by Paul Casey

How to Overcome Discouragement

Feeling glum? In a funk? Bummed out? Disappointed? It’s not like you, and you surely don’t want to stay in that emotional state for too long. Try some of these actions to pull out of it.

  1. Come to grips with how you got here. Self-explore (or use an insightful friend/counselor) to determine both the circumstances (fairly obvious) and the self-talk (much deeper) that produced this internal funk. The longer it takes to do this introspection, the longer the discouragement will last. A problem never named cannot be solved.
  2. Ease up on yourself. Your internal critic is probably working overtime on how bad your life is and how hopeless any attempts at overcoming these obstacles will be (which keeps you stuck if you listen to these voices!). Gently allow yourself to experience the emotions (not denying them and pushing blindly onward) without allowing them to shut down your life and vitality. Slow your pace without checking out on your life and relationships.  Begin replacing affirmations for all that negativity. Post this message: “This too shall pass.”
  3. Shift your focus to gratitude. What you are experiencing isn’t the whole story: it’s just your current focus that is starting to overwhelm you with negative emotions. Instead, begin to count your blessings, naming/writing what IS going well and what you are thankful for (that you might be taking for granted). Gratitude leads to joy.
  4. Amp up your self-care. Exercise is one of the best conquerors of discouragement because of its benefits to the human body. The pull is toward couch-potato, which means you’ll have to push yourself (or find a buddy to push you) to get moving. What else fills your emotional tank? (spa treatment; time in nature; reading a novel; fishing) Do it!  From a healthier foundation, you can get emotional traction forward.
  5. Run toward healthy relationships. Our default in emotional pain is to isolate, but it is true community that will help you emerge from this fog. Who can you hang out with, that loves you for who you are and will just “be with” you and remind you of your value–as well as help you have fun again?  Take the initiative and reach out.
  6. Help someone else. You can blast away too much myopia by prioritizing some time making someone else’s day. Whether this be volunteering your time, giving a thoughtful gift, or otherwise meeting an observable need, your desire to pull someone else higher will boomerang back onto your mood as well.

Feeling better already? Well, it takes time to move through the problem. And by this time next week, you will already be in a better place emotionally.

Have you liked Growing Forward Services on Facebook yet, or reached out to connect with Paul D. Casey on LinkedIn or Youtube? Today’s the day to make it happen so that you don’t go too long without a regular dose of personal inspiration!


4 minutes a month to ask yourself questions, see others giving back, and be inspired to grow a little bit more everyday. Directly in your inbox.