How To Keep Going When You Don’t Feel Like It

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you feel you can’t go on? Or just don’t want to?

We all have those times when life beats us down.

You may have faced criticism on your blog. You may have had to close your business. Or you may have experienced a great loss.

Times like those are hard. No doubt about it.

Run down

Image via Guillaume Pasquet

But there is great news. It’s not the end of the line for you.

You can and must make the decision to continue.

How can you do this?

  • Examine the situation:
    Take a good look at the situation.
    What went wrong? How could this have been prevented? What do I need to change?

    Use this as a learning experience. Choose to fix the faults that you can.

    This situation can be used to sharpen your skills and propel yourself forward.

  • Focus on what is going right:
    During times of crisis, our view of reality gets skewed. The hurdles look bigger than they really are.
    We see giants where there are none.You need to focus on what is going right! By doing this, you can bring the trials into the proper perspective.

    Sure, you may have lost a job. But is that such a bad thing when you’ve wanted to quit for the last five years? You’ve now been freed to pursue a new avenue of revenue.

    Did someone criticize your blog? Look at what the other members of your community are saying. I’m sure you’ll find many readers lifting you up.

    I bet you things are better than you’re seeing them.

  • Lean on others:
    Look to your friends and family.
    When you feel like you can’t go on, you need friends and family to lean on. As I wrote about before, you need a band of brothers to lift you up.

    Be willing to open up and share the struggle that you’re facing. Talking to someone may be difficult but it will be freeing.

    Don’t use this to spew vile towards someone or a situation but use it to throw ideas off of each other. Let your band of brothers give you encouragement and inspiration.

    Before you know it, you’ll be back in the game.

Struggles and trials will come into your life. That is why you will need techniques like the ones mentioned above.

Using them will get you back up and running quickly. Your recovery period will be greatly decreased.

Greater opportunities may be seen.

When you’re looking on the positive side of things, almost anything is possible.

Question: What do you do when you don’t feel like going forward? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • Take it one step at a time. When things seem overwhelming, I try to break it down into bite size chunks. When I do this, I start to see progress again.

    • Another great suggestion Jon. By breaking it down, it becomes easier to digest each new step.

      • Absolutely! I’m a huge task list guy. For example, Saturday morning, I typically sit down for 15-20 minutes and create a list of what needs to be accomplished. This gives me a visual depiction and helps to minimize my feeling of “There’s too much to do; where do I start!” It helps to see those things coming off the list one by one as the day goes along. By the end of the day, I see overall progress. Again, take it one step (one task) at a time.

  • I needed this post today- yesterday was a struggle. Thankfully I have a wonderful friend who helped put things into perspective and prayed for me. And today God is continuing to speak words of encouragement to me.

    • Glad to have been an encouragement to you TC. To be honest, I wrote it in a bit of selfishness as it’s what I needed as well. The last week has been a struggle and I needed to remind myself of what needs to be done.

      I hope your day continues to improve today. I’ll be praying for you.

      • I find God is often speaking to me as well as through me- my post on fear is my latest example. I actually wrote it for my family but God told me others needed to hear that message- keep our eyes on Christ, not on the waves.

        I hope your dad is doing well after having surgery. I will praying for you all as well and thank you for your prayers.

  • Having some great conversations with people in kosovo where I am working now. Some estimate the country is somewhere between 40-60% unemployed. They have no work and are tired of trying when there feels like there is no help from the government….what do you tell these people?

    Have hope, keep going forward? You post is very timely.

    It feels like they are looking at the obstacles as you pointed out…examine the situation. I cannot imagine living 2,5,10, or even in some cases 15 years with intermittent or non existent work. Hard, hard stuff.

    the comment that was tough for me to swallow was —look to the people encouraging you. Feedback can be really really hard to hear sometimes, but so necessary.

    Would I rather listen to the people telling me my work ethic, blog, life, etc is in line when I haven’t had a job for 2 years or truly examine and test the tough feedback I received to see if there was any truth in it? Maybe you got fired because your ethic is slipping. You got comfortable. You got lazy. You haven’t been producing like you used to.

