Discouragement Is a Choice

Apr 20, 2022

Have you ever epically failed at something? Have you had high hopes for a raise at work after your last review and felt crushed when it didn’t happen? Did you have big goals to turn your life around this past year and really make a change and fall short? Feeling discouraged can stem from a variety of things. Regardless of the cause, discouragement is a choice and a response that only you can control. 

Why Do We Feel Discouraged?

Discouragement may be the result of one failure or could follow a series of failures. Multiple upsets back to back can be discouraging and often require great strength to overcome. Occasionally, one disappointment in yourself could leave you feeling completely unsure and hopeless. 

For anyone battling addiction, discouragement can be a consequence of the typical ups and downs you may experience during your journey to recovery. You will have good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks. One bad decision or negative thought could leave you feeling disappointed in yourself. It is this disappointment or feeling of failure that most often leads to discouragement and feeling hopeless. However, allowing for this response is optional and, with some intention and practice, can be avoided. 

Battling Discouragement 

The opposite of feeling discouraged is feeling encouraged. Take a moment to consider what and who encourages you. Is it a close friend or family member? Is it the possibility of a new lifestyle supportive of your goals and dreams? Perhaps you feel encouraged by a specific type of music or activity. Become familiar with what works for you and brings you hope. These are the people or things to focus on and lean into in times of disappointment. 

When you begin feeling discouraged, it is essential to channel the things that can combat those feelings and keep you on a positive path. Some find it beneficial to have visual reminders of the things that encourage them; others may prefer to meditate or spend time alone readjusting thought patterns and shifting focus. 

Sharing what works with those who support you or your support network can be helpful in times when you may need some external reminders. Finding the courage to keep going during difficult times can be challenging, so having tools in your toolbox for these occasions is critical. 

Reasonable Expectations

Another key to avoiding discouragement can be setting reasonable goals and expectations for yourself. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Understanding this truth and giving yourself a little grace is essential, specifically during treatment. 

Despite your best efforts to remain positive, you may have days that feel more difficult than others. Some days your may feel empowered and focused on your plans for recovery, and on others, you may feel completely lost and hopeless, unsure if you are making the right decision. 

Setting small, attainable intentions for yourself daily can aid in feeling accomplished and lead to more confidence. One day you may strive to write an honest letter to someone who matters to you; another day, you may have a goal to squeeze in a little physical activity for your mental health. Achieving even the simplest of tasks can be uplifting and help avoid discouragement. 

Choose Your Response

Despite these strategies for avoiding disappointment, there will be times when you feel as though you let yourself or others down. That feeling of self-doubt will start to ease its way into your mind with plans to consume you. Don’t let it. Changing the way you perceive failure or disappointment can make all the difference. 

Opportunities for Growth

Look at these situations as opportunities for growth. This time is ideal for some self-reflection and a new approach. You know the saying: If, at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again. As juvenile and cheesy as this may sound, these are great words to live by. In moments of great disappointment are chances to learn new strategies for coping and succeeding. 

Creating Life Skills

The ability to overcome obstacles and find opportunities in failure is a skill that is applicable far beyond treatment. This capability can serve you well in school, work, and relationships. Having the courage to keep going following failure or disappointment while challenging can determine long-term success or failure. 

You Are in Control of You

It is important to expect some disappointments and setbacks during treatment or any other experience. While you may not always be in control of things that happen around you, you are always in control of your responses to these situations. Don’t allow discouragement to be your response to failure. Choose to be encouraged and try again.

Do you find yourself feeling discouraged? Discouragement is an optional response to an experience that proves to be negative or disappointing. Being able to cope with disappointments in a way that allows for learning and encourages you to keep trying is critical to recovery. Experiencing failures and falling short is part of the journey and can be well navigated with the right assistance and guidance. Here at Renaissance Ranch, you will feel supported by our team of experienced professionals as you pursue a better life. Our staff understands firsthand how discouraging failures can be and will be there to help you re-frame these disappointing situations to promote growth and success. Don’t allow discouragement to keep you from benefitting from treatment and reaching your goal of recovery. If you or someone you care about is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, let us help. Call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898 to learn more about our program.