John R. Hatfield


Disappointments will come and go but discouragement is a choice you make.

Charles Stanley


“A loss of confidence, or enthusiasm, dispiritedness”


“Demoralization, despair, disheartenment, despondency”


“Beat down, overwhelmed with the problem and pressure”


As you can see from these definitions of discouragement it can be overwhelming, especially if the duration is over a long period of time. During the downturn of the economy in 2008, I was let go from a six figure, twenty-seven-year career. It was devastating to say the least. The discouragement brought about a debilitation as the years marched forward without a career.

“It is a curtain of doubt that falls on us when our optimism over a certain outcome was ripped away.” 

Mary Rooney

As a man, I gained lots of identity and affirmation from my skill set and talent in my job performance and in a blink of an eye it was gone. Discouragement and second guessing myself along with a loss of confidence brought me to a screeching halt. After four long, hard, miserable, empty, years of diligently looking for a career job it brought me to a defining moment.

The origin of the word discouraged is courage that is taken away

The choice was mine, I could either pick myself up from the knock down blow, stare down fear and reinvent myself or I could stay knocked down, discouraged, and demoralized becoming depressed. My personality was, oh hell no, get up John and get your butt in the game, call out the courage that lives within you. I’m here today, knocked down several times in the journey, understanding and experiencing resilience and now established in a new career. Toughest long march I’ve ever been on. I credit my wresting days of sacrifice, self-discipline, and a never give up emotional mentality along with my faith in God that carried me through. Discouragement made me resilient, made me better because of the lessons I learned in the fog of despair.

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest steppingstones to success.”

Dale Carnegi

How Leaders Defeat Discouragement | Leadership Freak

Causes of Discouragement?

“Your present circumstance doesn’t determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start.”

Nido Quebin

  1. When you give it your all, everything you know, and you see zero results.
  2. Feelings of helplessness.
  3. How you view and deal with setbacks, rejection, and failure.
  4. When the time period is never ending, no relief from the continuous pressure.
  5. Aloneness in the struggle.
  6. Feeling like you can’t win regardless of what you do, defeated attitude.
  7. Lack of encouragement and affirmation.
  8. When you sense no one else understands, has compassion or empathy to the current dilemma you’re in.
  9. Other people’s stupid one liners, inappropriate ignorant comments and judgments.
  10. Your inner critic causes you to self-judge and self-condemn then you self-destruct.
On discouragement (part one) – Simon Desjardins Blog

Ways Discouragement Affects You?

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

Michael Jordan

1) You start questioning and doubting yourself.

2) You feel embarrassed and ashamed that this is happening to you.

3) You feel like a loser.

4) An attitude of giving up, you don’t give a damn anymore, you’re done, you don’t want to stay in the fight.

5) You become depressed and lose perspective.

6) Shame as your self-image is tied to it.

7) You just want to run away, hide, leave, disassociate yourself from the never-ending pain.

8) You want to self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, sex, and sleep.

9) You create a false persona, lose your true identity.

10) Lack the energy or ambition to do anything, become depressed.

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  Things One Does to Rise Above Discouragement

“Don’t give up, normally it is the last key on the ring which opens the door.”

Paulo Coelho

  1. Speak truth to yourself, take charge of your emotions.
  2. Identify any historical discouragement times that trigger current situations.
  3. Choose friends who understand your situation, have empathy, are encouragers, and speak truth to your lies.
  4. Embrace your faith, your higher power, believe it will change, and call out hope.
  5. Change your attitude on defeat and failure.
  6. Form daily and weekly goals, create a routine.
  7. Make sure you have some positive things occurring.
  8. Make a commitment and be determined to not give in or up. Be resolute.
  9. Reflect and journal identifying lessons you are learning and let them redefine you.
  10. Get a damn good therapist!
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Lessons I Learned When I Was Overwhelmed in the Haze of Discouragement.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Our attitude is everything.”

Chuck Swindoll

  1. Have a daily and weekly focus so I wouldn’t drift
  2. Control my emotions, don’t let them rule me.
  3. Be aware of my self-talk, conversations, narratives that are lies.
  4. Maintain a correct perspective.
  5. Refuse to label and define my identity based on current circumstances.
  6. Live out the values I proclaim.
  7. Have fun, do something encouraging in the midst of the despair squeeze.
  8. Don’t give up or give in… persevere, be steadfast, and resilient.
  9. Rebuff the victim, blame mentality.
  10. It’s all right to have an emotional and mental break down, even again and again.
Combating Discouragement (Abridged Sermon 8/16) - Faith Covenant Church |  Wheaton, IL


“When discouragement comes, don’t stop, dig deep, and fight it through.”

T B Joshua

“When suffering, pain, shattering, and the hardships of life happen, some are defeated and discouraged but the resilient become strong in the face of adversity.”

John R. Hatfield

  1. Identify and articulate what you are discouraged about and why?
  2. Record lessons you are learning about yourself and if you need to change something.
  3. Read a book or article on disappointment, discouragement or resilience.
  4. Record your negative self-talk and ask where does this come from?
  5. List out ways you can get control of your emotions.

“There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.”

Michael De Montaigne

“Failure is always a part of success.”

John R. Hatfield



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Discouragement was last modified: August 4th, 2021 by John R. Hatfield