How to Battle Discouragement

Even queens feel discouraged at times.Battling discouragement never is easy or pretty. Discouragement can do a number on a person. The people who emerge from a battle with discouragement never escape unscathed. They have to repair their armor. They have to dress their wounds. They have to heal. They then have to prepare for the next round of discouragement. They may be free from discouragement for a time, but, if they don’t prepare themselves, they will be caught unaware when discouragement next catches them. They may not be able to respond as they should if they aren’t prepared for the eventuality of battle.

It can be difficult to prepare; the battles aren’t always the same. The terrain changes. It can be as simple as having someone unsubscribe from an e-letter or as difficult as trying to rejoice in another’s success when one’s own path seems to be headed nowhere. It can be the result of being in the wrong relationship. It can come from the workplace, perhaps one of the more difficult terrains as it’s pervasive, and it can follow one home. It can be due to failing a board exam. It can arise from people questioning what one is doing. It can find its source in people who criticize to be critical, people who “poke holes” for the sake of poking them.

How do people battle through those situations? They battle as best they can. They learn to rejoice in small things: a text from a friend, a response to an e-letter, a comment on a Facebook status update. They encourage other people who are struggling. They remember they are not alone even when they feel alone. They treasure their friends. They share their struggles with someone. They keep moving, even when all they want to do is hide from the world. They trust they are doing the right thing. They remember when the call was certain, and they allow that call to guide them, not their feelings, not their discouragement.

Photo: Gabriela Camerotti (CC BY NC 2.0)

Comments

  1. Rejoicing in the small things is an excellent way to maintain perspective, during tough times and any time. An “doing for others” when we’re feeling down in the dumps can also lift our spirits. It’s important to ask for help when we need it, and know that, in the valleys of life, “this too shall pass”. Cheers! Kaarina

    • KDillabough And, it never hurts to let friends know you need a pick-me-up. It’s hard to ask for help, but it can make all the difference.
      Great points, Kaarina!

      • lauraclick KDillabough Asking for help is such an important thing. I’m better about it than I used to be. I just find myself struggling with the sense that I’m complaining or being awfully self-centered.

    • KDillabough Yes, indeed. All those ideas are in play with a project I’m trying to start this month. 🙂

  2. Well that was said with a ton of feeling. Bravo! It’s tough to develop a thick skin and remain friendly and thoughtful of others. At some point we have to open yourself up to let other people in. I agree, celebrate your successes no matter their scale or importance to you. It’s likely the best way to keep moving in a forward direction. Cheers Erin.

    • rdopping I once wrote about the comparison trap for Lori Gosselin’s site. I may have to revisit the topic here.
      I do think one of the best ways to beat discouragement is to encourage others. At the same time, though, you can’t give and give and give. You’ll have nothing left. You have to have people pouring into you so that you can pour out and into others.

      • Erin F. rdopping Wise words Erin. I’ve had a lot pouring out of me lately, so I’ve taken some time to hunker down, “retreat” and regroup. Recharging my own batteries:) Humour helps (as you well know, my badge-buddy, gauntlet gal, Turabbit pal, #TeamBlogJack Cricket Herder artist 🙂

  3. Sometimes I refer to LOR as inspiration for beating discouragement. The breaking of the Fellowship didn’t stop the various players from fighting through their hard moments, so I always figure I can too.

  4. I think for me, I muscle through on faith. Faith that my idea is not half baked, that it will produce a result, and that in the end, my friends will agree. Faith gives me the courage to act when my friends don’t follow or believe.

  5. I don’t feel discouraged often, but when I do, I like to battle it with snack foods and napping. This has always worked for me.

  6. timbo1973 Has the third thing happened yet?
    Here’s to staying strong and fighting the good fight.

  7. magriebler says:

    Sometimes all it takes is reading a blog post to help a discouraged person feel a bit perkier. Thank you. 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] often write about discouragement, so it’s only fitting that I write about encouragement. At least, I’ll share how I […]

  2. […] few weeks ago, I asked how people combat discouragement and stay the course. One commenter made a statement about having faith despite the naysayers and […]

  3. […] lose. As I said, self-doubt is a cruel master, and it has many battalions with which to wage war: discouragement, negativity, frustration, depression. It uses those battalions against me. The enemy knows my […]

  4. […] such a dreaded drink? Discouragement, in and of itself, can lead to a downward spiral. It can produce frustration and anger and worry. It can result in an exhaustion that is felt not […]

  5. […] When those things happen, you have one of three choices to make: you can have a pity party; you can choose to be cheerful; or you can rejoice in the successes of others. The first is to be dismissed entirely. It does you no good, and it does the thing you’re trying to build no good. You will get stuck inside your head. You will descend into dark thoughts. […]

  6. […] When you set out on a journey from there to here, you find yourself beset with obstacles. Those obstacles may be external – a terrible job or no job, for instance – but, more often than not, they are internal. They are found as you encounter various difficulties and find yourself discouraged, disconsolate, lost. […]

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