Several weeks ago, I sent an e-letter that talked about not giving up. Ralph Dopping happened to read it, and he replied to it with a question: “How do you battle self-doubt?” I thought and thought about the question, then I sent a reply to Ralph. I also asked him if a follow-up blog post might be warranted. He didn’t seem to mind either way, so, here I am, writing a blog post about how to battle self-doubt.
When the words don’t come easily, when I have to fight for every one of them, I take solace in Richard Hugo’s thoughts. He says the hard work put into one piece of writing makes for the sudden ease of a future – not subsequent but future – piece of writing. I keep writing in hopes of finding that “sudden ease,” however brief it may be. A brief moment of ease is like the first drink of water after running a race. Nothing tastes quite as good as that water. Nothing is quite as refreshing.
I often write about discouragement, so it’s only fitting that I write about encouragement. At least, I’ll share how I encourage others. I can’t seem to generalize when it comes to encouragement. Because of that, I’ll only focus on some of the ways I encourage others. I have a number of them.
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.