Fight Discouragement & Win!

A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from a friend. She shares some bad news: the stress on the job had grew enormous. As a result, she felt forced to resign from her position, which had at one point in her career showed great promise but now is her worst nightmare.

She was deeply discouraged. Where do I go from here?, she thought. She even started to question whether she was in the right career field. I knew I had to step in and say something. Her thought pattern reflected a common symptom of career discouragement.

I could certainly relate to the feeling of despair, as I had been there a time or two in the past.

I told her that she needed to keep her head up; the right job fit and working environment, I said, is potentially right around the corner. “But you’ve got to keep the faith and proceed to move forward. The worst thing you can do now is let this situation cause you to doubt yourself or your chosen career path,” I added.

In times of discouragement, the question isn’t whether you can weather the storm. The question is how bad do you want to achieve your goal or dreams?

I recently felt my own discouragement. Actually, this week. But it’s funny how when you push through, something happens that gives you a little boost of encouragement.

For me, it was an email from someone who works for, a career resource site, owned by The Wall Street Journal. They were launching a new national ad campaign and because it involves careers she felt “that it would be really cool to get your feedback and other reader’s feedback on the video prior to air date.” Then she wrote, “A couple of us over here are avid readers of The Career Pioneer.” What a nice thing to say, I thought. I was honored, truly.

I’ve often found in my own life and that of others that generally when you hit near rock-bottom, something really, really good is waiting for you around the corner. It just takes you making the decision to combat self-pity, to persevere, and to keep the faith. “Claim it!,” as some like to say.

Today, I want to share some really basic tips that I’ve used to fight discouragement. Now I’m not a mental health professional, nor do I play one on television. But the following tips that I’m about to share with you have worked for me and countless other people.

  • Talk to someone. Getting open and honest with what’s going on in your head and in your heart is often a great way to leapfrog discouragement and into productive activity. If you let negative thoughts mull around in your head for too long, then you run the risk of spiraling into even more discouragement, and even worse, depression. If you’re a person of faith, I suggest prayer in addition to a chat with a friend, counselor or loved one.
  • Believe in yourself; believe in the possibilities. Achieving your goal, finding the perfect job fit, or landing that sought-after client takes stick-to-it-iveness. And as I mentioned before, success is oftentimes right around the bend. But not only do you need to stick to your dreams despite a bump in the road, you must also believe that you are worthy of reaching your goal. That kind of mindset coupled with perseverance usually results in big pay-offs.
  • Stop thinking so much & start doing! I’ve often shared how I personally suffer from “analysis paralysis” — where I think too much about what needs to be done, rather than actually doing it. I’m sure some of you can relate. That said, don’t get bogged down by the details. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with planning and preparation, not enough can be said about taking action in spite of that. Had I listened to the doubt and discouragement I experienced as I was considering to launch nearly two years ago, I don’t know where I would be today.
I want to hear from you. How do you handle discouragement? Sound off in the comments section below.



  • Monique M. McDowell

    This is such an excellent post! I have recently been battling discouragement myself and my mind. It’s so funny how sometimes God has to allow us to get to rock bottom in our thinking because of our own ingratitude and lack of rememberance of His good works in our lives. That’s where I was a few days ago & it’s so refreshing to read this article and know that things are going to continue to move upwardly if I have faith & do not doubt God’s will and purpose in my life.

    Thanks so much!

    Monique M. McDowell

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