The difference between letting go and giving up

Difference between letting go and giving up

You’ve been plugging away on That Huge Goal for years now.
You’ve taken all the classes. You’ve worked your way through checklists.
You’ve had friends take a fresh look at it and you’ve brought in experts.

And it’s still not happening.

Is it time to give up?
Or is it time to let it go?

Lately, several sweet clients have asked me about the difference between these two.

While letting go can be disheartening + disappointing, at the heart of it letting go is infused a gentle energy of knowing that this particular ‘let go’ is ‘right.’

It suggests compassion, patience, and ultimate acceptance.
It communicates an energy of having done all you could to remedy, resolve, and restore before deciding with a resolved + full heart to walk away.

Letting go feels like understanding, like empowerment. Twitter_logo_blue

Giving up feels abrupt. It’s riddled with panic and doubt and frustration.
It radiates an energy of being unresolved, cut short.
It suggests overwhelm and lack of interest in cultivating a deeper understanding.
Giving up doesn’t imply that you did all you could do to peacefully resolve the situation before deciding to run away.

Of course, fleeing almost always feels easier – initially.
(We’ve all done it.)

When we avoid pausing for insight and abruptly give up, we think we’re cleverly avoiding life’s inevitable pains. We think giving up will protect us when, in fact, it’s really preventing us from knowing ourselves.

Wanting to ‘give up’ presents an opportunity.
Resist the urge to simply shut down + cut off.

Rather, pause.
Deeeeep breath.

Ask yourself:
What is it about him, her, them or that is causing such great overwhelm in me?
What was said or done or implied that triggered such frustration?
Why are those words or actions so unnerving?
Does this situation remind me of a time in the past where I felt similarly?
Am I projecting a past unresolved hurt on the present moment?
Is there something I can do differently to show up to this situation in a more empowered way?

It is totally acceptable to release a relationship or circumstance that no longer serves you.

I encourage you to do so from a vantage point of true self understanding and empowerment.  

Dig deep.
Ask the tough questions upfront.
Learn even more about yourself.
And then, if it feels right, release those clenched, grasping hands and with love and light, let go.



Need one on one guidance?  Hire me.  You won’t regret it.
Photo by McGill Library on Unsplash


  1. I loved reading this. I walked away, ate dinner, and am still thinking of the times I’ve let something go or given up. Also, I used to be obsessed over the difference between an excuse and a reason. I thought I should do everything perfectly and there were no reasons not too, just excuses. I’ve changed my mindset, but it isn’t easy. Thanks!


      Ohhhh! I would love to think on what’s the difference between an excuse and a reason and then wright a post on it! What did you discover is the difference? xoxo

      • You should! I’d love to read your take on it. In my case, being harsh and categorizing everything as an “excuse” stopped me from reflecting and finding reasons why I was struggling in college years ago. Perfectionism voided any tolerance for struggle or challenge in my life. I’ve found that reasons are based on a deeper understanding of yourself and surroundings. I had to learn to investigate and accept reasons. That’s why your post resonated with me so much!

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