to win. It was as if my life depended on it. Probably it did and probably it did not. I had planned and envisioned my wishes and dreams coming to fruition. The signs were all there to indicate that I would win.
Then out of the blue, I lost. All my wishes and dreams seemingly came crashing down. Needless to say, I went through a phase of discouragement that probably ate away on my productivity. One thing we ought to realize is that discouragement is part of life, not that we should welcome it, but we should learn to deal with it.
What discouragement does to a persona can be devastating. There are aspects of one’s self-esteem and self-worth that are messed up through discouragement. And these are massively huge. It takes years, and at times, probably decades to build up self-worth.
However, a single moment of discouragement, depending on the magnitude, can mess up one’s self-esteem to the core. Once your self-esteem is messed up, your enthusiasm for life dissipates. Hope in yourself falters. Ultimately, you do not become as productive as you ought to be and probably your potential is not fully harnessed through a bout of discouragement as the trigger.
At times, discouragement causes you to project negatively in life. You tend to think that the way things are gloomy and bleak today is the same way things will be for the long foreseeable future. Nothing can be further from the truth.
As much as we need to acknowledge that discouragement at times is something that is not in our control, we also need to acknowledge that dealing with discouragement is something that is squarely in our control. We cannot be so incapacitated in all ways that we are unable to deal with discouragement at all. There are things we can always resort to that can help.
Some of these ideas might work magic immediately, some might take time, and others might give you strength to endure the discouragement other than remove it altogether. The scriptures tell us that each unique heart can’t be understood in terms of the pain that it suffers, neither can its joys be shared.
That is why different people will deal with discouragement in different ways. However, at the centre of it all, there are two things that we have to put into consideration.
This is where the power to overcome our discouragement is. We all have something that we can do, but probably what we are lacking is the strength to do it. Why? At times discouragement works on your enthusiasm and motivation that it just saps away your strength to act. But I can tell you this: To stem away the tide of discouragement from your life, this is the sure way to do it. You have to be in charge. You have to be in control, whatever it takes.
There is absolutely nothing you can do about this, but wait. The question is, how good do you wait. One will easily realize that discouragement is caused by a large share from that which is outside of our control. Delays, things done against our desire, things spoken against us and so on can result in discouragement. What I am yet to establish is the power of what is outside of our control in helping us to solve a discouragement. I do not know how that looks like, and probably it doesn’t exist.
At the centre of anything progressive that you and I would do, our state of mind is absolutely critical to its success. When discouragement comes, it directly impacts on our state of mind negatively. That’s why we have to be militant in dealing with it whenever it happens. It is not a fun thing to be discouraged, neither is it fun to deal with it.
But once we have fully conquered the discouragement, our state of mind will most definitely have changed. It will be healthier, positive, hopeful and even more resilient. It will be accommodating and at times it will be able to recognize other folk that are going through discouragement and even seek to help them.
There is no one that is exempt from this. Even the mightiest of us all will suffer discouragement. What they have learnt to do is to handle it and move on. I have discovered that the more you let discouragement linger, the more it becomes devastating.
It should be noted that discouragement can actually be a trojan horse, delivering other vices that will be detrimental to your healthy state of mind unless you deal with it decisively. When discouragement sneaks into your life, it will soon enough invite its friends: sickness, laziness, procrastination, toxicity in relationships, lack of inspiration and motivation, feelings of failure and guilt and so on.
That is why we need to learn together how we can handle this enemy of discouragement. I asked my tribe on social media how each of them handles discouragement and I got very interesting answers. I will be sharing on my findings in the next article.