bring you down? Exposure over moral failure? Lack of support for an idea you cherished so much? A loveless relationship? Being misunderstood by the people you love or those who are an essential part of your life?
Whatever the case, one way or another, a state of discouragement would be triggered. We have discussed in the previous articles how you could deal with discouragement. Those are by far not the only things you can do to deal with it, but they do work.
What we need to understand though, is that there are benefits of discouragement. Just like Napoleon Hill said that every setback comes clothed with seeds of equal or greater benefits, there are some benefits of discouragement.
Well, these benefits will not necessarily be something that you will see from the get-go or from the off. At times, you will look back at your discouragement in retrospect and realize that it was probably a good thing that would have happened to you. The following are the benefits of discouragement, at least in hindsight.
Discouragement invariably forces you to look inside. It is during adversity, as Coach John Wooden said, that a man is most acquainted with himself. Perhaps you will not have an introduction to yourself when the bread is buttered, the tea sugared, the window curtained, the smartphone loaded and the fuel tank filled.
Most people have come to terms with who they are because the trigger was that moment of discouragement. I personally discovered my purpose sometime in 2010 after a serious bout of discouragement that was brought about by a failure in a relationship. That discouragement introduced me to who I am, and that journey has never stopped.
Again, to quote Coach John Wooden, “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then”. Look at the latter part of that statement: “Being especially free of admirers”
It is amazing how many friends you will lose in your moment of discouragement. They were not friends really those who left. But you will also be amazed at how many real friends you will be gaining every moment of your discouragement. The English tell us that “A friend in need is a friend indeed”.
Discouragement will inevitably cause you to start taking a closer look at yourself. You will start to analyse your part in bringing about that fate in your life. Obviously, discouragement being a personal and intimate thing, it will cause you to start asking important questions about life.
There are two things that probably you have seldom done in life, until such a moment that you are faced with discouragement. That is asking pertinent questions about life, and also taking a thorough introspection in life to determine what really matters.
It is interesting that the propensity to ask such reflective and introspective questions about life is much greater during a discouragement than when all is well. If you took a look at your life, chances are that you were more reflective upon a discouragement than upon an achievement.
As such, one tends to look at life and aligns their priorities better after a discouragement than when all is well.
Decisions, in fact, great decisions are always made after a discouragement. These decisions are always a resolve to fortify oneself so that they can be better off after the discouragement. It turns out that the decisions made during or after a discouragement are more potent in life than those made (if any) when all was well.
By nature, we tend to want to deal with discomfort head one. We do not want it to linger. One of the ways of dealing with the discouragement is to resolve to do something that might not only help get rid of the present discouragement, but also fortify us from the future discouragements.
So when you take a look back at the moment that discouragement came to your life, you will realize that the things you decided to do then are still positively impacting your life today.
I have always wondered why our humanity always shines in moments of darkness as compared to moments of glory. Have you realized how humane you get, how accommodating you become and how you regard the plight of others when you are discouraged?
Walking the path of discouragement at times causes your heart to melt with care and compassion for others. Even when you are able to overcome the discouragement, you will no longer judge other people the same way. Humility is a great virtue that at times is delivered to us and grows on us during moments of discouragement than during moments of grandeur, peace, abundance and glory.
Even when later on we live in glory, we will still draw from our experience of discouragement, and we will realize how grateful we are right now. Our discouragement back then would have given birth to something special, being humane.
Probably there could be more benefits to discouragement than I have already alluded to, due to the fact that you will see these benefits, for the most part, later on. But I can say simply that there is nothing good or bad that is entirely wasted in life, including discouragement.