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7 Things to Remember When You Feel Discouraged and Defeated


Stashed in: Life Hacks, Marc and Angel, Emotional Intelligence, Remind Me, @marcandangel, Never give up., Awesome, Favorites, #happiness

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3.  You are more than one thing (loosen up and stretch your identity).

We all have this picture in our minds of ourselves – this idea of what kind of person we are.  When this idea gets threatened, we react defensively.  People may question whether we did a good job, and this threatens our idea of being a competent person, so we become angry or hurt by the criticism.  Someone falsely accuses us of something and this threatens our idea that we’re a good person, and so we get angry and attack the other person.  My identity of myself as someone who’s motivated and productive and has great ideas… this was getting in the way this morning.  When I wasn’t productive, it made me feel defeated because I began subconsciously worrying that I wasn’t who I thought I was.

My solution was to realize that I’m not just one thing.  I’m not always productive – sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m unproductive too.  I’m not always motivated — sometimes I am, but other times I’m feeling lazy.  And obviously I don’t always have great ideas either – because that’s impossible.  The truth is, I can be many things, and remembering this helps me stretch my identity so it isn’t so fragile.  Then it doesn’t matter if someone thinks I didn’t do a good job – because I don’t always do a good job.  I make mistakes.  I am less than perfect.  And that’s perfectly OK.

7.  Even the tiniest possible step is progress. (take a tiny step NOW).

It can be hard to get moving when you’re seriously stuck.  This is how I felt a decade ago when I was stuck in a rut after simultaneously losing two loved ones to illness and my breadwinning job.  It was really hard to motivate myself when I didn’t think I had the strength to push forward – when I felt insanely horrible and sorry for myself.  But I took one tiny step every day, and it felt good, and I got stronger.

That’s what I did this morning too – I took the tiniest possible step.  Just turning on my computer, opening up a document, and writing a single sentence.  Such an action is so small as to seem insignificant, and yet so easy as to be possible when I was feeling defeated.  And it showed me the next step was possible, and the next.  And the end result is this blog post you’re reading now.

2.  It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering (be present).

This morning my mind was ruminating about every time and place other than the time and place I was in.  When I caught myself doing this, I brought my focus back to the present.

Remember, happiness is allowing yourself to be perfectly OK with ‘what is,’ rather than wishing for and worrying about ‘what is not.’  ‘What is’ is what’s supposed to be, or it would not be.  The rest is just you, arguing with life.  Think about that for a minute.  This means your suffering only ever occurs when you resist how things are in the present.

Although you can’t control everything that happens to you; you can only control the way you respond to what happens.  In your response is your power.  In your power is your presence. (Read A New Earth)

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