The benefits of giving up


My sister is giving up.


This is the third time she’s given up and I’m all for it.

Now before you get the idea that my sister doesn’t have any stick-to-it-ness, let me clarify:

She’s given up an unhealthy habit.

It started a couple of years ago when she gave up drinking Coke. Then she quit eating red meat. Now she has decided to stop eating chips.

She made up her mind and quit cold turkey.

No easing in period. No periodic indulgence.

She just gave them up.

The conventional wisdom says that when you make things taboo, you create a greater desire for them. That might sometimes be true. If we think we can’t have something, we might be more tempted to go get it. Our inner child has a little “you’re not the boss of me” tantrum and we abandon our plan for change.

Sometimes giving up is a good thing.

Once you make a decision to do something, it might be easier to stick with it when you don’t have one foot in both places. I’m not a big fan of black and white thinking, but sometimes it just might serve you well.

My sister knew that the occasional Coke would only lead to rationalizing more frequent Cokes. Same with a bag of chips. Surprisingly her definition of red meat doesn’t include hot Italian sausage. It’s a rare indulgence anyway so she decided it was not included in her ban.

That’s really the point. The key is to make a conscious and intentional choice about what will contribute to your success.

Social media and popular magazines want us to believe that there is a one-size-fits-all solution for everything. That concept doesn’t work for pantyhose and it doesn’t work for creating change. What does work is tapping into your own inner wisdom.

Don’t make a rash declaration about your plan for change without having sat quietly with yourself and paid attention to what you know to be true for you. Trust your inner wisdom. You know whether giving up is a good strategy for you or not. You know whether a greater degree of flexibility would work better. That doesn’t mean not seeking out information when you need it. It’s just means giving up on the trending fix for whatever situation you’re in.

On the flip side, maybe you are a pro at giving up. Maybe you continually give up on whatever it is that you want to change. When that happens it’s not because you need more will power. It probably has to do with trying to apply a fix that isn’t a good fit for you. If that’s the case you can give up on giving up by pausing and paying attention to what is a better fix.

So go ahead surrender. Feel free to embrace giving up. It just might get you what you want.

What do you ready to give up?


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St. Albert Gazette

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