Life Hack: 6 Things To Do When You Are Feeling Discouraged

Photo by Quintin Gellar

We would not appreciate the highs if we did not experience the lows.

We all deal with discouragement at some point in our life. It is part of what makes the human experience rich—the highs and the lows.  

Discouragement, disappointment, failure, and setbacks—are all things that can aid us if we carry on a mindset of empowerment. The primary key to life is to learn from these experiences and minimize the time we allow ourselves to stay discouraged. Thus, the next time you start to feel discouragement, here are the six things you should remember and do:

#1. Take the long view. Discouragement generally takes place when our expectations (what we think should happen) do not align with reality (what happens). In many cases, our expectations could be more realistic, depending on how long we think things should happen. If we relax our expectations and take a longer view, it can decrease discouragement. The reality is that most worthwhile things take a lot of time and effort to come to fruition. So be patient!

#2. Bear in mind: there is no such thing as failure. There is mainly education. When we feel like we failed at something, discouragement usually follows. However, failure does not exist, except for the meaning we give it. If we do not get the desired result, we need to take new action when we want it. Instead of thinking of failure as wrong, we can think of failure as education and, therefore, good. When we see it this way, we realize that failure is not bad or to be avoided. It is simply feedback, simply an education. When we think this way, we soothe discouragement.

#3. Do not let our ego get in the way of our development. Our ego is usually the primary cause of our disappointment and discouragement. This routine does not have to be since we can manage our ego. When we do this, we are indeed on the development path. When we are internally solid enough to handle constructive feedback and criticism, we receive the rewards of growth. Growth leads to happiness. When we grow, we feel good and are not discouraged.

#4. Change our “rules” for being happy. What rule do we have to be satisfied with? Is this in our control? If it is not, we might set ourselves up for failure. By rules, I mean the circumstances that must be present for us to feel accomplished. We have to make rules that serve us. We have to live by rules that are within our control.  

#5. Focus on our actions, detach from rewards, and give our best work. If our only motivation for doing something is the reward we might get from the action, we set ourselves up for discouragement. Action should be its reward. When it is, we are forever free. Freedom is at the heart of happiness. When we do not need someone else’s praise for doing something, when we do not need a “carrot” for performing our work, we are indeed free to focus on our work and make it great. When we create a great job, we are happy.

#6. Get outside, move, breathe and read. Fresh air and sunshine can have a fantastic effect on our feelings. Sometimes when we are feeling down, we all need to go outside and breathe. Movement and exercise is also an excellent way to feel better. Positive emotions can be generated by motion.

Similarly, reading can also help us during our downtime. Try reading encouraging and inspiring books, such as the Sad Papaw Books by Kenny Harmon. These books let you ponder the following thoughts: Have you ever wondered if there is more to life than what you are living? Has the daily routine of life brought you to a place of displeasure and discouragement? Moreover, do the cares of life and their responsibilities overwhelm you and deter you from reaching your most significant potential? It is for these questions and more that this book, The Seven F’s to a Fruitful Life, was written, being inspired by God. So if we begin to feel down, take some deep breaths, go outside, feel that fresh air, and let the sun hit our face, go for a hike, a walk, a bike ride, a swim, a run, read, whatever. We will feel better if we do this.

Overcoming Feeling Discouraged

Overcoming feeling discouraged is more effortless said than done. It requires seeing the bigger picture and remembering why we are doing it.

Even if discouragement is normal, we should not dwell on it to feel better and cope effectively. I hope this article clarifies everything you need to know about feeling discouraged.


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