It’s pretty easy to get discouraged, don’t you think? I’ve been talking to a lot of people about discouragement lately, and it seems as though it’s affecting just about everyone in one way or another.
Maybe its your health, or finances, or relationships, or work, or your kids. It could be that you’ve been looking for a job for months, and you get rejected over and over. Or you might be disappointed with someone who you wished had their stuff a bit more together. No matter what it might be for you, discouragement can really get us down, and that’s not a good place to get stuck.
I would suggest the first thing we need to do when we’re discouraged is to take a step back and really look at the situation. Are my expectations too high? Do others have it worse off than me? Who can help me move beyond my discouragement? Are there other things that I need to focus on?
Often times we expect from others or ourselves what they/we cannot give at the moment. When we put the bar too high, it’s easy to find ourselves disappointed and bitter. Remember that old expression, Rome wasn’t built in a day? I wish I could lose that extra twenty pounds I’ve gained, but I’m going to be very discouraged if I thought I could lose it in two weeks. It’s going to take time.
As for others having it worse than me, well, that’s a given. No matter what our situation, I promise you that others are suffering far more than I am. Of course, this doesn’t make it any easier, but the reality is, we are resilient.
Sometimes, just talking out our problems/issues/concerns with someone can lift us out of our discouragement. They might help us put things in perspective and gently remind us that we cannot control everything. We might just have to, as the expression goes, let go and let God.
Focusing on other things really helps me when I’m discouraged. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I teach a 5th grade religion class once a week. Being with my class for those 75 minutes is one of the highlights of my week. When I’m feeling a bit down about this or that, I start working on a lesson plan for my next session with them. This little exercise always pulls me out of my discouragement.
I’m sure you also have some things/people who can help you overcome your discouragement. If you don’t, or you feel totally stuck, you might consider speaking to a trusted friend, your pastor or doctor, or a counselor. Ask God for help.
Don’t get stuck in discouragement. Life is too short.