Resting Is Not Quitting

We’re told that opportunities are everywhere but we just have to look to see them. I agree that if you look hard enough, you’ll see the opportunities surrounding you. But it doesn’t just stop at opening your eyes and your mind wide enough to see these opportunities, you also have to put yourself out there. You have to “take risks and succeed.” When you put yourself out there, the opportunities will also find you.

But what I want to talk about isn’t opportunities. I want to talk about what happens after. What happens when the opportunities find you and they keep coming? You wonder where they were before and why they’re coming now. I want to talk about burn out.

When opportunities come your way, how do you know which is for you and which is not? How do you know you’re not taking on too much?

A lot of people struggle with saying no—including me. Whether it’s saying no to people or to opportunities, it can be a huge struggle. My mind says no but my mouth says yes. Not too long ago, I realized why.

It’s as if this year opened up a door of opportunities for me that had been closed all my life. When these opportunities started flooding in, I was scared that if I rejected any of them at all, it would be an act of disrespect that’d cause the door that just recently opened up for me to close again. That the abundance would switch back to scarcity, to the way it was before.

But I’ve found that if you keep on taking and taking and taking, you risk the chance of burning out because you take on too much. At this point, your work—whatever it might be—loses quality and also the fun that was once there. From being something you enjoyed, it turns into a chore you want to get over with.

I recently let go of two opportunities that came my way. At first, I was excited but then I started thinking of all the other things I had to do and my life felt chaotic, disorganized and all over the place. Imagining how I would juggle all the things I had to do made me feel like I had totally lost control of my life.

I knew these opportunities would grow my career and I would learn a lot but when I let them go, I felt this peace move through my whole being and calm me down. I felt happy. I knew that if I took them, I’d eventually burn out and have to sacrifice something. I can’t imagine sacrificing school (now that i’m in my final year) or any of my other passion projects.

Society has told us that quitting is the worst thing that you could ever do and that quitters are losers. In turn, we’ve come to believe that saying no or taking time off to rest is quitting so we avoid both. But it shouldn’t be that way. Not everything that comes your way is for you. And that which is for you will always find you. So don’t stress because as long as you keep on putting yourself and your work out there, you’ll be abundant and the opportunities will find you too.

So whenever you find yourself in this kind of dilemma, calculate. Ask yourself, “Do I really want this? What will I learn from this?” or “What will I gain from this?” And finally, ask yourself, “Can I carve out and dedicate time to do this and do it well?”

If the answer to any of these are no, your need to rethink. Don’t be afraid to voice out the “no” that your mind says when something isn’t for you. Don’t sacrifice your health and peace for anything. Embrace resting, even from the things which are for you and you love to do, because we all need a break if not, we break down. It’s only human.

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