Wondering why we keep trying in the face of overwhelming odds? It’s because we can’t stand to lose. We’re conditioned to compete and to win, to avoid that feeling of suck when we fail.
Take your job, for example. Say things are stressing you out. Most people will stay until they get fired rather than quit. They just don’t want that designation, quitter. Sometimes your boss will decide for you. In some ways, that’s a relief, taking the burden off your shoulders. In others it stinks, because then you don’t have a job.
If you’re truly unhappy and it’s not just a function of stress or immovable circumstances, it’s probably a good idea to take steps toward opening an alternative for yourself. Don’t wait until there is a pink piece of paper with your name on it, or you’re left by the side of the road with a suitcase.
Try to make it better.
Your boss just put you on a performance improvement plan. What do you do? Well, time to look at why it happened, camper. If they’re giving you a shot, and even if it’s bogus, it behooves you to do what you can to make an effort. They may fire you anyway (because many PIPs are just a CYA so you won’t sue) but at least you can say you tried.
Open up a dialogue.
So many people just hold it in until they explode, which isn’t good for health or happiness. Before you get there, try to talk to people and let them know you’re overwhelmed. If they don’t listen, find someone who will. People in struggling relationships often don’t go to counseling since they think the other party should be there too. But you’re doing something to help yourself. Whether the relationship lasts or not, you still have to live with you.
If all else fails, know that failing is okay.
You put in a good faith effort to right a wrong that you did, or improve a condition of your own making and it doesn’t take. What will people think? Does it really matter? If you can confidently say “I made a mistake and tried to make it right. I will continue to ensure I don’t make that same mistake again,” then there is nothing to fear. Even if you do screw up, you will recover. Few mistakes are permanent if you learn from them.
If you’ve tried and failed and it has changed your direction, please share in the comments.