No matter what happens in life at some point we will become discouraged whether it is problems our health, careers, or relationships. We start to think “It’s never going to work out.” or “I’m tired of believing things will get better.” I’m no expert, but here are some things that have helped me overcome my discouraging thoughts:
- Find your Safe People: These are people you feel safe with to talk to about how you feel without fear of judgment or criticism. Maybe you don’t have anyone like this? Believe it or not, this is hard for a lot of people. In that case, you can find and speak with a professional like a Social Worker or Psychologist. You need to be able to voice your concerns even if it is for the sole purpose of you sorting your own thoughts/feelings out. If you can’t trust anyone, then trust yourself enough to write down your own thoughts in a journal (whether handwritten or typed on a computer). This helps to bring awareness to your feelings. Only with awareness can you change anything for the good.
- Change The Thought Channel: We all have bad thoughts. We have a choice though when they float into our head: (1) throw away the bad thoughts and replace them with good ones, or (2) pull up a lazy-boy chair, grab the popcorn, and watch/listen to those awful thoughts over and over like a bad movie. We don’t mean to but sometimes we get addicted to bad thoughts and for a variety of reasons. If your bad thoughts are not “productive”though, meaning that they do not help you create a solution, then it is best to change those thoughts like you would switch to a different TV channel. Success can only come by focusing on productive, constructive, and creative thoughts.
- Stop Judging/Criticizing Yourself: Regardless of what anyone else thinks, accept and love yourself enough to say to yourself, “Hey, I’ve made mistakes. I’m human and not perfect. I can can’t change the past but I can do better in the future.” It is not helpful to beat yourself up for wrong things that you have done. Similar to changing the TV Thought Channel, remember all the good that you do and don’t focus on the bad. If you can’t find any good memories or deeds to think about… today is a good day to start “doing good” and “thinking good”.
- Increase Your Bad-Assness: Find things to do that make you feel awesome and great about yourself. Do what you can, start out small. If your health is not where it should be, then maybe try out new make-up, new outfits, start a fitness program, etc. If you are lonely – try joining classes of something you think would be cool: art, martial arts, sports, poems, archery, Sci Fi Talk Group …whatever! It is whatever YOU think is Bad Ass and NOT someone else’s parameter. Help yourself to look good, feel good, and be a total BAD ASS!!!
- Emergency Inspiration: Keep some messages around you at all times that you find inspiring within reach when you need a lift/boost. It’s your list so whatever inspires you keep it on hand! Here are some of mine:
- Believe Good Things Will Happen: Lastly, and most important, you MUST have blind faith that things will work out better for your good. Even if there is absolutely no evidence that it will get better in the current moment. It is more helpful to focus on something positive than negative. They say worry is like a rocking chair – there is a whole lot of motion going on but you’re not actually getting anywhere. Negative thoughts never made anyone feel better so why not be positive? Also be open minded, because things may turn out better in a way you never expected!
And hang in there! We're with you!