This is one of the hardest battles all of us have to face at least once in our lives. The dichotomy occurs in several contexts from pushing for personal goals to making relationships and/or friendships work. As we all know, facing big life decisions tends to happen when we least expect to face them, so having a process of broad reasoning behind such big decisions can really help.
The battle between trying harder and letting go comes with many challenges. Sometimes we feel as though we haven't done enough, so we need to try harder and end up really putting the pressure on ourselves, and sometimes we feel as though we have exhausted all of the emotional and physical resources around us that trying any harder is simply a waste of time. Sometimes we fear having to deal with either so we remain in stagnant situations for extended periods of time.
A common reason why people hold onto goals, people and other things they know may not necessarily be best for them, is simply because seeing anything else other than what we've previously set our mind to is extremely difficult. It requires us to dive into the unknown, look around, find something worthy of working on and then start all over again. It requires a change in focus which can be difficult to see through with the same enthusiasm you once had.
With this is mind, there are some facts we must face head on here:
1). Change is easier once embraced with open arms. You are not incapable of dealing with what will be, you're just comfortable with what has been.
2). There is no guarantee that the decision you have made between letting go and trying harder is right or wrong. But it will definitely lead you closer to what is right for you.
There is no 'one size fits all' resolution between deciding to try harder and deciding to let go, as we are all subject to different life contexts and responsibilities. There are however, lots of options to weigh together and essentially, it's you who has to decide what's best for you.
4 ways we feel can help you decide are:
Asking yourself HONEST questions: How much do you want this? How much effort are you really willing to put into seeing it through? Will your life be impacted for the greater good by trying harder or letting go? How will your life change, or not change, if you make this decision? How worthy is this thing of delayed gratification (missing out on instant reward for a better/greater reward in the future)? A common mistake people make in these kind of situations, is fooling themselves into 'striving' for an outcome they know is unrealistic. Because intuition will tell us when something is unrealistic, but comfortability will tell us to remain 'comfortable' for as long as possible to confirm that unrealism.
Understand letting go is a process: Letting go is not going to be easy, or even straightforward, especially if you've invested a lot of effort. During the letting go process, there are many stages where you just imagine things being easier by going back, or question if letting go was even the right thing to do. Nobody likes pain, pressure or forced change, but they are imperative for growth. If you're going to let go, let go properly. Going back and forth between letting go and trying harder is an unnecessary stress which only hampers your personal development. At a time, you can only make the decision to do one or the other.
Follow your instinct: Nobody knows you like yourself. Following that voice in your head or that gut feeling will usually lead you to doing what you genuinely feel is right for you to do. The next time you have a decision to make between two hard outcomes, observe that the battle you have within yourself is often between what you want and what you need which will have you deciding between what you like and what you'd rather avoid. Doing everything within your 'like' zone, probably won't get you very far.
Remember your happiness is crucial to your welfare: If temporarily making yourself uncomfortable is going to make you much happier in the future, then by all means get uncomfortable. If trying harder means you'll have more peace in knowing you have done everything you possibly can before letting go, then do so. As mentioned previously, there is no one size fits all solution to big decisions such as these. Your context, experiences, responsibilities and personal capabilities, all have a part to play in deciding what is best for you.
In conclusion, being honest with yourself is a part of maturity. Embracing change is a crucial way to keep up with life. Taking time to really think decisions like this through, doesn't mean you are indecisive, if anything it shows that you put careful thought into making big decisions. Your life, is best done at your own pace. When it comes to deciding to try harder or deciding to let go, that decision is best made according to the best outcome for yourself. It may sound selfish to consider your needs before anyone else, but who else is going to make the decision for you?
- APD 'Be The Best You'