The Best Advice for What to Do When You Want to Give Up

When you are facing what seems to be an insurmountable problem, eventually you may come to the point where you just say, “ I GIVE UP!”  The last thing that you may want to admit to is defeat, but you may have no other choice.  Or at least that is how you feel.

When you are stressed, lost, without answers, and out of time, you may believe that you have no other options left but to throw in the towel.  But in reality, you may still have hope yet.

Every situation is different, but there is one common theme.  You cannot create a solution if your mind is still focused on the problem.  Particularly if your version of focusing on the problems includes repeatedly saying and believing that your only choice is to give up.

Use one or all of these 15 pieces of advice to stop using I GIVE UP language and do what you need to do to get it done!

1. Carry Yourself with Confidence

Your body can look like you gave up before you have even uttered a word. Instead of slouching, looking down, and blinking back tears, take on a pose of confidence and invincibility.  It is hard to hold a superheroes pose and act and feel defeated at the same time. Stand tall and take on your challenge with confidence.

2. Breathe

Deep breathing exercises help to create a sense of calm and regain mental clarity.  When your brain is burned out and burden by a relentless problem, take a moment to breathe and refresh your thinking.  

3. Pay Attention to How You Feel

The reality is that saying, I Give Up, can feel like a relief.  But it can also be a proclamation of utter defeat.  Pay attention and care about how you feel instead of dismissing your feelings as insignificant.  Your emotions effect your thinking and can serve to empower or deflate your sense of self. Before giving up, take time to explore ways to improve your emotional status and influence a shift towards a more positive state of being.

4. Be Direct With Your Communication

Are you belting out into the world, I GIVE UP, hoping someone else will hear you?  While mildly effective, you may not reach the real solution you need.  Instead of shouting out your defeat and hoping for pity, say what your needs are directly to who needs to here it. Telling others exactly what you need gives opportunity for honest dialogue and a more precise resolution that may set you on the right path.

5. Focus on Solutions

It is pretty difficult for anyone to create a solution if all that you see is the problem in front of you.  Create and hold the vision of where you want things to be and then attempt to create a path to get there.  A problem without any thought of the potential outcome can seem impossible. But how would you draw a map if you have no idea where are trying to go. Determine your final destination with clarity and keep your mental focus on creating or finding solution to make your vision a reality. It is likely your problem has already received enough attention.

6. Believe in Possibilities

The easiest way to run out of solutions is to convince yourself that none exist.  Then giving up seems to be the natural path to turn to.

Instead, truly consider and transition your mind into a state of belief. Even though a solution may not be clear to you now does not mean it is impossible.  Possibilities always exist and are more evident to the mind that believes in their potential.

7. Test Your Boundaries

Sometimes you not only need to figure out a solution to a new problem, but derive completely new ways to create a solution.  Your old tricks of the trade may not apply this time. Be open to try new resources, think in unusual and creative ways, allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and accept that you may still get it wrong with the first few tries.  Test your personal boundaries and allow yourself to move into unknown territory. You will not only develop a solution but new skills in the process.

8. Ask for Help

Humility can be hard when you already feel lost and defeated.  But a small blow to your ego could net you tremendous results.  Allow your family, friends, co-workers, superiors, professors, outside professionals, and experts in the field to guide you on a new path.  Don’t limit yourself when exploring new options. It is not a matter for finding the all-around perfect helper but finding the right help for the problem you are solving now.

9. Take a Break

How long have you been hammering away at the same problem and making no headway whatsoever?  No wonder you want to give up, your brain already gave up 2 hours ago. Step away from your desk.  Distract your mind from your constant overthinking.  Get a drink of water. Relieve yourself from repetitive and overly persistent thought. It can be just the relief you need to let new ideas come to the surface.

10. Cry

Emotional release can be highly gratifying.  When internal tension seems to be at the breaking point due to frustration, stagnation, and confusion of how to move forward, allow your tears to be your much-needed tension release to cleanse your mind and body of unwanted stress. With a release of tension can come a new open path to innovation and idea.

11. Look for Proof of Your Success

You may not be able to create a quick resolution to the problem in front of you.  But in the past you may have figured out many other problems almost in your sleep.  Don’t allow yourself to become so absorbed in what feels like failure to label yourself a total failure. 

Remember when you have been successful in the past. And even if you don’t have answers right now, confirm that you know from experience that you are capable of creating solutions.

12. Be Relentless

Changing your language from I GIVE UP to I WILL NOT GIVE UP is a complete gamechanger.  With the right words you have now proclaimed your intention and empowered yourself with conviction.  This subtle but significant change of self talk can be just the boost you need to tackle what you have in front of you. Speak what you will to happen instead of being subject to what you fear to happen.

13. Have Faith

Faith in yourself is believing that you are capable and that whatever is necessary you will do.  You will keep moving forward.  You will attempt different resolutions.  You will figure it out.  Trust in your ability to be accountable to you and have faith that you will deliver.

14. Be Patient with Yourself

If you have been working on your problem and you just don’t seem to be moving fast enough or as smoothly as you would like, be patient.  Even if you have a stellar success record, this time may simply be different.  Giving yourself grace and allowing yourself to be a novice can relieve pressure and place you in a better state of mind to determine real solutions. Expecting expert level skill for a tough or never-before-seen problem can create unnecessary frustration and creative blocks.

15. Actually Give Up

You may have said, I GIVE UP, 1000 times but actually keep going back at it, trying and trying again.  If you are in a clear state of mind, completely objective, and genuinely have no resolution to your problem, it may be time to surrender. 

Give up.  Being honest with yourself can be the right answer to move from belaboring a problem to addressing the consequences of a problem unresolved.  Move on and be successful in your next steps instead of trying to force the impossible. 

Giving up is not always failure.  At times, it can be the most logical and thoughtful decision you can make to be kind to yourself.


It can be difficult to make a decision of what to do when you want to give up. Unsolved problems can create a pattern of stress and anxiety that can seem to strip ideas and solutions from your mind.

Take time to consider whether you have put yourself in the best frame of mind to support you to act in your own best interest. Create calm, release tension, and find better words to speak to support the outcome you seek to achieve.

You are more than capable to make what you want happen. Give yourself the support and patience to accomplish what you want and the faith to know it is possible.

Do you have a brilliant suggestion on how to move forward when you want to give up? Share it in the comments section below. And if you know someone who needs a few ideas of how to plow forward, don’t forget to share this post.

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