We’ve all had moments of feeling discouraged. Things didn’t go as we hoped. Disheartened, the letdown leaves us feeling like we’ve failed. And maybe this result prevents us from trying again. The words “courage” and “discourage” are more connected than you think. Knowing the real meaning might help you next time you feel discouraged.
The root of the word “discourage” is not just disappointment. It actually means to extinguish courage. Think of a flame burning as it’s fueled by your energy, positivity, and desire to achieve. Then, a single act can douse it. The bright light flickers and dies, leaving darkness and cold.
The pain of discouragement reduces your motivation to try new things or to simply try again. A failed relationship might discourage you from engaging in another—out of fear of ending up broken-hearted once more. So, you resist taking another chance. And that fear robs you of the opportunity to have a healthy, happy, fulfilling relationship.
In business, a sales professional can feel discouraged from rejection. The zapping of courage causes them to hold back in approaching leads or asking for the sale from a prospect. The salesperson can’t achieve their potential because the lack of courage is paralyzing.
Be your own hero.
Courage is bravery. But it isn’t limited to heroes. Be your own hero by challenging yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. What is there truly to fear? It might not work out. But, on the other hand, it MIGHT!
If you look at every moment that discourages you as a lesson, you can grow from it. Rejection—both personally and professionally—is not something to see as your fault. The unsatisfying result demonstrates something that could be improved. Look inside yourself to understand what didn’t work. Use that knowledge and move on. Be mindful of the knowledge you’ve gained.
So what if one relationship didn’t work out? That was one person among countless others—whether we’re talking about a love interest or a customer.
If your courage has been quashed by unmet expectations, summon up your strength and realize that one situation does not define you. What DOES define you is how you handle it. Are you going to cower in the face of challenges? Will you let the past dictate your future? If so, you will never move beyond where you are now.