Discouraged? Disheartened? Losing courage? No longer being motivated? Burned out?
What is happening? Why is it happening? Is it just a normal "human" thing?
How can I effectively create a solution?
Let's look at this and solve it.
WHAT IS DISCOURAGEMENT?
Is it a "mood"? Is it a speeding bullet? Is it a powerful force? Is it some mysterious entity that shows up to control me?
It certainly has elements of a "mood", so I would apply "mood medicine", using the really quick physical stuff that alters the mood, based on doable actions that I am capable of. (See The Emotional Emergency Tool Kit - For When You're "Off" - see also the Quik-Reference page.) Of course, I need to later go back and decide to handle the cause, so that I don't keep experiencing the symptoms of discouragement: feeling bad and less ability to be productive in life (or in a particular thing).
The basic mechanism of "discouragement" is an "evolved" behavior that was in fact useful to us 10,000 years ago as cavemen, as it helped us to know when to back off and/or when to quit doing what wasn't working or wasn't going to get the desired result - and it was, then, a matter of life or death, since they had so little food available. They had to stop what they were doing that was not creating food - it helps us go off to do something else more useful, like gather food or hunt.
While it might be a useful signal, it is not a command (emotions are not commands) but only something to "hear" and then decide what to do. (Long term, you should put it in your schedule to start, you must dump your incorrect beliefs and misunderstanding of emotions if you are to be able to manage them instead of them running you. Start at the Emotional Mastery page quick summary points.)
Breaking the word down in order to understand it:
Dis = lose, cancel, unravel
Courage = confidence, resolution, feeling of strength, definite belief
HEROIC IMAGES AND ALOT OF BULLBLEEP
We have made courage into some idealized heroic endeavor and way of dealing with life. But we are humans, not some version of a perfected hero. To get through life we have to "go through" the human stuff to get to the other side - we cannot "go around" in some great leap beyond what is realistic.
Courage, of course, feels good, as we see ourselves bravely moving forward against the negative force.
But often the negative force is something we "made up", because we didn't know better.
It seems we have the thing we need to face up to and do, which seems weighty in and of itself, but we add made up fears (self evaluations, estimates of how it won't work and that the outcome will "hurt" in some way).
So, let's say that I am writing a book - my first - and I do not know how good it will be (of course). So I am thinking of how people will not respond to it and what they will think of me. I am thinking of what I'll think of me, if, after all of this hard work and applying my great intelligence, I fail - and prove that I am incapable or at least less capable than the successful people out there. And then I conclude that the meaning of that to me is...
Well, I'm not exactly clear what the meaning is. I do know that it is "bad", because my primitive brain "thinks" so - or at least it came up with associated neuronal patterns that matched similar things (in a not so selective way, dumping all it could come up into my mind for considering carefully to see which is a threat to deal with). And part of those neuronal patterns includes an emotion, one that often feels negative, so that I will be "motivated" to do something to assure my survival better. It means well (oh, actually it doesn't "mean" anything, it just coughs up stuff in a supermatching associative way). (Read and learn how the brain actually works - it is not the way most of us think about it: How The Mind Works.)
Well, anyway, back to the story...
While I am wondering how effective I'll be, I see a certain part as being very hard for me, requiring alot of thinking - but mostly the "hard" about it is my doubt that I'll make it work just right. Without that doubt it would be a work of love, of pleasure, of seeing the creation of something that could be useful.
Hmmm, it seems that I might need a little bit of cranialrectal adjustment here - a bit of grounding in reality.
When I run across a block, per all my readings, it seems that I should either remove the block or go around it until I have gained more strength to handle the block.
So, rather than flaking out and blowing my whole day trying to get "in the mood" (or actually just trying to feel better, via a distraction), I could have just worked on some of the easier parts of the book, perhaps gaining some momentum of action so that it would be easier to do something (i.e. I will feel better and I'll be in "action mode"). Of course, I blew it by not going out and doing my exercise - as my exercise changes my chemicals and my energy - and it changes my views and feelings relative to the hard project, so that I have more "courage" and strength. I need to commit and get in the strict habit of exercising whenever I feel discouraged and/or am having trouble "ramping up" to do something "hard".
Some initial writings on this, to be integrated later...
When we feel deprived of confidence, hope, or spirit, we are feeling discouragement - a negative, uncomfortable emotion. That is, of course, an emotion, and, as with all emotions, it is determined by what we are saying to ourselves. Though we are human and subject to moods, the mood of discouragement is largely in our control if we create an effective conversation that can offset the erroneous conversation we are using to feel bad.
Since "courage" is "having heart", we lose our courage and tend to withdraw from challenges and life.
We are afraid we will lose something or fail. Since it is always possible that that will occur, the problem and the solution lie in "having enough available so that if we lose something we still have enough." Therefore, the antidote is to fill up, psychologically, with "enough". And the way we do that is not by getting more but by filling up our brain with what we have. The simple solution is to ask myself "What am I grateful for?" And if one answer is not sufficient, ask what else you're grateful for. If that is not enough, go back and read the gratitude lists (see Gratitude Contents/Links page).
WHAT WE SAY TO OURSELVES
I'm not getting anywhere
A sense of "no use"
"It's all I can do now"
"OK, TV, distract me...but then I drop lower..."
When we get a sign that we interpret as our being less able to survive well, our body and mind kick into gear to send out a chemical signal to get us into gear to rise to a higher level of survivability.
But we actually misinterpret the facts and there is actually nothing that will impinge on our survival. From our actual programming as a caveman, we had to do certain things or we would in fact be less likely to survive, but today there are no wild, attacking animals roaming about nor other dangers to our actual survival.
What we are now living in is a "falling short" of unrealistic expectations, where we think we have to do something to be ok but we actually don't do it. If I am not heroic and strong, I will survive in this society anyway - but I still measure myself against that standard or expectation. Every time we focus on "what's missing" and think that what's missing is important to our well-being, we are missing the point about how much we have, for sure, and that it is a mountain of haves we can add a bit to or even lose a bit, with hardly any effect. Follow those two links in this paragraph so that you can thoroughly ground yourself in this "knowing".
Courage = "having heart" - nice saying, but what does it mean, like, really??