I’ve seen this time and time again my life.
Where I’ve faced a big challenge, and through never giving up, I’ve eventually succeeded. It may take a lot of hard work, it may require you to dig deep, it may even ask you to think differently and try many different ways of facing the challenge before finding the solution.
The biggest lesson, Never Give Up.
If you’ve decided that you need something in your life, commit to it, and keep at it. No matter how tough it seems to be, what other people may say, or what obstacles you come across along the way. If you really want something, you can get it, step by step.
Yes sure, Never Give Up could be called a cliché. But I like clichés. They are simply expressions that have been totally overused, loosing their originality over time. They only got overused because people resonated so strongly with them, and they stuck because they are so true.
So I say again, NEVER GIVE UP!
During this phase of making our home in Rome, we were experiencing a lot of challenges, with things we thought would be simpler. We had a bit of an Italian reality check, every day life beyond the Colosseum, caffès and cornetti 🙂
Things like finding an apartment to rent long-term, getting WiFi connected in our apartment, sorting out our Vodafone contracts, getting a Codice Fiscale (Italy’s tax code, basically an Identity number), getting a bank account, finding work.
It felt like everyday hoop-jumping.
But there was no other option, I needed to keep at it, there was no way out but through!
Above: Italy everyday life was feeling a bit like everyday hoop-jumping; I’d gotten a different kind of hoop-jumping experience at Brand Union – see video here; I felt like a little pomeranian – I was ready, let’s go!
Here are some of the things that keep me going every day, and stop me from ever giving up:
1. Know what you’re working for.
You need to know what your end goal is, to keep motivating you to carry on. Keep reminding yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing, especially when you lose focus.
We have one life and we have the power to create the one we want. You will have many smaller steps to reach your big goals, but with your vision in mind, it’s worth it in the end.
I wanted a life in Rome, so battling it out to get a job or a fiscal number was worth it, and my end big goal motivated me to keep at it.
There have been many tough days and tricky situations since moving to Rome, but the great times far outweigh the challenging ones. Every time I reach an obstacle, I remind myself of why I’m here and what my end vision is, and it makes it totally worth it. You start seeing obstacles merely as challenges to solve, steps that get you one step closer to the final destination.
2. Start small.
Sometimes, the idea of a big end goal can scare you so much you give up before even trying and instead you go running in the opposite direction.
Break your big goals down into much smaller manageable goals, it’ll feel more doable and less daunting. This way, you have daily and weekly realistic goals, that take the pressure off and allow you to start climbing those stairs, step by step.
Start small, and you’ll get there.
In Italy, when looking for a good career opportunity, I’d get overwhelmed thinking of the big goal. Not being fluent in Italian, my options were also limited. Instead of letting myself focus on the big end goal, I broke it down into bitesize daily and weekly goals. This took the immense pressure off me, allowing me to achieve realistic goals day by day, and soon I’d find myself progressing really well towards the finish line.
Above: On my job-hunt I went through many phases: Doing lots of research and watching TEDx videos; Getting up early to work, always with good coffee; Self-reflecting, working out what direction I needed to take my career
Above: When I was feeling overwhelmed, I’d do one of my favourite things: Put on my sneakers, and go for a solo mission into the beautiful city: Walking through the streets; Visiting Barnum café for a caffè and some work in a new environment; Discovering artwork down little alleyways.
Of course there were times when it felt too big to take on. When it did, I’d take some timeout to have some fun and refresh, going for a walk in the beautiful city, or for a caffè at a darling little cafe. Then, with fresh eyes, I’d get back onto my roadmap to my big goal, and simply start with the first daily task on my daily to-do list.
Start small, and you’ll get there.
3. Get your mindset right.
You need to spend some quality time on your reasons behind your personal life goals. With a clear vision of where you want to go and why it matters to you, you are that much more motivated.
You need to believe in yourself, and your goals. They are important and you need to commit to them. Giving quality time to them is essential, not a waste of time. There is a lot going on this modern world, lots of noise, distractions, information buzz… it’s imperative that you take the time to almost convince yourself of the value of your goals. By doing this, you slowly start to stop putting these goals at the bottom of your list when something else comes up, and instead you start to truly value your commitment to them.
You need to get your mindset ready for the road ahead too. When you’ve got big goals, there are often lots of small goals to get through, and at times it can get tough. It’s not all ponies and rainbows, so learn to take the good with the bad. Don’t let bad days, other people or obstacles demotivate you. Remember the end goal, your vision, and why it’s important to you, put a smile on your face, and keep going.
