10 Ways of Overcoming Discouragement

Often we can feel overwhelmed and stressed when we feel we fall short, or when progress doesn’t happen as soon as we would like. Sometimes a critical voice at work or hard-to-overcome challenges at home can be discouraging. There are times in life when everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Or you find yourself in the same situation you faced last year and you feel that you are going around the same mountain AGAIN.

Here are some ways to overcome hopelessness and discouragement:

  1. Remember what God says about you!  Find an encouraging book or find scriptures that remind you of who you are. God’s reality is superior to any circumstance here on earth. Make the promises personal and present tense, and begin to speak them to yourself. I often encourage my clients to get their head into God’s reality. He is always there, and always full of life and comfort.
  2. Remind yourself of past victories, things you have accomplished, and how God has brought you through difficult circumstances in the past. Remember how you have been a help to others. Remind yourself about all the good qualities you have.
  3. Go to a meetup, a church service, or listen to a speaker who brings new hope, vision, motivation, and encouragement.
  4. Get moving! Take a walk, go to the gym, or spend some time outside. It is rejuvenating, and exercise will get the feel-good hormones moving.  
  5. Spend time with a friend who will encourage you. This will help you gain perspective and help you see yourself in a new light.
  6. Gratitude is powerful. Our culture values outward success and public recognition. Sometimes we feel entitled to certain outcomes in our lives, or we get caught in feeling sorry for ourselves. Begin to write a list of all the things you are grateful for. Begin to thank God out loud.
  7. Do some self-care. Get enough sleep. Most of us can feel “out of it” when we are sleep deprived. Eat a good, healthy meal with someone you love and appreciate. Laugh. Plan time off doing something you like. Spend time being creative.
  8. Make goals you can accomplish within a short time. Celebrate even small accomplishments. Use your talents to serve others. Take a class or network with others to move forward. Focus on how you can help others.
  9. Examine your boundaries. Often, resentment and discouragement come when we allow others to take advantage of us. Talk with a wise friend or counselor.
  10. If discouragement persists or turns into depression, please contact a counselor or trusted friend and get help. Remember that God’s number one way of helping, strengthening, and maturing us is through His people. A good counselor can help you through grief, relationship issues, stuck places, or low self-worth. You are special and valuable, and God has a higher path for you to walk!  A strong hope can move you forward and give you strength to lay a hold of the good things He has for you!


Walking the Path of Hope

I love the story depicted in the movie “The Blind Side”. Michael Oher, a homeless African American teenager from a broken home, is taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. Living in his new environment, the teen faces completely different challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Michael works hard, and with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

Through Mrs. Touhy’s faith in him and the love and support of his new family, and by the help of his tutor and his coaches, he begins to channel his strength and formidable size to serve his team in a powerful way and fulfill his potential.

 Hope drives us forward. Hope means to desire something with confident expectation of its fulfillment. For me, hope is ultimately anchored in the unchangeable character of God (Hebr.6:16-18). This kind of hope is “firm and secure.” It keeps me moving forward on a solid path!

When I got saved as a teenager, I soon realized that there was a calling upon my life to help people develop their relationship with God and experience lasting transformation through teaching and mentoring. During those years I experienced much turmoil both outwardly and inwardly, but I had experienced God’s presence and promises in my heart, and I decided to hold on and fix my eyes on the passion in my heart.

I began to search for mentors; somehow I knew that I would never walk out the destiny in my life without God-sent people and connections. 40 years later, I see God’s incredible faithfulness in connecting me with superb teachers, pastors and mentors, some of them internationally known. These people imparted understanding to me, they sponsored me, others served as connectors and opened extraordinary doors for me. Some of them loudly expressed their faith in me and coached me in various areas. Others challenged me in areas where I had put limitations on myself.   

Hope is powerful. Hope awakens faith and action and stirs us to begin to walk the path. As we actively seek out counselors and mentors, we can avoid being stuck in dead ends. We can learn new skills to scale hills and mountains. We can experience healing and new courage. We can develop deep and meaningful relationships.

In this blog I will be sharing things I have learned through my training and counseling experience as well as what I have learned in my walk with God. My purpose is to help you develop healthy relationships, make tangible progress and experience healing. We all have a hope of a better future, and I invite you to share this wonderful, rewarding journey. I am still on this path of hope, still growing, still walking with God and looking for an even greater fulfillment of my dreams.

Do you have special requests for issues?  Comments or questions? I invite you to leave them here. Would love to hear from you!