve come and everything you’ve accomplished over the years.
You have to remember the days when you yearned and prayed for the things you have now. You have to applaud your own self because only you and God know the difficulties you faced and the obstacles you overcame.
هر که خود داند و خدای دلش که چه دردیست در کجای دلش
Only the man and his God know of
What sorrows reside in which corners of his heart.
[Mehdi Ikhwan Saless]
7. Allow your goals to motivate, not worry you.
Think of your goals as inspiration and works in progress.
Don’t allow the gap between where you are and where you want to be to cause anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.
Allow that gap to motivate you every day to become better and better, for the sake of your Akhirah and to leave behind a legacy that will benefit you in the next world.
8. Be flexible.
If something isn’t working out a certain way, don’t waste more time on it. Learn from your experiences. Find new ways of doing things, according to your own life circumstances and what suits your personality.
Don’t follow the herd! Be yourself and adapt quickly to setbacks. See roadblocks as redirectors toward something better and more fulfilling.
Don’t allow yourself to stay stuck. Be flexible and keep going!
9. Relax and recharge.
When you feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities and infinite to-do list, take time out to relax and recharge yourself. Remind yourself that “it’s just a bad day, not a bad life”.
Whichever aspect of your life is causing stress, try to give yourself a healthy break and some away time in whatever capacity possible to refresh yourself and gain perspective.
Whether it’s having dinner out, calling a trusted friend, taking a mini-vacation, hiring a babysitter, taking a day off from studying, going on a break from social media, or something else – just give yourself a moment to breathe and relax.
But don’t quit.
Please keep going.
I hope these tips prove immensely useful to you! What motivates you to keep going when you want to quit? I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment below.