get discouraged. When I do, it's a very powerful
feeling. I feel as if my enthusiasm, my drive,
my energy, my optimism all have left me. I feel
that all that I've worked for--whatever it might
be--has been for naught, and that things just don't
make sense. After all, I've tried and I've tried
to do what is right and what I'm supposed to do, yet
the results still haven't been what I feel they should
discouraging that I can't find an agent or a publisher
for my novels. It's discouraging that I earn
less than half the pay at my current job that I would
be earning elsewhere under the exact same
circumstances. It's discouraging that people
still judge and criticize each other when we really
should be looking at ourselves and practicing the
ideal of "live and let live."
find that as time goes on, discouragement becomes more
fleeting. It's not something that ever has
lasted a very long time for me, but it lasts an even
shorter amount of time nowadays, for I recognize that
my discouragement is my reaction. I used to
think that other people could discourage me, but now I
realize that that's simply not true. Other
people always can and will do as they wish, even with
me as their target if they so choose, but my feelings
are tied up in my reactions to them. My novels
may never sell, but my feelings about that depend on
how I react to that truth (while it still is the
truth, at least).
like the word "discourage"--it implies a
stealing away of courage, a loss of courage.
It's even more interesting when you look at it as part
of the group of "dis-" words, like dismay,
disrespect, disillusioned, or discombobulated.
They're fascinating words. But in the case of
discourage, we have to ask ourselves--do we ever
really lose our courage, or is it just pushed down by
something else for a while? When I'm standing at
the edge of a tall cliff and my fear of heights kicks
in, that doesn't mean that I'm no longer a courageous
person. It simply means that at that moment, my
fear of heights is stronger than my courage, which I
always can feel trying to overcome that fear of
heights (though it never seems to succeed!).
when I'm discouraged, I have to ask myself:
Which feeling or emotion is overwhelming my courage
right now? How would I be thinking and what
would I be doing if this feeling weren't so strong
right now? Is it a feeling of having been
betrayed? Is it a feeling of uselessness or of
failure? Is it the feeling that I'll never do
anything right? There are many different
feelings that can lessen my courage and make me feel
weaker than I truly am.
have to remember that, though: They make me feel
weaker than I truly am.
visits all of us from time to time. We all get
the feeling that no matter what we do, it's somehow
not worthwhile. Our challenge is to accept that
feeling for exactly what it is--a temporary state that
in no way defines who we are or what we're able to
do. If we're able to accept that feeling, we can
allow our true courage to come back and take its
place, where it truly belongs, and our discouragement
will quickly become encouragement. It's not that
the negative becomes positive, but that the positive
is able to take its true place at the forefront of our
lives, our thoughts, and our feelings.
your discouragement have its five minutes in the sun,
but even as you do so keep in mind that you soon will
overcome it and return to a more positive state.
No matter what anyone may do to discourage us, no
matter what may happen, we know that our value isn't
found in what others think of us or what others do to
us, nor in the things that we "accomplish"
or the number of material goods in our homes.
Our value is found in who we are and what we do with
that, and if we can continually encourage ourselves,
our discouragement will have less space in which to
live and grow.