What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

WhatToDoby Erin Bagwell
Founder of Feminist Wednesday
Director of Dream, Girl

My business, which I’ve dedicated the last three and a half years of my life to is slowly folding. In under a year I’ve lost my business partner, had to move out of our office, let go of my staff, and have racked up a significant amount of debt.

Most of time when I think about what I’ve created and what I’m going to do month to month, I can’t breathe.

My husband and I keep having these intense and serious conversations about money. He’s (rightfully so) disappointed about where we are financially and I know I’m the reason we aren’t moving forward. I know that me “living my dream” is the reason we can’t have a baby.

And yet, there is only one thing I know for sure (as Oprah says) about running a business. And that is: you can’t make decisions or move forward from a place of fear. You can’t take the right next step if you feel out of control. You can’t even think logically if you don’t feel like you can’t breathe.

Which is why when you feel like giving up, you have to surrender. You can’t make the decision to walk away or the decision to carry on, you just have to be. Disconnect, take a break, distract yourself (Ruth Ann Harnisch suggests jumping up and down in one place until you feel exhausted, which really works for me) and put all the things you can on pause.

Find ten minutes of solitude to mediate, read, dance, or breath. Join Tina Fey’s movement and just #sheetcake it.

Give yourself permission to know that there are moments or weeks or months where it’s acceptable to throw your hands up into the air and say “I’m not dealing with this right now.” Know that not having an answer to your problems is the answer.

Make the unknown a place you can claim for your own.

And know that you can always give up on another day- on a day where you feel like you are conquering your life like a warrior. That’s the day to make big, hard, life-changing decisions. But my guess is you won’t want to then.

Know you are resilient, powerful, and taken care of even if you don’t feel like it. This is all temporary. This is all part of “the process.”

This is where moments of transformation and magic happen- when you let it all go.


Click here to read more of Erin’s Feminist Wednesday articles.


  1. Deanna L. Robinson   •  

    Erin, my heart hurts and feels you.

    There is an excellent book, Three Feet From Gold, by Greg Reid and Sharon Lechter. You might enjoy it.

    A few months ago, I closed one of my companies that I began over 4 years ago. My husband and I have invested into the hundreds of thousands of dollars into my three companies. I have ruined credit, and caused my husband so much financial stress. I’ve put our financial security in jeopardy.

    Today, I’m running a nonprofit, that every month is subsided by my husband. My doubts are deep and dark. Then there are nights like last night when I gathered prominent community leaders along with a State Representative to discuss how we might address the opioid situation from a preventative approach. Today, I still want (need) funding.

    Please know, I’m watching your social media posts. I believe in you and your work. I’m not alone, there are a lot of us that want you to succeed. We are holding you in our belief of you. Whatever that looks like.

    BE Blessed!

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