Summer shares her lessons on how to stay focused on your goals when you feel like giving up.

Before finding out that I was pregnant, I had dreams. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to be successful. I wanted a career. Then at 15 I got pregnant by a guy I didn’t know and was soon a single, teenage mother. If you have found yourself in the same situation, you may feel like giving up. Don’t give up because your dreams are there for a reason. Despite the setbacks and unexpected struggles, I didn’t give up and my dreams came true. I graduated from college with honors and went on to have a successful career. Don’t let a lifetime go by without going after your dreams.

When you feel like giving up, remember someone else has done it before or lived through a similar experience before you. You can find and seek mentorship from someone like that to teach, encourage, guide and instruct you. While your family can often guide you, seek a mentor outside your immediate circle. I did this with my son and he benefited from having someone outside of me to look up to. So, seek a mentor then pay it forward by becoming a mentor.

Perseverance pays. See your dream to the end when you feel like giving up.  How many things have you started and quit? It was hard to work 60-80 hours a week and go to grad school. I had no family to help with babysitting. But now more than 15 years after graduating with my Master, all the late nights, constant tiredness and lack of a social life are now a blip on the radar. I’ve reaped the benefits many times over since that time. That’s why I encourage you to keep going. Push yourself to get through it to the end.

After several unsuccessful relationships, I had given up on finding someone to be there for both my son and me. Relationships become more complicated when you add on the single mother element. While I was excited to get into a new life, things didn’t always happen as quickly. But all relationships have challenges. I had to learn to be patient in every aspect of my life. If you feel like giving up, focus on becoming a better person. It will happen in due time if it’s in line with the word of God. When I least expected it, I met someone who showed me how to love and to trust again.