    Don’t run from criticism, but you made a great point saying don’t run from the obstacles seem bigger than they are…challenge them and keep going! great stuff man.

    • It’s hard to imagine those conditions. Thanks for sharing and opening my eyes to the challenges that others face in this world.

    • David,

      It sounds like Kosovo is pretty bleak right now. I didn’t know it was that bad over there. To be honest, I don’t know what I would tell them. It’s hard to keep your head up after a couple of years of unemployment, I know as I’ve been there. But if you don’t keep moving forward you’re just dying.

      You’re right about the feedback. Looks like I left something out of the post. While feedback, both positive and negative, is great to receive there will be many times when the negative feedback wasn’t valid. Instead it was just someone ranting. We have to take the time to decipher whether the feedback was warranted.

  • Loren has made the good point in the past that sometimes we have to realize that some of the stress is in our head. Once we realize that we can move forward. Great tips today Joe!

    • That’s a great insight from Loren, Kimanzi!

  • Love #2, focus on what is going right. It’s not the easiest thing to do when I am feeling that everything is going wrong! But usually, that’s the thing that helps me get out of the ditches – a change of perspective.

    I’d like to add God – by the time I feel like giving up, means I have done everything possible – praying, seeking’s God perspective, doing my part. So when it doesn’t work, am usually at the rock bottom. The easiest way to explain it is that God comes for me. His strength and grace lifts me, makes me move forward when I have zero strength of my own.

    • I’m with you Ngina. That’s my go-to way of pushing forward. We’re often blinded by the blessings that surround us and look towards the “greener” grass of others. But if you actually look you will see the blessings you have.

  • I have had those weeks. Right now, I am so relieved…I am out of school! Today, I finished the semester! After I finished…I set up my twitter! haha.

    • I bet! That’s exciting. Congrats on finishing the semester strong.

  • On the serious note, when I don’t feel like going forward. I always spend time with God. Whether it is reading His word, listening to an awesome worship album, etc. He is always there.

    One of my theme verses for the past few hectic weeks has been Matthew 11:28-30:

    Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

  • Great advice, Joe. I like to, sometimes, just do something different, get out of my environment, so that I can get a different perspective of where I am.

    • Great addition Larry. We seen that last night with our youth group. We had 7 students with us and we went to another church for a youth rally. Being out of their normal environment, they were much more open.

  • Always remember…you might be worn down, but you’re not worn out.

    And I would add, not only lean on others, learn from others. When I’ve faced tough times, I’m always more open to learning because we tend to learn our greatest lessons from our failures rather than our successes.

    Great post, Joe!

    • Great quote Kent! Could add to it “until you’re in the ground” (-:

  • It’s a powerful thing when you have a compelling “why.”

    Before I take anything on, I make sure the “why” is compelling. It’s the way I see things through, and make meaning along the way.

    During the journey, I remind myself that the journey IS the destination, so I find a way to spend more time in my values, whether that means learning something new, practicing the art of excellence, or playing at it in a creative way.

    • Excellent addition J.D. Having a WHY will push you to new heights and keep you going when you don’t want to. What’s your “why”?

      • I believe everybody deserves a chance at a better life.

        I translate that into helping people stand on the shoulders of giants and drawing from the world’s best wisdom of the ages, and modern sages.

        At work, as a Program Manager, I lead distributed teams around the world on epic adventures. I focus on the journey as much, if not more, than the destination. I help people make the most of what they’ve got, give their best where they have their best to give, and expand their capabilities.

        I always will have a special place in my heart for underdogs and people with a passion for more from life. My “golden circle” mantra is “exponential results for the underdog.” In practice, what I do is empower people with skill.

        Inspiration is contagious and so is lifting others up to lead a better life. It’s “the arete way” … and life imitating art is when we unleash people to be like a garden in full bloom on a warm Summer’s day.

  • I know I need to take time to relax and rest when I feel like giving up. After I take time to refresh those thoughts usually go away. This is why one day a week I focus on relaxing and spending time with my family.

    When I’m criticized I try and see the truth in it. Doing this allows me to grow and learn how to become better.

    Great post and reminder.

    • Taking a sabbath. Great way to refresh and get a new perspective to keep going on.

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