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Dealing with Discouragement

Uncategorized Jul 31, 2017

Matt goes walk about in London, Share some tips about dealing with discouragement and shows us where his business began!

We all go through discouragement, right? We all go through seasons and times of discouragement because we're human and that's just what it means. We've all been there. We've all gone through it. For some of us, that might be in the last five minutes, but most of us, we're going to have got some kind of discouragement in the last few days, and it's during this time of discouragement that it's really useful and really helpful to find a way to process that, to grow out of that and to begin again.

We all go through discouragement, right? We all go through seasons and times of discouragement because we're human and that's just what it means. We've all been there. We've all gone through it. For some of us, that might be in the last five minutes, but most of us, we're going to have got some kind of discouragement in the last few days, and it's during this time of discouragement that it's really useful and really helpful to find a way to process that, to grow out of that and to begin again.

If you have watched the Vlog, you will remember I said the process for me for dealing with this is to give myself a pep talk. So what does it mean to give yourself a pep talk? Well, what does it actually mean to be discouraged? What does the word mean? Well, the dictionary tells us that it is having lost confidence or enthusiasm. You've become disheartened in some way. Does that describe you? How would you define discouragement? What does it mean to be discouraged?

For me, discouraged is actually the absence of courage. It's to take courage away. Dis, courage, two words. For some reason, at some point in time courage has been taken away or it escapes us? How do we get discouraged? If we understand what it is now, how do we actually get discouraged? What causes us to be discouraged?

All over the place, social media, in the news, we've got discouragement. We've got discouragement at home. We've got it at the office. It doesn't matter where it is, in our communities, in our neighbourhoods, in the news. Like I said, wherever you go, there is a place to get discouraged. It attacks us on every plane. 

Pep Talks.

So, like I say, how do we deal with it? Well, for me, it's all down to the pep talk and I mentioned the Kid President video, We All Need a Pep Talk. My favourite line is "You are gooder than that." I think that's such a great line from that video. "You are gooder than that." You can deal with discouragement using this simple pep talk framework. 

Perspective.

Pep is an anagram and the first P is for perspective. I find that when I get discouraged I can be really, really inward-looking. I focus on me, how I'm feeling or what's not fair or what's not right, so why did this happen? It's easy to get drawn into this world which is all about me. Actually, perspective is great because it helps us see the bigger picture, right? To get some kind of context, to step back from the situation and try and get an overview. Okay? When you want to gain some perspective, think about the end goal. Think about your vision. If you've been discouraged as an entrepreneur or in business, think about what it is you're trying to do and build your faith again and get mentoring. If you've been discouraged in your relationships or in your marriage, think about your vows, think about what you were thinking on your wedding day. What is it you guys are trying to achieve? What's your vision? What's the dream? What's the hope you guys have got? Because it's easy to start to feel hopeless, right? We want to avoid that feeling of being hopeless. So just take a step back, think about the dream, the goal, the vision. Just remind yourself why are you in this.

Ego.

The second thing I would say when talking about perspective is don't let your ego get in the way. I mean trust me on this. I know that ego can be a killer to progress, right? Because for me it's hard to put aside how I feel about something or what I think about something especially if I'm hurt or upset about that thing. This quality actually, you could argue, is what makes us great entrepreneurs! Because we're constantly aware of what we think or how we feel about something and we function on gut reaction in what we think and where we want to move with that and think it's going to work. But, it also can be a big disadvantage when things go wrong for us. When things aren't going too well because we can become quite self-obsessed, we can become a little bit egocentric, and we have to remind ourselves it is not all about us. So, to recap. Number one, P for perspective. Number two is E for encourage. I mentioned early on that being discouraged is to take courage away, right? Discourage. Encourage is where you build it back up to rebuild your courage. En is the Greek word for in. So encourage means get that courage back inside you, right? How do I do that? Now, again for you and for me, there's a million and one ways that I can feel encouraged. Here's a few of them that work really well for me: Number one, I talk to people that encourage me. For me, that's my wife. She's an amazing encouragement. My kids usually are encouraging, and to be fair to my kids, they're encouraging if they know dad's down a little bit, but they're super encouraging. My friends and family. I got some great friends around me and some very supportive family members and they really help me. If I'm feeling a little bit discouraged, talk to them and they bless the socks off me. It's amazing. It's amazing how simple conversation with one person can really change the whole outlook. They build you up. They bring you encouragement, right? Again, I mentioned this in the vlog. Whilst it's good that people encourage me, it also reminds me that actually I need to look for the opportunities to encourage others because everybody is fighting a battle, everybody is facing some kind of discouragement. So, it's good if I'm the guy that goes in there and can encourage them. So I talk to people that encourage me and I look for opportunities to encourage others. Now, if you did step one as in get some perspective, then maybe you'll see that things are better than you first thought, right? That also encourages me. It's not actually as bad as I first thought. Another thing I like to do is I like to go for a walk in the hills or along the beach. That always lifts my spirit sometimes. If I can, I go get away for a couple of days either on the island of Jersey or even if you throw the tent in the back of the car and go camping in the Lake District. Whatever works for you just to get away from it all, walk along the beach, walk along the hills, and just get your spirits lifted. It's amazing how being in nature works super well for things like that. Finally, the other thing for me is my Christian faith is a massive source of encouragement. Now, I appreciate you might not believe the same way that I do, but for me, when I look at what Christ went through for me, it massively encourages me. So, that's a great source of encouragement for me.

Productivity.

Finally, get 'productive'. Take some action. Action is so therapeutic. You feel in much more control when you are taking action. You really, really do. Look at what's caused the discouragement and ask yourself, "What can I do? What action can I take that starts to move the situation from where it is to more where I needed to be?" Make a list, write them all down, and then prioritise them in terms of impact and quick wins. So you've got a list, everything is written down, prioritise the list in terms of impact and quick wins. What do we mean by impact? Well, it's the 80-20 rule. 80% of good stuff is going to come from 20% of the activities you do. Those are activities that give you the biggest impact. Do those. Look for the quick wins so you can get some momentum. Get to work. Start taking some action. For me, this simple format works really well. So when I'm feeling discouraged, which can be something minor where I don't really think about it, but it can be something major which has the potential to derail me and to knock me back. What is it I need to do? I need to get some perspective. I need to rebuild my courage. I need some encouragement and I need to get productive. That's the pep talk on how to deal with discouragement. The bottom line is if you are discouraged, that's normal. Everybody else is in the same boat. What separates out the entrepreneurs I think is actually how they deal with it and you get up and you keep going forward and you carry on making a difference.

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