When you feel like giving up

by Lauren WhitbyTuesday 21st June

When you feel like giving up.


I’ve done many jobs in my time and I’ve had quite a lot of life experience for someone my age.

People often say to me “wow you’ve done loads” and I’m only 35.

I’ve worked in Dorothy Perkins on Oxford Street and at night I studied Sound engineering.

I did a BTEC in popular music and I used to write articles for a Garage music lifestyle magazine.

I’ve been a singer songwriter & performed in nightclubs, even had a vinyl release back in the garage days.

I’ve worked in music publishing and copyright and in the evenings I went to college and trained as a fitness instructor.

I used to run guest lists for nightclubs in the West end make denim skirts during the day.

I moved to an Arab country and lived there for 3 years and became a fashion stylist and learnt on the job.

I wrote features in the newspapers for travel and local news and reviewed CD’s and finished my PT qualification.

I became a lead instructor at a pioneering fitness company in Dubai and became a lead instructor, running the women’s bootcamp.

Took part in a white-collar fight and got myself in the ring – and beaten up!

I taught myself how to DJ and started to pick up gigs as well as set up my own fitness company and move back to the UK.

I also became part of a successful DJ production/DJ duo in the UK and played in all the clubs I have ever dreamed of as well as release my own music again.

I set up a small business networking company.

I have created a successful fitness community that support me every week when they turn up to my sessions.

I finally found my life partner and bought a lovely place in Chislehurst with a garden and now a little dog and we are working on the family.

I am very, very grateful.

It’s not till you sometimes see all of your achievements and your journey that you realise all you have achieved.

There are two things I want to point out here.

1. All of these achievements and all of these life changes I wanted and I planned for. I made them happen. These were not acts of fate. These were changes in my life that I notably took because I wanted to change my journey.  I worked long hours, went to night college and generally just got my head down whenever I wanted to achieve anything.

Every so often, maybe every 6 months, I write a list of things I want in life or a list of things I want to achieve but I write them as if they have already happened.

Every now and then I re check that list and see what has developed.

One of the most noticeable ones was written maybe 4 years ago. It said “I’ve just bought my own flat for £250K”.  – Last year my partner and I bought our first flat for 250K. Exactly that.

Another one was when I left Music College and everyone was going to university. I didn’t want to waste another two years at Uni, I wanted to earn money learning on the job. Nobody thought I would get one and even the main lecturer was like it’s not going to happen. No one gets a job in the music industry just like that. But I knew that’s what I wanted.

So I got this music industry contact book called the white book and I started writing letters to all these companies with my CV enclosed (emails were just being born then). I checked all the music industry magazines for job ads and applied for all of them.

I got a call from a company called Chrysalis Music who wanted to see me and I went over to the offices for an interview.

The moment I walked into the building and I stood in reception, I envisioned I was working there. I was just coming into work, heading up to my office. I was already eating in the canteen and I had already made friends. I was already an employee.

I had the interview and it went really well. I got home and the phone rang almost immediately to tell me I had got the job.  But I already knew that.

One of my oldest lists said, “I want to live & work abroad for a year”. Cue my move to Dubai that actually lasted 3.

2. My second point about all of these life decisions and changes is that every single one had a moment of “Oh fuck”!

I was scared to make a lot of these things happen and I had fear hold me back on a few other issues. But once I got my head around them and the fear I just decided to face it head on.

I was absolutely shitting myself when I had the telephone interview for my job in Dubai. When he said that’s great – you’ve got the job, I was scared. I put the phone down while I was sitting in my nice cushy job at EMI that I loved and thought, I’m moving to Dubai! What the fuck am I doing? But I knew I had to do it. I knew it was an opportunity I needed to take.

When I had my white-collar fight I had watched the fights the year before and thought, “I wanna do that.” So a year later they asked me to sign up and represent my fitness company, which I did. It had become a lot more professional in that last year and the training had stepped up dramatically 3 times a week.

I remember seeing my opponent who was a New Zealand rugby player and thinking – “Shit. I have to do this. I asked for this.”

Every training session that passed I wanted to quit. I had so many internal fights where I was said -  “I don’t want to do this. I’m scared”. I literally had to hold in my words of quitting every time they asked if we wanted to give up. Because I did. Every time. Every training session before I went I didn’t want to go. But once I’d faced it and done the session I felt good. I felt pumped. That went on for 5 weeks.

Even on the day I was calm as anything as I had resided to the fact I was doing this. In front of hundreds of people, friends and colleagues. I stepped in the ring and had a boxing fight. It was horrific and it felt like it lasted for hours and my nose was broken. But I did it and I felt so elated when it was over. I just wanted to cry.

When I had my first DJ gig I blagged it completely. I had already envisioned myself playing there and I was given the gig on my own to which I was petrified! When I turned up I remember shaking as I got on the decks but I just got on with it, as this is what I wanted. I had to face that fear of fucking up in front of all these people. It was a bit of a shaky start but I was soon booked for more gigs and never looked back.

I think about the day I left Dubai and how scared I was of the unknown. The thought of having to build my own business and not have anyone else to rely on was really quite scary but also a challenge, which I enjoyed.

When you're scared you want to give up. You want to take the pressure off and you want to have an easy life. I’ve done so many projects that I wanted to give up but I pushed them through and those are the ones that I get the most from. The ones I finish! The ones I look back on with pride.

If I think about how my life would have been if I didn’t face my fears and I didn’t push myself to do things that frightened me then I would never have been where I’ve been and I would not be the person I am sitting here right now.

So the reason I’m telling you all of this is so you can see that you are the master of your own destiny. You are the only person that can face your fears and move your life forward. You are the only person that can make mistakes and chose to learn from them. You are the only one that can make those sacrifices and changes to your lifestyle to get the physical body you want.

You have the ability to envision the rest of your life, your health, your body, your job, your lifestyle, your next car, and your next holiday.

You have the ability to start something you are scared of but face those fears every day and never give up because you are aiming for the bigger picture.

If my life so far has taught me anything it is to embrace opportunity and also create it. Envision yourself ahead of the game and don’t let fear stop you doing anything!

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