You’re trying your best to continue standing firm.
But you notice yourself falling instead.
You feel you’re not progressing.
You feel discouraged and defeated.
And, you’re struggling to keep pushing forward because of exhaustion and tiredness.
Give Up or Don’t Give Up
The easiest option available to you right now is this: giving up. You’re tempted to escape and “throw in the towel.”
However, though times are tough, I encourage you not to give up. Don’t give power to defeat in your life.
You must continue to move onward courageously – even when you fall down.
Get back up. Persevere.
I’ve recently had to offer this advice to myself.
Last week, I was tempted to “feel down” about my circumstances and gave in to this feeling. I fell to the ground in this fight.
You see it’s hard not to become discouraged when you’re doing things but seeing little to no progress. It’s also hard not to become discouraged when experiencing what seems like a “never ending” life challenge.
However, I chose not stay down – fostering discouraging thoughts – but get back up. I chose to keep it moving because defeat was lurking around the corner ready to take over the fight.
Though discouraged, I refused to accept defeat. I’ll admit it took everything within me to fight against this natural response.
But I knew I had to overcome this discouragement – yet again.
Side Tracking Moment: In a previous article, One of those “Blue” Days: Fighting Discouragement, I discussed the importance of mentally refocusing when discouraged. Discouraging thoughts can change your mood and affect your whole day – if you allow it too.
Back on Track: When experiencing challenging life transitions, you face an ongoing fight between moving onward by faith and giving up.
Moving Forward When Feeling Discouraged – and/or Defeated
But I say to you: refuse to be defeated. Always get back up when you fall to discouragement and continue to move onward in the following 5 ways (based on how I moved past discouragement):
1. Pray. I must include this one.
When you feel down, one of the best things you can do to move onward is pray. Release your discouragement through prayer.
Look up to Jesus for help and strength to get through your challenges. Pray and observe the change in your attitude.
2. Separate Your Identity from “Things” – You Aren’t Them.
When you define yourself by these things, you see yourself negatively during tough times. You hear negative whispers about yourself: worthless, failure, and loser and are susceptible to them.
When feeling discouraged and defeated, you must pay attention to these whispers. Negative whispers only feed your discouragement, and you believe them.
Recognize and replace them with positive truths, which never change.
Don’t tie your identity and self-worth to your circumstances. Kick the negative self-talk as it doesn’t reflect who you are.
Listen to the uplifting voice instead.
3. Don’t Give These Feelings Power by Giving In – Permanently.
Though you experience discouragement – and possibly defeat – don’t allow it to define and weigh you down.
Grieve when you feel bad. But, move forward from there – looking forward to better days.
Choose not to give these feelings power because you’ll resort to giving up if you do. Living by faith as opposed to feelings is important.
4. Stay on Guard Against a Negative Focus. If you’re focused on the negatives (see #2 above), you’ll never see the positives in your situation. Instead of focusing on negativity, seek out the good and be grateful.
Though you’re experiencing tough times, there are good things in your life to which you can celebrate daily.
Off the top of your head, what are 4 good things you can be grateful for today?
Off the top of my head, I’ll say: life, health, family, and shelter. I’m thankful.
Upon identifying your 4 things, give thanks.
5. Remember to Regroup – Daily. You need energy to get through this fight. So, daily, you should pick yourself up by regrouping.
Step away from everything you’re experiencing and do something you enjoy. (Note: don’t forget to trash your guilt about stepping away.)
Take a break.
Chill – with the phone, TV, and laptop off.
Relax – and watch a movie or video – or 2.
Read – and mediate on your study.
Your well-being will thank you for it!
Discouraged but Not Defeated
From Me to You: When you feel discouraged, don’t let it give way to defeat. Even when it gives way to defeat, you must fight!
Seek out encouragement from the Great Encourager, encouraging friends/family, and continue moving forward – with hope.
Keep this in mind: though you’re down, you’re not out. Hang in there!
P. S. How do you motivate yourself when feeling discouraged and defeated? Please share your thoughts below.