Have you ever had days—or even seasons—when you’re getting sucker-punched by life? Those times when all your friends look at you and think, “Dang, at least I don’t have it that bad”??? Those are times when discouragement can sneak in and crack your confidence—ain’t no one got time for that! Here’s how to deal with discouragement…and win!
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It could be that your car blew up and you got fired, or you racked up another rejection and your taxes are getting audited. It could be that the sink is leaky, and even though it seems like something insignificant, it’s just one more thing you didn’t need. It could even be the fact that you’re a mom and the routines and ruts of life leave you feeling stressed out and stuck.
But it doesn’t have to end there. Discouragement doesn’t have to end in defeat, because we were designed for something bigger and better, and we’d better not stop until we get there.
Of course, knowing the truth is one thing, experiencing it is another.
Because I’m a take-action kind of person, it’s in my nature to Do Something rather than waiting for the so-called tide to turn on its own. I’ve had my seasons where I hand out invitations to my pity party, then sulk when no one comes—but gentle reminders from God and loved ones pull me up and get me going.
And that’s what I want to do for you, because when you’re in the middle of a battle, it might be hard to think of these things on your own.
How to Deal With Discouragement:
Step Back and Get Your Bearings
Don’t panic! (I’m really good at panicking, so I need to remind myself to knock it off.) Step away from the situation and try to get some clarity. Things are often not as bad as they seem, if only you can take a few deep breaths and relax.
Assess the Situation
Is the discouragement due to a singular incident, or is it from a long-term source? Has it been building up, or did it land on you all at once? Identify the source. Once you know the root cause, you might find an easy fix, or you might have to continue to press through the situation.
Take Time to Refresh
Depending on what’s causing the discouragement, you might be able to do something easy, like take a walk or take a nap. If it’s a long-term issue or situation, now is a good time to check your health and make sure you’re sleeping enough, eating healthy foods and getting some exercise. If you’re like me, this is a good time to pray. (Well, it’s ALWAYS a good time to pray!) Seek answers and try to be content with where you are until you can take appropriate action.
There are times when dealing with discouragement can be as simple as taking a bath or engaging in a little self care. Simple solutions are a great first step!
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If you’re DIScouraged, it’s time to be proactive and get ENcouraged. Do something fun, or something you’re good at. Maybe cut out social media and surround yourself with the people you care about in real life, who know your situation in full. Engage in activities that have NOTHING to do with whatever it is that has you down.
Make a Game Plan
Once you have some clarity and perspective, when you’re well rested and fresh, determine what adjustments you need to make. Do you need a job change, a change in your relationships or maybe a different routine? Is it time to go a different direction? What steps can you take to impact your situation? After all, we’re not helpless. We all have choices.
It looks so easy-peasy when it’s written out like this, and I know from heaps of personal experience that it’s a lot harder when you’ve just been ambushed. But you can take steps that make a difference, and life will not always be this difficult.
Remember that the bigger your purpose, the bigger the battle. By staying the course and gaining clarity, you can overcome and live life to the fullest!