Is there a point where you have to accept defeat?
I’ve written a lot about how you need to hang on to your goal, have single-minded determination, and fight like you’ve never fought before in order to make your dream a reality. But is there a point where you accept that it’s not going to happen and move on?
I think back to the time in Peru when I hit bottom. I was tired – more tired than I knew I could be. Battling non-stop headwinds was demoralizing. We were all sick. And I looked ahead at the long, long road ahead and wondered if it was time. Was this the point where I accepted defeat? Where I said, “I’ve fought a good fight. I’ve given it my all. Now it’s time to call it quits.”
And yet even then, when I was lower than the basement floor, I knew I wasn’t ready to give up on my dream. I knew, even then, that my dream of making it to Ushuaia was worth the fight. It was worth battling another couple thousand miles of headwinds. It was worth it… because it was my dream.
But then last summer, when we attempted to hike the 500-mile Colorado Trail, I accepted defeat. I wasn’t enjoying it (I wasn’t enjoying battling headwinds on the Peruvian coast either). I was tired and sore (I was tired and sore on our PanAm journey as well). Making it to Durango just didn’t seem worth it.
I’m not sure what the difference was. Was the PanAm a bigger dream? Was I more committed to it?
As my friend, Jenn Miller, said, “100% commitment means that it will hurt more to lose the dream than to lose your status quo.”
I think she’s right. And sometimes, the status quo isn’t all that bad. That’s when it’s okay to accept that your dream isn’t going to happen. That’s when you accept that it’s okay to not follow through.