On Discouragement…

Moments of despair, sadness, or a lack of confidence can often times leave us disheartened.  After that, the internal mind-games begin, and if you aren’t careful, a downward spiral can begin to unravel our sense of worth.  It’s easy to then begin blaming yourself for the current state of affairs and begin to feel like a complete failure.

Questions will assuredly follow: “What if I had…?”  It is easy to become overwhelmed with the sound of, ‘I blew it’ playing over and over in our head.

There is a bigger picture to your life than what is immediately in front of you.  Even when things are going well… and it is especially important to remember this when life is down in the dumps.  If discouragement is not dealt with, the natural slide is one that leads to depression.  We must be taught to deal with discouragement before the bottom drops out.

The circumstances that lead to discouragement take many shapes, including but not limited to:

  • Carrying the weigh of one’s worries, cares, and fears all alone.
  • Events that our out of one’s control.
  • Circumstances that were handled poorly.
  • Current or past failures that creep in on how one sees their future unfolding.

It is important at the onset of feelings of discouragement to stop and ask a few questions:

  • What is happening right now that is making you feel discouraged?
  • Are these events out of your control?
  • What are three adjectives you would use to describe yourself right now?
  • How do you think that other people see you right now?
  • How are you handling your discouragement?
  • Does the plan you have for your life seem off-track now?
  • Are you able to cast a vision for your life 3 to 5 years from now?
  • Is failure in this area of your life an option right now?
  • Are you able to envision yourself succeeding again in any area of your life?

Feelings of discouragement need to trigger a ‘pause’ moment in your life.  A time to take inventory of where you are at, and where you could possibly be going now that an area seems to have reached a ‘dead end’.  As part of this emotional, psychological and physical inventory, you will need to draw into account previous times when you reached a ‘dead end’ and to remember how things ironed out for you.  It is important to have this perspective, because  you will need to remember that all thing, good and bad, do come to a pass… and life will continue on to brighter days.

Life gets ‘out of control’.

Every discouragement in your journey is an opportunity to grow and rediscover the person you were created to be.  This moment is not the end.  Feelings of discouragement are a natural part of being human, and nobody is beyond its grasp… but none of us need to be overtaken by its grip.  And when this moment passes, you can rest assured that in the future, there will be these moments again.

So… be realistic.  Understand that every mornings darkness is broken by the dawn of a new day.  The more positive events of the future are just as much out of your control as as the dark days you are in now.  Take this moment to rethink your goals and seek out new opportunities to grow.  Stop playing the ‘what if I had done something different’ game, and move forward into your new life.  When low feelings begin to weigh you down, acknowledge them, and talk through it with someone… then move on.  Write down your thoughts and feelings as a way to get them from just being internally processed and then revisit them a few months later.  Pay attention to where you have been in relationship to where you are now.

Most importantly… live in anticipation… be ready for new doors to open… new plans in your future… new confidences in yourself and in life around you.

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