Do you run or jog?
I am not a runner, but I do occasionally jog a few miles. The one thing that happens to me every time I run is that I want to stop running when I hit a mile. I am not sure why I want to quit at a mile, but the thought that I should give up pops in my head at every mile. Most of the time, I push through. Sometimes, I give up and stop jogging.
It makes me think about all the times the thought of giving up would pop in my head when Ron first went to prison. I wanted to make it—but when everything turned upside down in that first year, I wondered if I had the grit I need to make it. Times like when my car would break down and I didn’t have the money to fix it, or my kids would be sick in the hospital and I had bills piling up at home, or I was overwhelmed by all the work I had to get finished on top of taking care of the boys and my home made me wonder if I had it in me to keep going. The thought, “I should just give up” would sneak up on me and fill me with discouragement.
My deepest desire was to make it...
I would start to doubt my ability to make it through all time Ron had been given. I would second-guess my convictions that our family could become stronger and healthier. The idea that I could actually avoid being defeated by this horrible situation would start to seem ridiculous and naïve. Then, I would ask myself this one question, “If I give up, what would I do instead? What are my other options?” None. My answer was always, “none.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t have a choice. I simply didn’t want anything as badly as I wanted my family to stay together and be strong and healthy. My deepest desire was to MAKE IT. I just had to look up—and look away from the problem that seemed so big in front of me. Every time I looked up, there was no question that I was going to make it.
There was NO WAY I was going to give up.
I had my mind set on my goal and I would not let anything stop me–Not lack of money, not other people’s opinions, and not my own self-doubt in the midst of the battle. As time went by, I became braver, more determined, and more convinced that nothing would stop me. But I had to experience the breakthrough in order to find the courage I needed to face every challenge with confidence.
I find that many women face this self-doubt when their husband goes to prison. Fear shows up and tries to convince them that they will never make it. They should just quit now. It takes grit to make it, and it takes courage to develop grit. Everybody CAN make it, but not everybody DOES make it.
Here are 3 ways to NEVER give up on your dreams:
- Write down your goal. This might sound cliché to you, but it works. When you start to get discouraged, read it. Then, read it again, and again, and again. You have to remember what you are fighting so hard to achieve.
- Practice self-talk. When you start to get discouraged or scared, start telling yourself, “I can do this! Nothing will keep me from doing the right thing. I can do it!” I did this when I had to face hard things when Ron was in prison, and I do this now when I want to quit on my jog. It works! Practice it. Say it. Yell it if you have to!
- Find a cheerleader. Connect to someone who believes in you and supports your dreams. If everyone in your world is against you, you will eventually give up. You need to find that person who won’t let you quit. Your wingman. The person who will walk this journey with you and encourage you to keep going.
You CAN do this. It is worth the effort and investment of all of your energy. Your family is counting on you. Don’t give up on your dreams! Hard work = Dreams come true.
I am rooting for you-