Why giving up is A-OK.
Feb 5, 2016
When it comes to chasing dreams, society couldn't be any clearer: we can't nor must ever give up. In fact, life is nothing, if not reaching your #goals or checking off the next thing on your bucket list. Furthermore, we are led to believe that we can literally achieve anything, if only we try hard enough. No really, the only thing standing in your way to the top of the world is you and your pathetic little comfort zone. But is it really like that though?
Let's investigate by example. For instance, my dream is to work as an editor for a fashion magazine. Now, let's say that from now on I actively start to work on achieving that dream, that I really, really give it my best shot, that I keep on trying and that I never give up. And along with me, every single person in the whole wide world who has the same career goal, starts doing the same. How long do you think it would take until the editor-market is saturated? Not such a long time, right? And what happens to those who didn't make the cut? Exactly. They have to give up.
And even when we put aside the reality that this world/economy just doesn't have room for every single one of our dreams, there is another reality that remains. It is the cold harsh fact that sometimes, no matter how much you want it, or no matter how much you keep pushing yourself, it's just not for you. Maybe, you're just not good enough (because no matter what you want to be or do, there sure will be a lot of competition). Or maybe, it just doesn't feel right to bring the sacrifices it takes to get there (like working long days and nights, or fighting out battles with perpetual self-doubt or battling a lack of inspiration). And honestly, acknowledging that, doesn't make you a quitter or a weak link. I think it just shows a high level of self-knowledge and a lot of courage to admit that.
Oh, and here's an other idea that'll blow your mind: comfort zones are called comfort zones for a reason - because they are nice, and say well, comfortable. They consist of warm cuddles, intimate and joyfull relations with people we've known for years, walks in the winter sun, reading sessions in bed. Living in your comfort zone could actually mean that you live a happy and well-balanced life. So, maybe, it is time for all of us to stop confusing a comfort zone with a rut. And to stop confusing succes - as society defines it - with happiness. Or as Dirk De Wachter, psychiatrist and author of 'Borderline times' states: "Behind a mask of succes you'll often find loneliness and the fear to be alone, [...] feelings of emptyness and meaningless. Happiness is not to be found in kicks or succes, but in the little things - yes even, in the normality of life."
That is why I say, let us all stop trying to doing epic shit, let us all stop turning dreams into plans, and let's stop longing for something to set our soul on fire. I'm not trying to write a manifesto against dreaming here. But I am protesting the constant pressure to perform, to proove to the world that we have got it made, to proove that we are better than the bunch, that we won the gold medal at the rat race. That is why I say, let's admit that giving up or saying stop is A-OK. Let us start focussing on enjoying instead of achieving. And most of all, let us just admit that life may not be the party we hoped for, but we can still dance while we're here.