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Hey friends It's Sylvia Nwokolo, and I'm glad you have joined me on this journey to enlighten you to thrive and be all that you were purposed to be. Now at some point in our life we have felt and we will feel discouraged about some thing specific or even life in general. I have recently been listening to a lot of talk about discouragement and I thought to discuss more on this. So if you have been feeling discouraged lately or know someone feeling discouraged, gather here. Let’s talk about how we can process our feeling of discouragement and thrive. I term discouragement as not able to see the light at the end of the tunnel or not knowing the next steps to lead to that light. One can feel trapped in this state. So when one is in this state, it is first important to clearly articulate to yourself what you are feeling and it will most definitely help for you to trace your steps back in terms of your feelings, back to your thoughts and then the situation that led to you being discouraged. It can get all muddled up in your head and it can feel like you are carrying a heavy load. But tracing your steps back to the situation and being able to articulate what is going on can be daunting but powerful at the same time. Here you are faced with the truth about your discouragement and at the same time you don’t know what to do to fix it. Don’t fret my friend – Awareness is the first step to solving any issue.

I also want you to look at the situation stripped of your thoughts and feelings about it. In most cases, this takes the power to drain you of the situation and allows you to think clearly as to the way forward. Ask yourself if what you are making that situation mean is really true. Take your thoughts to court regarding that situation. What are you making the situation mean to you? Are you defining who you are based on that situation? I often find that the cycle of control as seen in the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is a very effective tool to use to clarify the situation. Is this situation within my cycle of control? Is it within my sphere of influence or is it out of my control? The situation might be within what you can control and you can take an action on the way forward. However we have to be mindful of how we take an action when we feel discouraged. As a rule try not to make a permanent decision based on a temporal emotion – again be self aware of your emotions and feeling and be mindful of your actions. You need a clear head to make important decisions. If the feeling of discouragement is strong, do something to clear your head. Take a walk, listen to calming or worship music or do something that does not require you to think. Some people find baking or cooking works for them. Find what works for you and build your self care tool kit so you can always reach out for what works.

If the situation is within your sphere of influence, meaning you can talk to someone about the solution or pray about it – I should say this though, you are not responsible for what other people do or what they are thinking, you can only control you. You can influence their decisions but can’t control them. That’s what the bible calls witchcraft when you are trying to control other people – ok I digress. Back to what I was talking about, if the situation is within your sphere of influence, it is advisable to calm yourself down and have a clear head before trying to influence the situation – so you don’t say something you will regret when you eventually have a clear head. If the situation is clearly out of your control, there is one thing you can do – Pray about it. There is solace in coming to God as you are and communicating with him. In this brings strength. We don’t always have to know the way to fix the situation immediately. It can be more rewarding to speak to God as you are and embrace the peace and strength that only he can give. This builds your charcter and confidence when you witness the awesomeness and sovereignty of God in your life. The bible in 1 Samuel chapter 30 verse 6 said about David when he felt discouraged and distressed - But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. Try this on my friends, come to God as you are and seek strength from him when the situation seems out of your control. Remember God can make a way where there seems to be no way. Don’t come to him seeking strategy, come to him seeking strength and in the place of peace and strength comes clarity and strategy.

Now What if you are dealing with someone, say a friend, who is feeling discouraged about something. In this case you need to create a safe space for the person. Know that It is a privilege for your friend to share their heart with you so don’t take it lightly. Be sensitive to what that friend needs. Is he or she looking for solution from you or a space to just share and be heard? Depending on your rapport with that friend you can provide either or both. You can validate the person’s feelings and / or help the person navigate their next steps – depending on if the situation is within their control, influence or out of their control. While doing this make sure not to be the judge. It is so easy to find people who criticise and judge others but it is priceless to have a friend that sticks closer than a brother or sister. Be that friend.

Ultimately my friend if you are feeling discouraged, there is so much to do and actions to take regarding the things within your control just be mindful on how you go about it so you are not led by your feelings and emotions but the truth about the situation. Don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporal emotion. Also remember for the situation not in your control – give it God and stay hopeful by finding peace and strength in his presence. Hope is key for me that’s why I love helping women transform their wellbeing and thrive in life. If this resonates with you and you are seeking a Christian coach to help you, reach out to me through my email Until next time my friend keep winning thriving and shinning. God bless.

Sylvia Nwokolo is a Wellbeing Transformation Coach and Author.

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