Feeling Discouraged and Defeated…
Feeling Discouraged and Defeated is the current atmosphere in South Africa.
This morning I didn’t feel like doing anything. It’s a combination of exhaustion from a few days of hard work, and a lack of sleep from the concerns of the future of this country. I just felt completely discouraged and defeated. I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything essential. I was overthinking things and doubting myself, and wondering whether anything I do is worthwhile. Can I sustain my business? My safety, my stability in life? Is this country going into anarchy? Should I immigrate? All these thoughts were zooming through my mind.
I sat there in this bleak mood for nearly 3 hours and wondered how to get out of it. Should I just forget about today? Should I just give up on this work, because I’m not as good at it as I thought I was? Give up because this country is going down? There is no hope or future?
This lasted for half a day. I am a Happiness and Confidence Coach! Damnit! I must have some tools in my confidence toolbox to help me with this funk. I found little nuggets in my mind that help me shift! YAY!
Here’s what works for me – seven things to keep in mind (and do) when you feel discouraged and defeated:
NO! It’s not all about YOU
I know this sounds harsh. But it’s the truth.
We all at times put ourselves at the center of the universe, and see everything from the viewpoint of how it affects us. We become the victim. Poor me. Wallow in self-pity.
This morning, instead of worrying so much about myself, I thought about other people I might help. I decided to help a few people with their happiness and confidence challenges. I have shifted my focus to other people and what others need. I feel more hopeful
You are stuck in “what is not”
Today my head was buzzing about ‘what is not’.
Arguing with myself and life how it should be. Remember, happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with ‘what is’. Think about that for a minute. This means your anguish is a result of your viewpoint of the situation. Although you can’t control everything that happens to you; you can only control the way you respond to life. In your response is your power. In your power is your presence.
You are more than your labels
We all have this picture in our minds of ourselves – this fix idea of what kind of person we are. When this idea gets threatened, we react defensively. We become angry or hurt by the criticism. My identity of myself as someone who’s cheerful, creative and has great ideas… this was getting in the way this morning. When I wasn’t creative, it made me feel defeated because worrying that I wasn’t who I thought I was.
The key was to realize that I’m not just one thing. I can be cheerful and at times sad. Sometimes I can be extremely creative and other times have no ideas. The truth is, I can be many things, and remembering this helps me stretch my identity so it isn’t so fragile. I am less than perfect. And that’s perfectly OK.
Today is a gift! Make the best of it.
I have squandered my time on trivial thoughts this morning. I was reminded by a phone call that I have a limited number of days on earth. Each day is a gift, a miracle. Wasting this miracle is a horrible crime. I need to make this day count with something worthwhile. Moving and doing. My worthwhile activity was to put the music on and dance to make me happy.
Complaining is sapping your energy
I tend to complain out loud when I feel discouraged to everyone around me. I moan and everything is a problem and not perfect. I know complaining does not work as a strategy. Any amount of time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve anything worthwhile. And it won’t make us any happier either.
If you took 20% of the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving your problem, you’d be surprised by how well and how fast things can work out. You are likely to solve 80% of your problem. I know (as a life coach) we all have more power, authority, and influence over our lives than we often believe.
Feeling defeated is a sign that it’s time to make a change.
When we feel defeated, typically our first instinct is to blame someone or something outside. We ought to be looking at how we’re feeling, what we’re thinking, and how we plan to respond. This is the reality of our country people. It could be a change of heart, a change in your perspective, or a change in your habit. Your life is your responsibility. While you can’t always change external factors, you can certainly change your experience of it.
Even the tiniest possible step is progress. Just do something!
It can be hard to get moving when you’re gravely stuck. This is how I felt for a long time. Stuck in a rut. Aimless, confused! It was hard to inspire myself when I felt insanely horrible and sorry for myself. Mustering the little energy I had, I took a tiny step. I took another tiny step. And it showed me the next step was possible, and the next. And the result is this blog you’re reading now.
Yes, I’m still feeling a little fragile. I’m a bit stronger, because I took these steps.
I know some of you feel the same way from time to time. That’s OK. We all do. We are not everyready batteries. We are human, which means we fumble, we doubtt, and we feel anguish. Time is a great healer.
Over to YOU!
How do you inspire yourself when you’re feeling discouraged and defeated? Leave a comment below and share your insights and experience?