The Beast Named Discouragement

Photo by KS KYUNG on Unsplash

I have been struggling.  I’ve been struggling with being discouraged. Because writing blog posts where you truly want to help others but not having any sign that your words are reaching anyone is incredibly discouraging to me. Writing something on twitter or instagram or facebook and getting no response hurts like f***ing hell. (And it’s one of the reasons I stopped using social media.)

I know I’m not alone. Even Demi Lovato, famous and amazing and talented and incredible as she is, just released a heartbreaking song asking if there’s anyone out there listening. (You can watch her Grammy performance here if you’re interested.)

So that is where I‌ am right now.  My current challenge is to keep writing, keep trusting the journey, even when it looks like I am walking this journey alone. ‌I’m trying again and I’ve come up against the same snag I‌ always do.  But if I can’t do it for myself, how can I‌ help anyone else find the confidence to do the same?

This mindset of worthlessness and resignation is hard to break; and running is a habit decades old.  I have always struggled to continue something just for myself.  I am in the throes of that difficulty once again.

What do I usually do (which is exactly what I did this time)?

Well, this discouragement hit me really hard yesterday (without warning too).  I hated the feeling so much that I‌ couldn’t even sit with it long enough to figure out what exactly I was feeling or where it was coming from! I completely blocked out the feeling and the world and lay in bed mindlessly on my phone for hours.

Did the mindless phone time help? I‌ can’t say it did.  I spent hours that I‌ could have been writing hiding under blankets.  It feels like I tried to stick a band-aid on my heart and somehow hope that it would be enough to heal an internal wound.  But the feeling is still here.

So what next?

Well, if hiding didn’t make the feeling go away, it’s time to come out. So Right now I’m leaning into the feeling and that’s why I’m writing this post.  Leaning into the feeling helped me to name it. ‌And just naming it has taken some of the power. Discouragement.  I feel discouraged.

It hurts like hell and all I still want to do is run away and hide. but that won’t heal anything.  My habit is running and hiding. ‌That habit may have helped me in the past, but I’m up to big things this year. I don’t want to run and hide anymore.

How can I change my mindset and my habit?

I don’t want a band-aid. ‌I don’t want this feeling to keep returning.  I want it to go away completely so I‌ can continue writing and helping people and being at peace.  So I pulled some tarot and oracle cards for myself, which gave me some incredible ENCOURAGEMENT.  I am good enough, trust the timing, share my voice, stay present, just take the next step. If I really want this to work, I can’t get stopped by the same hurdle that’s always stopped me in the past.

It’s ironic, isn’t it.  Simply choosing not to run away from the pain of discouragement is a form of courage and that is encouraging me to keep going.

My‌‌ Takeaway

Healing is PAINFUL. I‌ don’t want to experience any hard emotions.  But if I tackle this one head on, I‌ can turn it into a problem to be solved; I can deconstruct it!‌ And each time this discouragement comes back, it’ll be weaker; I’ll have more weapons in my arsenal to send it off. Am‌ I‌ there yet? No. ‌But tackling it by openly posting about it has already helped.  So I’m going to try this out next time I feel discouraged:

1) I’m going to name it.  I‌ see you for what you are, discouragement.
2) I’m going to take the next (baby) step(s): make some tea and turn on my current favorite song and dance wildly around the room.
3) I’m going to say: “I know I am good enough. Just keep doing what you love.  Just keep writing.”

We’ll see how it goes.


  1. The secret to creativity in whatever field is first to allow the present to disintegrate into the pieces that will create the new next great discovery. You are right to lean into it, but don’t forget the process. Disintegration has to happen before reintegration. But expect to cement the new mosaic. Only you can do it. You want to help other writers? Keep on doing what you’re doing — sharing what you are experiencing — anticipate the integration — set and share the example. the payoff will come when you run a small victory lap on the way to victory. . But for heavens sake don’t get stuck in the shattering process.

    The folks in my writers group bring candy or wine or something to celebrate even a rejection letter that says someone is listening. Enjoy a celebratory bon bon but don’t take time to eat the whole box and do make a date with yourself for when you’ll get off the couch.. Your creation is waiting for you.

    Been there. Done that. Want help? Use your calendar and keep the appointment you make with yourself. Right now it’s only you who can please you. and proceed with your creation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “You want to help other writers? Keep on doing what you’re doing — sharing what you are experiencing — anticipate the integration — set and share the example. the payoff will come when you run a small victory lap on the way to victory. . But for heavens sake don’t get stuck in the shattering process.”

      I love this. You’ve said so much that has taken me a few days to really understand myself. It’s awfully hard for people to listen if I never say anything, right? I’m not letting the same wall that’s been blocking me for years block me now. Time to move on!

      Thank you! 🙂


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