7 Things to Remember When You Feel Discouraged

How many times do you feel discouraged in a month, week, or day? Treading through a day or days when you feel lost? Black, gray, dull colors swirling inside your mind convincing you it's not working out, things will fall down, doors will shut down, opportunities won't pull through or you don't have what it takes?

Those moments when stories of past failures and failed endeavors rush at the forefront of your consciousness, reminding you of your insecurities, of not being good enough, and that someone else is a cut above. So it's better to stay back or give up and let them do the honors.

You wanted to be somewhere, to a place called there, but you're simply nowhere near. Day in day out you put in the effort, toiling, working, building the empire of your dreams but the outcome reveals a different narrative. You feel under-appreciated. There's no increase, promotion, opportunities, or money coming your way.

How do you pick yourself up from the feeling of discouragement?

Things to Remember When You Feel Discouraged
[ photo source: here ]

Here I'm going to share with you the things that help me get back on track: The 7 Things to Remember When You're Discouraged

1. Separate your personhood from your work.

You are not what you do. You are not defined by your work but you will be known by it. Proverbs 18:16 says,

A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.
~ English Standard Version

It's not about you but what you do. This is important to remember because when your project or idea or business doesn't go the way you want it to,  it's not you who failed but what you did. 'Something' just didn't work out!

If your service or product is turned down, ignored, or shunned by others, they are not rejecting you but what you offer. So don't take it personally.

When this happens, make an inventory or solicit input on why it's not working out. Use what you've gathered to pivot you forward, to step up your game. Work to rectify that area. You'll never know, perhaps the discouragement you went through is a feedback loop informing you this area needs improvement.

Constantly take steps, no matter how small it may be, to polish your skill or improve your system.

2. Remind Yourself of Your Past Wins

It doesn't have to be world-changing. These could be the small acts you've pulled off successfully.

Here's an example. The fact that you show up every day to do the necessary work is already a cause for celebration. Another is your accomplishment of daily tasks. Or hitting mini-goals.

Add them to your positivity jar to help remind you of your small triumphs. They are evidence of your hard work, of yesterday's successes, that you did a job well done. Learn to celebrate that!

3. The Process Itself is the Reward

Of course, we all want to get there, to a dream place we set our eyes on one day will come to pass. If only it happens in an instant, then I will be happy. Uhm...

If you're not happy where you are now, what makes you think you'll be happy when you get there and you found out the destination is only a mirage? You'll lose out!

Be happy with what you have, while in pursuit of what you want.
~ Jim Rohn

Embrace the journey. Enjoy it! Remember #2. Here's a quote from Dan Brown in one of his Masterclass sessions,

Protect the process and the results will take care of itself.

We can't determine outcomes, but we can direct our effort. Do what you must!

Whenever you put in the necessary work, you're making headway. You're learning and becoming better and better than yesterday. Your growth, your progress is itself the reward.

4. Fortify your Inner World

Other than working hard on your dreams, you also have to fortify your inner world. It should match or if possible be even greater than the work you do outside. Why? Because if the business fails, the project crumbles, or the opportunity didn't pull through, your inner world won't go down the drain along with it.

If it's the other way around, if the endeavor achieves success, then your ego won't blow up and destroy the other areas in your life e.g. family life, marriage, etc. as we've seen over and over in the media.

I can vouch how working on my inner self help me bounce back from feeling despondent on many occasions. When the old self (old thought patterns) remind me of my failures and why I can't; the voice of victory, courage, fearlessness, motivates me to keep moving forward despite what I feel.

Strengthen your inner self, doing so will help you overcome even the harshest battles life throws at you.

5. Unload the Negativity

Share it with someone you trust. Seek advice to gain a different perspective. Whenever I feel discouraged, I share it with my husband. Many times, he helped me look at the situation from a different light.

Like one time, I told him it's getting pointless, I'm only wasting my time. He said something like,

"Even if the project fails, you've made an investment in your self. Time use is not time wasted. You're becoming! You're growing!"

Other days, I journal or release the negativity by working out. Only you know what your strategies are to unload those unhealthy thought patterns.

6. Detox those 'If Only's..."

Many of us feel discouraged because of insecurities, limitations, or labels we accept as our own. Who do I think I am. I'm too old. I'm not as pretty as this person or talented or smart. My family thinks I can't do this, or this friend or that. If only...

Guess what? You don't need someone's looks, family, or money to fulfill your destiny. Nobody will be as interested and invested in living your life but you. So just live authentically and be accepted as the real you. Else it'll all be a house of cards and nobody wants that!

Prove to yourself that you can do more than the box others categorize you in, including the ones you pigeonhole yourself into. Step out anyway! Focus on what 'you can do' rather than wasting time and resources on what you cant.

I love this excerpt from Andrew Wommack in his book How To Become A Water Walker,

So what happens if I shoot at the stars but only hit the moon? Some people would see that as a failure but I look at it as still being better than staying earthbound.
We’re so scared of what other people say about us. Yet, I think the people who are the biggest failures are those who do nothing.

7. You're Are Not in Competition With Others But Yourself

One-upping others is vanity. There will always be someone better than you. It's a never-ending struggle. Why not instead of outdoing someone else, you outdo yourself? That way, you'll receive far more support from others competing against yourself than outclassing one another.

Self-evaluate. Ask questions like, "Am I becoming better than who I am yesterday? Why am I not seeing the results that I want? What steps have taken so far and why isn't it working? What can I do to improve on that?

Also, it's important to remember your why: why are you doing the things you do? Is it to impress others for its shock value, milk on others, or to add value? If you don't know what your purpose is yet, I suggest you go on a journey to self-discovery to find it out.

I love this quote from John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward,

So long as your doing what you're supposed to do, being labeled a success or failure by others shouldn't really matter.


Feeling discouraged is a normal part of existence. It happens to us from time to time. But you don't have to feel stuck. Learn to bounce back and move ahead.

If you feel discouraged today, why not practice The 7 Things to Remember When You're Discouraged and see if it helps you shift your perspective on how you feel just like it did on me.

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