If you’ve ever attempted to do something that you hadn’t done before, chances are you may have experienced discouragement along the way, even of the point where you may have wanted to quit.
There are many reasons why we get discouraged and these may include:
- Falling short of a milestone or goal.
- Under-performing especially when we know we could have done better.
- Getting caught up with too much detail and not knowing how to proceed forward.
- Being around pessimistic or negative people.
- Feeling lonely.
- Thinking we’re not making progress.
- Experiencing a challenge, obstacle or a disaster.
Feeling discouraged is a perfectly normal human emotion however the danger with it is if you allow it to slow you down, you may give up on something that is important to you.
If you’re reading this post on my blog, it may come as a surprise that my current blog is not the first blog I’ve had. I started off with blogging when I had a Blogger blog using my business name, Focused On. I had that blog for about three years and during that time, I wasn’t posting new content regularly and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t get a lot of traction through that blog.
As I wanted to build my online presence, I thought if I changed to a better blogging platform, WordPress, then that would help me stay consistent plus I would increase my blog readership. After converting my business blog over to a WordPress blog, I started posting new content, initially once a week. After a couple of months, there was no change to the number of visitors coming to my site or the number of page views.
This left me feeling discouraged, defeated and even frustrated to the point where I completely stopped updating my blog. I went months without visiting my own site because I just didn’t like the fact that my website was a failure. I abandoned my website and spent more time on building a following on social media. For over two years, my business blog sat idle, not making the impact I wanted to.
In 2013, I started following Michael Hyatt, who wrote the book, Platform, and has built up a really large following online simply by staying consistent with his blogging and providing great content. It was very encouraging for me to hear that for the first few years of blogging, his readership was really small. It was after around five years of blogging, that he started to grow the number of visitors to his website in a big way. It was hearing his journey of struggle and persistence that got me motivated to get serious about my blogging again.
I made the decision that I would post content on my new personal blog weekly and since September 2013, I have stuck with it. And I can say that so far, twelve months later, I have stayed true to my word and have not missed a week. In that time, I have seen my monthly visitors increase steadily plus the number of subscribers to my blog increase as well. While I still have a long way to go to reach a level similar to Michael Hyatt, the main thing is I am staying consistent and am committed to continue creating good content. I look back now and think that if I had quitted, I wouldn’t have created the online presence I have plus I wouldn’t have reached the number of people I have.
Now that we have established that feeling discouraged is part of the journey, here are five ways that have helped me move past feeling discouraged, which can also support you so that you can reach those milestones that are important to you and achieve your goals.
- Acknowledge that you are feeling discouraged. Rather than trying to push away the feeling of being discouraged, acknowledge how you feel and even reflect on why you’re feeling that way. One powerful step you can take is to meditate and ask for guidance on your next step. It first starts with owning how you feel and taking responsibility for it.
- Spend time with someone who is passionate and uplifting. Sometimes all we need is just a little boost and a dose of inspiration. Being around someone inspiring or motivating can be exactly what we need. If you want to take it further, you can even ask them if they have ever felt discouraged and what did they do to get over it.
- Read through your list of successes. Having a list of successes is such a powerful tool that can be used during times of disappointment and discouragement. As you start reading your list of successes, you may start thinking, “Heck, if I have been able to achieve all that, I know I will get past this temporary feeling of being discouraged.” Having a list of more than 100 successes you’ve had in life is highly recommended.
- Do something physical or creative. Whenever we get into a rut, it is symptom of a poor flow of energy in your body. Often, taking a break from what you’re doing and doing something physical can be the trick that gets you back into the swing of things again. For those who prefer to do something creative, it could be doing something you love like cooking, drawing, painting, gardening, scrapbooking or even journalling. There are numerous things to choose from and it comes down to knowing the things that give you a boost in energy and confidence.
- Get a quick win. A quick win can be in something totally unrelated to what you have been doing that’s causing you to feel discouraged. It can be as simple as cleaning your office, clearing out your email inbox, calling a friend or family member to say hi or sending a thank you note to a client or customer. It doesn’t have to be anything big. All you want to do is to shift your focus for a short time from what you have been struggling with and get that feeling of positivity again.
Being discouraged is not something to be ashamed of nor should we pretend we’ve never felt that way. It is okay to feel that emotion however it can be dangerous if we allow that emotion to sabotage us and prevent us from doing what’s necessary to achieve the outcomes we want. These simple reminders will encourage you overcome any discouragement you may be feeling without having to do anything radical.
Question: What is another way to overcome discouragement?
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