What You Should Do When You Are Feeling Discouraged

Have you ever had one of those days when the weight of the world feels like it’s trying to drag you down? Have you felt overwhelmed and discouraged by the challenges you face?

While there’s no magic bullet solution that will make those feelings disappear, there are a number of things you can do to keep those feelings of discouragement to a minimum. Here they are:

Understand That It’s Not You

Or, more precisely, it’s not just you, and there is at least some comfort in the knowledge that no matter how bad or down you’re feeling, you’re certainly not the only one. This isn’t the same as delighting in the misery of others. This is merely an acknowledgement that you’re not the only person on the planet who’s feeling it.

It’s Normal

Sometimes, all it takes to start feeling better about things is to simply allow yourself to feel them, and admit that it’s okay to do so. It’s normal. Not every day is going to be full of sunshine and rainbows. Some days are going to be hard, and that’s okay.

It’s Only Temporary

Building on the last point, it’s extremely important to remind yourself that no matter hard things are and no matter how discouraged you feel right this second, it won’t last forever. It’s only temporary, and you will get through it.

In fact, oftentimes, the only thing to be done is to identify what specific things are making you feel that way, and rather than trying to go around them, simply go through them. Plow ahead, slowly and relentlessly, and you’ll get there. The wheel will turn, and things will get easier.

Things Could Be Worse

This one’s not quite the opposite of understanding that you’re not the only one, but it’s close. In this case, it’s more about acknowledging that whatever has you feeling discouraged, it’s almost certainly not the dreaded worst case scenario. Sure, it’s frustrating, but it’s not as bad as it could be, and that understanding almost always brings with it a ray of hope, and a bit of renewed determination that helps carry you through!

Use A Failure To Get Motivated

How you respond to failure says a lot about who you are as a person, and ultimately, what your chances for success will be.

What kind of person are you? Are you the sort who gets frustrated at the first roadblock or hurdle that you’re confronted by? Do you throw your hands up in disgust and walk away the moment something goes from smooth sailing to hard?

If you are, then chances are good that you’re only going to find limited success in life, because the reality is that life is complicated. Life is chaotic and unpredictable, and often, something that seems like it should be easy is unexpectedly difficult. If you’re not comfortable enough in your own skin to deal with the aftermath of failure in a constructive manner, then the problem isn’t the world – it’s not going to change. The problem is you.

Learning to deal with failure and learning how to allow it to become a motivating influence in your life isn’t hard. It takes practice, which, by definition, means that it takes exposing yourself to failure in order to get the practice you need to get better at using it.

Even if you’re not a sports fan, think for a moment about the game of baseball.

Did you know that Ty Cobb holds the record as having the best batting average in the entire history of the sport? It’s true. His batting average is .366. Think about what that number means for just a moment.

When Ty Cobb, the undisputed rock star of the baseball world, the heavyweight champion of batting averages stepped up to the plate, he hit the ball about one time in three. Which means he failed about two thirds of the time. We’re talking about the guy who holds the record failing two thirds of the time.

With that kind of failure rate, why even bother to try, right? And if he’s the best, what does that say about the rest of those guys who aren’t as good?

In reality, that’s not at all how we see the rest of the professional baseball players of the world. They’re considered the best of the best, and that’s significant, because what it means is that success is hard. Success is rare, and the only time you see it is if you get back up when failure knocks you down and try again.

It’s a numbers game. Nothing more.

If you give up, then you are guaranteed to fail. It’s 100 percent likely.
But if you get up, dust yourself off, learn about why you failed and try again, that moves you one step closer to succeeding.

Keep that image in your mind the next time you’re thinking about giving up. Use it. Draw strength and encouragement from it, then get back up and try again. That’s the only way to succeed, whatever you’re trying to do. You can do it!

Deal With Difficult People By Using These Simple Tips

Some people are a joy to be around. Others, not so much. You know the types we’re talking about. Whether it’s ignorance, boorishness, aggressive behaviors, indecisiveness, negativity or one of the other, innumerable types, they’re downers. They’re annoying, and they can be hard to deal with, but they don’t have to be. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll find that dealing with these sorts is much, much easier.

Kill ’Em With Kindness

This is your secret weapon when dealing with difficult people of any variety. This is your super power. When they get difficult, you display kindness. Not necessarily understanding, but kindness.

In order for it to work, it’s got to be genuine. There can’t be any faking it here, or it comes across as being passive-aggressive. You’ve got to genuinely be kind to them.

Difficult people tend to react to kindness in one of three ways. They can be disarmed by it, which is the best case, and suddenly more cooperative. Or, they may recognize the contrast with their own behavior and be shamed into behaving better. In the third case, they may not know how to deal with it and simply walk away. In all three cases, you win.

Don’t Try To Change Them

Understand that in the overwhelming majority of cases, the behavior displayed by difficult people is deeply ingrained. It’s not going to change, no matter what you do, or how badly you wish it would. There’s literally nothing you can say, and nothing you can do to change that.

The quicker you recognize this fact and make peace with it, the better you’ll feel. You’ll also find that it totally changes your outlook about such people, and makes genuine kindness toward them come more easily.

Minimize Contact

Sometimes this isn’t possible, but when and where it is, simply take steps to minimize the amount of time you have to spend around the difficult ones. If you currently have one or more difficult personalities in your life, then you already know how exhausting it can be to deal with them on a daily basis. If you can arrange not to be around them all the time, do that. Not only does it give you peace of mind, but it also gives you an outlet. Both are good things.

None of these tips represent a panacea. There will still be times when you have to deal with difficult people, and it will still be annoying, but these tips will make a notable difference!

Organize For A Better Overall Outlook

Decluttering and better organizing your life is a powerful tool that will not only make you more productive, but it will also help you de-stress!

These days, with working hours increasing and the work we do each day growing in its complexity, the sad reality is that we’re drowning in stressors. Anything we can do to eliminate, or even reduce stress has got to be counted as a win.

But how? Where do you start, and how much is “too much?”

Those are all fair questions, and to be sure, it’s a bit of a balancing act. If you go too far, you run the risk of spending so much of your time keeping everything decluttered that you almost seem to have OCD.

Each person has a different threshold, but the key is to find your own personal level of organization, and stick close to that band. Remember, too, that being organized doesn’t mean relentlessly chasing down every bit of clutter and having a meltdown when something gets knocked out of place.

The key here is to start small. Organize your work space, make sure everything is within easy reach and make your last task of the day to prep your workspace for the following day. When you don’t have to frantically search for the things you need to get your work done, you’re more efficient and more effective.

Expand your organizational efforts to your email, too. Create a functional, task-oriented set of folders and organize your incoming messages into those functional areas, moving them to a completed folder or deleting them when you’re done.

If you’re one of those people who has a thousand or more messages in your inbox, you know how overwhelming it can be to even look at it. That act alone can lead to paralysis, because there are so many messages it’s hard to even know where to start.

Organization on that front can help you cut through the clutter and get straight to the most important work you need to be doing.

Finally, learn to fall in love with lists! Lists can keep your task load organized, and you can re-order them quickly and easily. By front-loading your task list with your most challenging tasks, you can knock them out in the early part of the day when you’re the most productive, building momentum that will carry you though the rest of the day.

These things taken together will keep you on track and help you be more productive and relatively stress-free. Those are big wins, no matter how you slice it, and you’ll be amazed at how much it improves your overall outlook on life. An organized mind is a calm, productive mind!