How to Battle Discouragement

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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)

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Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media and the founder of Write Right. She's a copywriter, editor, poet, and artist. You can find Erin on .

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32 comments
magriebler
magriebler

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

ExtremelyAvg
ExtremelyAvg

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.

Latest blog post: The Race is On

geoffliving
geoffliving

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.

rdopping
rdopping

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.

KDillabough
KDillabough

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

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@magriebler You're welcome! I'm glad that a post about discouragement has offered some encouragement.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@timbo1973 Has the third thing happened yet?

Here's to staying strong and fighting the good fight.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@geoffliving Faith is such an important part of making it through the challenging times. It's an anchor.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@Josh/ http://joshuawilner.com/ Hey! No stealing ideas. ;)

I, too, think of LOTR. I usually hear Galadriel saying something about having a light in the darkness. Your point is true, too. Everyone in the Fellowship had the opportunity to turn back, but they didn't. They believed in what they were pursuing, even if they knew that pursuit might lead to death. They understood the bigger picture and their role in it.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@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.
Erin F. moderator

@KDillabough Yes, indeed. All those ideas are in play with a project I'm trying to start this month. :)

lauraclick
lauraclick

@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!

magriebler
magriebler

@Erin F. Ironic, isn't it? But it's the nature of the beast. The best cure for discouragement is knowing it's just part of the human condition. We have SO much company. And it's oddly cheering.

KDillabough
KDillabough

@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 :)

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@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.

magriebler
magriebler

@KDillabough I will! It's been great fun discovering all of you. It started when I stumbled across Spin Sucks a few months ago. Who knows where it will take me? To more super-women, I hope.

Erin F.
Erin F. moderator

@magriebler So it is. 

I've long believed that my writing isn't for me alone. It's meant to help people through their own dark days. When my writing does that, it's doing what it's meant to do.

KDillabough
KDillabough

@magriebler I knew I'd "met you" before Marianne...both here and over at Bill's place! Thanks for dropping by my blogsite. Hope you'll continue to do so:)

KDillabough
KDillabough

@Erin F. @KDillabough @rdopping Smores! And be sure to drop by my blog tomorrow (Monday) because it's "vote on #TeamBlogJack" logo day. @rdopping I put only your 8ball in the post because it received the most votes, but I've linked to your blog post if people want to view the others as well:)

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