Full disclaimer: this post is for me more than anyone else.
I had something else on the calendar, but this topic kept stirring in my heart as it’s something I’m actively battling.
Discouragement can kill hope–if we allow it.
Many times it takes everything in us to keep moving forward. Again, speaking from experience.
As one who’s overcome many emotional afflictions (thanks to Jesus!), I never want to cease testifying about where my true strength comes from.
If we seek our “inner self” for strength we’ll always fall short. We need to lean upon, stand with, and be secure in Jesus Christ.
He is the Rock who cannot be moved. Jesus is our Champion. In more ways than we’ve ever explored possible!
And in the event someone else is wrestling with discouragement, I’d love to share tips that I’ve found helpful.
All business owners need to know and understand their “why”. Yes, even writers must consider themselves business owners. That’s key information given at writers’ conferences, in craft books, etc.
If you haven’t already identified your “why”, sit and reflect on that for a minute.
Why are you writing? Why are you sharing your heart on the pages? Why do you want to change the world with your stories?
Creatives come under a lot of emotional attacks. It’s the quickest jab to get them off course and under a rock so they refuse to come into the light again. [I know I’m not alone in this!]
Reminding ourselves of why we want to make a difference in the world with our art will shift our focus off of the emotional jab and back onto our passion.
p.s. don’t tell me “It’s easier said than done”. Remember, I have walked in deep darkness. I’m battling discouragement this very day. Choosing to redirect our focus off of the emotional jabs and onto victory is a conscious choice. You have to want it.
Is your “why” worth it? I bet it is.
Discouragement doesn’t travel alone. Buddies like Hopelessness, Fear, Insecurities, and the like, love to hitch a ride.
And as such, our minds can become playgrounds for these things. Soon lies fill our heads feeding into discouragement.
All of those are LIES.
And the best way to discern lie from truth is to hold what we tell ourselves up against what God has said.
If you haven’t had a raw conversation with God about your business, I’d recommend starting there. Because God’s truth becomes foundational to the business structure we build. Anything not built upon Him will crumble.
[And yes, I learned that from experience too. ]
In John 10, Jesus teaches His disciples that the thief (the enemy of our soul) comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
The enemy attacks every aspect of our purpose, dreams, and callings with such ferociousness each strike is meant to hit us so hard we never get back up.
But Christ, our Redeemer, came so that we may live! And not just in small ways! Christ desires for His followers to live healthy and abundantly fruitful lives.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (NKJV)
So take a quick evaluation of the words you’re speaking over yourself. Who are you listening to–Death or Life?
Not an easy step but a choice nonetheless.
Scripture will always be my go-to choice for encouragement. God’s word has literally breathed life into me on several occasions, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve stood upon the promises God has spoken.
I don’t randomly grab at any scripture and declare it. I use what God has spoken directly over my life and clung to those promises for dear life.
Next, I’ll reach for something humorous.
Laughter is a powerful tool for cutting emotional tension. I’ll quickly scan some memes and gifs, or watch a few ridiculous reels–not spending too much time, mind you!
Science has proven laughter releases endorphins and draws in more oxygen into your system, stimulating your heart, lungs, and muscles.
Which for me equates to some amazing all-natural medicine.
But just as with Tip 1, I have to want it. I could waste hours laughing at ridiculous reels.
Only I can make the choice to enjoy a hug from the Father and a quick laugh to then power through my assignments thus being a completer of the Father’s will for my life.
We are never alone. Despite whatever lies we tell ourselves.
Forever with us is Jesus Christ our Lord. In addition, we have family and friends who genuinely care and support us.
There are cases where reaching out to certain individuals could be painful. But there are people in our life who love us and want to see us thrive and succeed.
On days when I’m struggling, I’ll reach out to my closest support team. They help not only encourage me but also speak truth into my life. And as a bonus, they hold me accountable. These ones push me with their encouragement for me.
But just as in Tip 3, I can’t believe the lies. Lies will tell me those in my support team don’t care. Thus causing me not to reach out for help.
Let’s not do that to ourselves. We are loved by others.
Walk with Christ, and walk with others.
Discouragement’s main goal is to keep you unproductive. So if you walk away from the assignment God has given you, discouragement wins.
You–and your creative heart–are too valuable to be tucked away or caged from having your light shine. So many broken people need what you have to offer.
Whatever it takes, grab your laptop or get out a notebook and get words on the page!
Write in any condition you are in. Just don’t let discouragement win. Discouragement does not own you!
This post isn’t fluff to me. I truly pray you feel encouraged and refueled after taking the time to read this piece of my heart.
Being a creative takes courage, tenacity, and a special resilience to never give up.
You were made for such a time as this. And I pray you feel the love of Christ wrapping around you, and may the warmth of His love breathe fresh hope into your weary heart.
You matter. You are worth the fight. And I’m so glad you’re here.
Blessings to you, dear one.
April 20, 2023