How To Deal With DiscouragementSep 04, 2021
My goal is to always be transparent and honest with you. Besides, we’re both real humans, right?
Sometimes discouragement will come. And it will weigh A LOT.
We’re going to talk about dealing with discouragement.
I have to be honest with you, I had a rough weekend last weekend. Nothing was working. My confidence was shot.
I spent 3 hours recording an acoustic guitar part for a song I wrote 7 years ago. Should have gone well, right?
Nope. My fingers just didn’t want to do it. They staged a revolt. They went on strike.
The next morning was Sunday church service. And I was playing guitar. So that probably went well, right? That music is generally easy to play.
Nope. Again, didn’t go well. One song I just could not get.
Impostor syndrome hit me hard and I felt unbelievably discouraged.
Not only that, but nearly everything else I had been doing wasn’t working either. From coding to music to taking the next step in creating content for this very blog.
So how do we get past these discouragements?
See The Discouragement For What It Is
Most often, discouragements are relatively small roadblocks that disguise themselves as indications that you aren’t very good at what you do and never will be.
Right? When I got super discouraged, what was really happening was that I felt like I wasn’t good at music and never would be simply because one recording session and one church service didn’t go as well as I would have liked.
Not only that, I was discouraged because it felt like, not only was I not good, but I never would be.
This is basically impostor syndrome and is utter nonsense. The reality of the situation was a bad couple of days- I didn’t deal with the first rut well, so it bled into the next few days.
A lot of time discouragement is external to ourselves. It may be a parent who doesn’t like your music because it has “too many electric guitars” or “I never liked that rap noise”.
Or friends who, after seeing you work your butt off on an album for over 1 ½ years, ask if they can have it for free instead of the measly $8 you’re asking for it.
The reality of the first is that people have taste. You can’t ask that to change simply because someone is close to you. If my best friend did a country album, I almost definitely would still not like it. Not because it couldn’t be great, but because I just can’t stand country music. Doesn’t make it bad, I just don’t like it.
As for the friends not wanting to pay for the album, the key is just to expect less from people around you. As insane as it is to want something for free that is only the price of 1 ½ Starbucks coffees to them, it’s often a reality.
They think “well, we’re close friends, why should he charge me?”. Meanwhile you’re thinking “he’s my friend, how can he not want to pay a measly $8 to support me?”.
For the record, I’m on our side in this. Fully. But we have to see it for what it is. They don’t mean badly. Besides, no matter how much of a rockstar you get to be, your friends and family will always see you as just you. Which is mostly good.
Discuss Your Discouragement
One of the most helpful ways to get past discouragement is to discuss it with someone you trust.
One reason for this is that discouragement can be incredibly isolating. You feel like the one disappointment in a sea of accomplished, happy, proficient people. This, of course, is total nonsense, but we believe it.
Just being able to discuss our feelings of discouragement will likely result in the other person talking about the times they were discouraged.
Even if they don’t, simply calling out your discouragement can be freeing, because you no longer feel like you need to keep it to yourself. You no longer are isolated. You’re free to begin laying the burden of discouragement down.
If the discouragement is something external to yourself, it may even be helpful to talk about your discouragement with those who hurt you. They probably didn’t realize the part they were playing in your discouragement and likely didn’t intend or want to hurt you that way.
This will help them to be more cognizant of what they say to you or do in the future.
Of course, you have to be careful with this, as you don’t want to seem accusatory in any way.
Encourage Others Freely
There is no better way to get past discouragement and avoid it in general than to freely give encouragement.
Giving nearly always results in more joy and happiness than taking. Seeing your genuine compliments affect others positively is one of the greatest joys you can give yourself!
Now, you should give because you want to encourage the other person, not to make yourself happy. Your added joy is simply a nice byproduct.
But do unto others, no? If you wish people would encourage you more, start by encouraging others more. Do the right thing, regardless of whether or not others will do the right thing for you.
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