Positivity and commitment is everything.
There were many incidents I started to learn to laugh at instead of get frustrated and upset at. One particular one was trying to get my Fiscal Number, a Codice Fiscale (basically an Italian ID number).
No matter what approach Luca and I tried, we just weren’t progressing. We’d read that I needed to go and register that I was staying here at the police station, so off we went. They said that it wasn’t necessary and that I needed to go apply for my Codice Fiscale at the Municipality with an apartment lease. We got our apartment and lease, and off we went to the Municipality. They wouldn’t let me apply, saying I needed to have a work contract. An Italian guy next to me was in the same situation, trying to get his Spanish girlfriend her Codice Fiscale – He was getting so angry, as a lot of companies want you to have a Codice Fiscale to get the job, so it was a catch-22. We had tried everything we could think of.
Even though I’d been told by people living here that I didn’t need a work contract to get my Codice Fiscale because I’m a British citizen, I still don’t have one. After so many tries, we decided to just accept it and wait for the work contract.
It was an incredibly frustrating situation, resulting in me not being able to open a local bank account. After feeling highly frustrated, I let go of the negative feelings and just smiled, sometimes even chuckling at the situation.
Just smiling and keeping a positive mindset is so important. When something goes wrong, try to just step back, take a deep breath and smile. Oh well, we’re just going to have to keep at it and try something else 🙂 We have the power to choose how we react and deal with situations, there really is no point getting upset.
Whenever I faced a challenge, I’d also remind myself of everything we’d already achieved, and focused my mind on everything I was grateful for. I mean, we’d managed to find a home, so we could do anything!
You’ve got to roll with the punches, the good and the bad. Don’t let a bad situation ruin all the good ones. You’ve got to maintain a positive mindset and take it for what it is. It’s all about how you look at things and how you choose to deal with situations. Even in a bad situation, you can still come out the other side with a smile, ready to roll with the punches and keep pushing until it works out.
Get your mindset right for your goals.
Think, this is important, this is valuable, I can do this!
4. Find balance in your life.
You want to be taking on challenges in your best form. One way to prevent yourself from ever Giving Up, is to be at your strongest. And to be your strongest self, you need a balanced life.
A balanced life is one that nourishes you body, mind and soul.
Give yourself time to eat well, exercise, sleep, relax and have fun-time. Nurture every aspect of your life, giving you the strength and motivation to rise up to any occasion.
Be at your best, so that you can give your best.
When I was in job-hunting mode, I experienced the effects of both sides. In order to be at my most productive, I’d get back on track: eating healthy, up at 5:30am, doing my morning routine, yoga, morning pages, getting through my daily and weekly goals – active, motivated and inspired!
Somewhere along the line, I’d get too obsessed with the job-hunt, letting all other areas of my life fall away. Slowly, I’d be staying up late on the job-hunt, too tired to get up early, not doing my morning routine or yoga, resulting in me eating badly and on it went. Until, eventually, I’d wake up feeling so mentally tired that I wasn’t even achieving all my daily and weekly job-hunt goals anymore.
By letting my life go out of balance, I’d impacted the quality of the very thing I’d been doing too much of, job-hunting. It’s the ripple effect again. We need to prioritise all aspects of our lives, as they all have their parts to play, together as a team, in our overall productivity and well being.
Nourish every aspect of your life, energise your body mind and spirit.
With your best self, you can conquer anything!
5. Never Give Up.
Yes sure, we may fall off the wagon at times. We can go off track, and lose steam. What then? Get back on! Don’t beat yourself up, just get back up and carry on. No matter how many times you fall off, just get back up and start again.
While in Italy, eating healthily has been particularly difficult for me. There is just so much temptation, I’m constantly on and off the wagon. But, no matter how many treats I eat, I keep getting back onto the healthy train, time and time again, because it’s important to me 🙂
Life isn’t always easy, it gets hard.
It’s a busy, demanding world we live in.
Sticking to our goals can be challenging.
But don’t give up.
If there is something you really want, big or small, keep at it and eventually you’ll succeed. As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Energy and persistence conquer all things‘. And I truly believe this, having experienced it a fair share of times.
Keep working for it, keep chipping away at those goals of yours. In the end, when you succeed, you’ll look back and smile and know that it was worth it!