- Family and Parenting
Overcome Discouragement with Resolve
What do you do when you are discouraged?
Things do not always work out the way that we think they will. We plan and prepare, work and sweat, and something happens to throw us off course. Things change, people move in and out of our realm of influence, or someone's actions leave us wondering who is really in charge. It is at times like these that it would be easy to just give up and give in, to let life go on by. We just don't have the strength to pick up and move on.
Family life is especially vulnerable. Parents work hard, putting in long hours to provide a living for the family, taking care of their children, and keeping chores done in the home. They may feel unappreciated, even unloved, especially when others say and do things that appear to be insensitive. Life with its many demands leaves us with little time to see the affect our actions have on those we love the most.
Discouragement comes when we are at our weakest moments, when our self-esteem is in question, and our physical strength has been spent. Expectations may not have been met, feelings left unresolved, and dreams unfulfilled. It comes when there is still month left at the end of the money; when loved ones have made choices we do not condone, and when, in spite of our best efforts, things are just not working out the way we had hoped.
Everyone experiences these moments, yet some are more able to overcome them than others. How is it possible? Is there a magic formula that allows a person to just go forward, in spite of these things? Not really, but there are things that we can do. Successful people and families use resolve to overcome their discouragement. Read on to find out how you can, too!
The sources of our discouragement are as varied as we are from one another, yet they all have one thing in common, they leave us feeling vulnerable.
Sources of Discouragement
Core Values in Question
Ability to provide for our own
Sense of belonging and acceptance
Source of inspiration and motivation
Health and strength
Problem solving capacity
The thing that makes discouragement difficult is that it comes when we are at our lowest. Our self-esteem is on the rocks because our core values are not being validated. We want our family's needs to be met, therefore we work at our jobs and careers with that objective in mind. When there is a financial setback, we don't know how our family's needs will be met, therefore, are own feelings of self-worth are being challenged.
Relationship issues strike the hardest. When there is unresolved conflict or communication is hampered, we begin to wonder if we are really loved and accepted. Our desire for a sense of belonging is not being met due to the conflict that clouds the communication channels. Our eyes become blind to the good, and criticism takes over.
Inspiration and motivation are lost when we experience spiritual drought. We feel that the heavens are closed, and there is no place to go for the assurance that we are worthwhile and loved. The scriptures become mere words rather than healing water to our parched souls.
When we and those we love have physical ailments, our time and energy are focused on helping them get well. When short term illness turns into chronic issues or long-term disabilities, our health and strength become taxed as we put forth continued effort without reprieve.
Limited resources affect our ability to solve the problems that plague our lives. When we don't have the knowledge, skills, time, and money to get the help we need, what can we do? Life becomes a series of never-ending crises and we have to rely on others. Then we feel less than worthy because we know that we should be standing on our own.
These issues become sources of discouragement as we loose our sense of security about the future. We aren't sure what is going to happen, and the things we did in the past aren't working any more. We don't see a way for our goals to be accomplished, therefore, we begin to question our ability to go on.
- You can't!
- You are not good enough!
- You'll never make it!
- It is just too hard.
- This is taking way too long.
- What is the use?
- Why even try?
- No one seems to care anyway.
When discouragement sets in, the ability to move forward slows down. Little things become big things, misunderstandings increase, and anger flares. The fear of not being able to resolve the situation is strong, and family members become uneasy. We ask ourselves:
What is happening? Are we doing something wrong? Do we need to change our direction? Is it possible to get back on track?
"Life moves in one direction only - and each day we are faced with an actual set of circumstances, not with what might have been,not with what we might have done, but with what is, and with where we are now - and from this point we must proceed: not from where we were, not from where we wish we were - but from where we are."
- Richard L. Evans* -
In order to break the stale-mate, we have to do something. Discouragement hurts. Staying in it means giving up and giving in, allowing the negative to get worse. Unfortunately, discouragement becomes despondency, and then depression, with its accompanying hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness.
- I'm not going to quit.
- I can do this!
- I will make it!
- Things will get better!
- We can figure this out.
- There is a way!
Step 1: Decide to go forward
Congratulations! This is resolve. We have made the decision to go forward in spite of the situation and have found the strength to move on. Yes, it is an uphill battle, but that is okay. Getting out of the pit of despair is worth it! Despair is not a pleasant place to be, and others usually don't want to come there to join us!
Step 2: Recognize temporary setbacks
Resolve allows us to see the situation differently. Although things are difficult, they are not impossible.Temporary setbacks are just that, temporary. They are things that happen in the business of life that derail our efforts to make life good for us and our families. They may have to do with changes in employment, accidents that injure us or someone we love, or businesses that go under, requiring us to find services elsewhere. The common denominator is that additional time is required to meet our goals.
Step 3: Turn obstacles into stepping stones
Obstacles are things that get in the way that have to be figured out and dealt with. Opposition is part of our existence, and when something happens that seems to be in the way of us reaching our goals, it simply means that we need to get stronger, smarter, or better. Problems can be solved. They require planning and preparation, and these are necessary parts of life. The great part is, we become better people because of them!
Set 4: Rework goals and objectives
Goals and objectives can be changed, they are not set in stone. We do not have to abandon them simply because something didn't work out the way we wanted. Life does not necessarily happen in the order that we think that it should. Adopting an attitude of flexibility allows us to adjust as changes happen. That way, we can still become and do, but perhaps in a different way that we originally anticipated. Fortunately for us, there are powers beyond our own that are in force in the universe, and what happens is usually for the best.
"Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us."
- Voltaire* -
Sources of Discouragement
Acquire new skills and look for opportunities
Seek understanding, common interests, and goals to work on together,
Humble yourself and repent, if necessary
Eat right, rest, and exercise
Go back to the basics, find role models
"The business of life is to go forward."
- Samuel Johnson* -
As we go forward, our resolve increases, as well as the ability to deal with life's disappointments. We find that we have more strength than we originally thought. The action of going forward increases that strength, and gives us the initiative to do what it takes to get back on track.
Life is a series of lessons. The sooner we learn them and incorporate that learning into our everyday existence, the sooner we will find peace and happiness. Take the time now. Overcome discouragement with resolve, for your emotional health!
*Quotes in this hub are from "The Richard L. Evans Quote Book," copyright 1971, Publishers Press, Salt Lake City, Utah.