Hold On To Your Towel (3 Reasons NOT To Surrender)
Have you ever just wanted to ‘throw in the towel’? (Maybe the kitchen towel, because the dishes somehow magically multiply overnight and you never seem to catch up. Or the bath towels, because the laundry piles up and who is around to smell check them anyway!) Actually, I’m talking figuratively about the mental fatigue that is sure to show up when you least expect it and the feeling that it’s time to call the fight.
The phrase, throwing in the towel, originates from the boxing world. When a fighter had taken too much of a beating and was unable to go on, his coach threw a towel into the ring to mark the end of the fight. The boxer had no more strength or resilience to keep going. We often feel like that fighter from time to time in our lives; that the world and circumstances have beat us down to a point where we just do not think we can muster the energy to keep going. We have moments where we sit alone with our thoughts and consider the concept of ‘throwing in the towel’. Maybe it is a goal you have been working on, the pursuit of a passion, or a relationship issue. It could be controlling your finances, emotions or even career. My Hopefuls, before you take that thought any further, let’s look at three very important reasons to hold onto that towel just a little while longer.
#1. Your Peace/Satisfaction – While it may sound like a good idea in the moment, it will not make you feel better to quit. Motivations can run low, but deep down we all desire to do our best and we love the feeling of accomplishment when a task is completed. Do not give in to the temptation to just let this ‘one thing’ go. If you need a break for a fresh perspective; take it! If you need some help to get over a hurdle; ask for it. There is no shame in reaching out for help. Find the resources you need, but believe in your journey. Understand that reaching a goal brings a sense of joy and satisfaction with yourself that few other things can. Never let fear overtake your desire to succeed and keep moving forward. Your peace of mind at the end of the day for the work, effort and dedication you have put in, is priceless.
#2. Your World – There are people in your world that need and depend on you. I am sure, like me, you juggle many roles and wear a variety of hats. The demands can oftentimes seem daunting, but your life has a purpose and meaning. That purpose can sometimes look up at you from a place of need, or across to you from a place of companionship. There will always be those ahead of you, beside you, and some coming up behind you. They all need you to stay in the game and do your very best. In fact, we all need each other. I know there are days that a phone call or a text comes at just the right time to keep me on track and uplifted. Never underestimate your impact in the world. You will say or do something at just the right time to encourage and inspire. You will be the bright spot in someone’s day.
#3. Yourself! – If I could cue up the theme from Rocky, this portion would have a greater impact. Here is a paraphrase from a scene in the movie: “The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The world will beat you to your knees and try to keep you there if you let it. Nobody hits as hard as life, but it’s not about how hard you hit. It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.” I would like to inspire the inner Rocky in all of you to never give up. When you get knocked down, stand back up. Even when bruised and bloody by life’s battles, look your challenges square in the eye and never surrender. I understand the emotional and even physical toll this pep talk requires. I am not oblivious or insensitive to your pain. But I know you can do this. I BELIEVE IN YOU! You, in turn, must believe in yourself.
Now, before I end this post, I would be remiss if I did not address the flip side to this lesson. Because it is fair, and even right, to mention that sometimes it is ok to quit. Not every endeavor, situation or relationship we attempt or find ourselves in, is worthwhile or healthy. There is no dishonor in deciding something is bad for us and choosing to walk away. The key is understanding how in tune we are to our inner soul so we can distinguish between unhealthy behaviors/people and just mental exhaustion. Once you recognize and acknowledge that something or someone is damaging, you need to take the appropriate action. Release negativity from your life; regardless of the source.
As we approach the busy holiday season, I know many of you will be stretched to the limit. Demands, deadlines, decisions; all will pile up. You may find yourself wringing that towel in your hands. You may even be very tempted as you lean, tired and worn, upon life’s boxing ropes, to toss that towel into the ring. Don’t do it. Take a deep breath, say a little (or big) prayer, stand back up and get back into the fight. You are so close to victory. I just know it.
Hope With Abandon