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But will it actually get better?

We all love a solid, “they pushed through and overcame the circumstances” type story. Our society glorifies the idea of keeping your head down and grinding through hard situations in order to achieve what’s on the other side. We assume it’s always the best route, and that what’s waiting on the other side will make us happy and be worth it.

It’s one of the reasons why so many of us choose to stay in certain situations, because we’re married to the idea that to change course is to admit failure. And we certainly don’t glorify failure.

Another aspect of this ties to what is known as the “sunk cost effect.” This refers to the idea that you continually put time and resources into the same thing, simply because of the amount you’ve already invested. You don’t want to consider those investments a waste (even though they’re past the point of being recovered), so you continue on in hopes it all feels “worth it.”

This effect can cause people to remain in toxic relationships, stay in a job they hate, or even invest more and more money into a sinking business.

Sometimes, the braver thing to do is to admit when something isn’t working and to change direction. Failure, after all, can be very useful in continuing forward. You can take insights from any situation as lessons on what not to do in the future, and you learn much about yourself in the process. The only reason we would allow a failure to be deemed pointless is if you quit altogether and allow that to be the end of your story. 

I see so many friends stay in situations that feel absolutely miserable, simply because they assume every other alternative would be worse, or that it’s too late to change course. I’ve been in this situation myself a time or two. It’s usually taken the situation to become nearly unbearable for me to make a change, or one of my close friends or family members tells me that what I’m doing ain’t it. (Please note, I’m not telling you to blindly trust what others tell you. Simply know when to listen when someone is speaking truth into a personal blind spot.)

This will obviously take a certain level of discernment on your part. There ARE times to stick to the plan, to push through hard times in light of a bigger picture. During these times is when you reference your “why.” When the reason behind it stands true and firm, you know it’s important enough not to give up.

There is a difference between giving up because it feels hard, and recognizing that you are suffering because you need to change the situation you are in.

It’s okay to pivot. It’s okay to want something different than what you thought when you originally started. Whatever you choose, own your decisions. Remember that even refusing to make any change is an action within itself. 

Above all, keep moving forward. Failure is not permanent failure unless you choose it to be.

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