Falling Short (Part 2)

“Discouragement” tops the list as one of Satan’s favorite tools, and we invite discouragement when we dream big.  Discouragement creates a dark cloud over us, stops us from acting, and blocks us from seeing the means to achieving our goals.  Discouragement prevention doesn’t have to lead to playing small in our lives and our relationships.

I recently caught myself in the throes of discouragement when I believed I was on the track to falling short of my business goal that would have allowed me to participate in the upcoming outdoor group triathlon training.  Vice had me just where he wanted me—feeling down, disappointed and low on hope.
But I didn’t stay discouraged long.  And you don’t need to either if you follow these steps:

Step 1:  Surrender – Often I suspect that God delays giving us what we want because he wants to see how badly we want it.  Short-term setbacks provide opportunities to detach.  Surrender is not “giving up”. It is an active process of letting go of our will and submitting to God’s will, believing that God may have something much better in mind for us.  “Giving up” excuses us from taking needed action in our lives.  It’s always okay to re-evaluate and re-direct our efforts, but this can be done without throwing in the towel.

Step 2:  Get the facts – Discouragement skews reality and impedes our judgment: we often are feeling discouraged about things that aren’t really happening.  A good example is when I was feeling discouraged for not achieving my business goal with three weeks left to my deadline.  It’s a good thing I’m not a mathematician, as I actually had six weeks until my deadline, not three, making achieving the goal much more likely.  Also, the fruits of several of the activities I had done to achieve the results were just starting to deliver.  Back in my days as a Xerox sales representative, sitting in my sales manager’s office, produced similar effects.  Walking in the meeting, down about no prospects for sales, I would emerge with new vision and excitement after Kathy would guide me through and dissect all of my opportunities.

Don’t let the Evil One keep you down.  Tune next time to learn of the last two steps to keep discouragement at bay.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Identify a relationship or life goal you want to achieve and ask yourself: Where am I in the process of attaining it?  Is discouragement playing a role?  Is my fear of discouragement keeping me from being honest about what I want?