Discouraged man

At some moments in our lives, we may feel depressed or “low” from something that happened to us. We might suffer a defeat on the sporting field. We may lose a friend or spouse. At some juncture, we may grieve our circumstance in a hopeless job or situation.

When the world contrives against us, our emotions may thrust us into emotional turmoil where “things” seem insurmountable. Depression drags us into a rut. Please understand this fact: no one possesses enough money, fame or power to overcome setbacks or failure at certain junctures in his or her life. No matter what your station in life—a movie starlit, world leader or the richest person on the planet—a dark cloud may descend upon you at any moment in your life’s journey. The latest high-profile example could be Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen and their children.

That moment may precipitate from:

—suffering defeat on the sports field—

missing that final shot

—failing in your attempt at love with

someone—you suffered rejection

—losing your job, missing a raise, getting stuck in a bad position

—someone cheating or betraying you,

or failing at your highest calling

—going through a divorce

—losing a loved one

Some people dwell on their loss. They feel stalled in a “funk” of melancholy that affects their daily living. They may “groove” their unhappiness like a track on a CD until they find it difficult to pull out of the feeling. It can become as critical as suicide or as unhealthy as the angry person who constantly lashes out against others such as family or friends. Discouragement magnifies in numerous ways—most of them negative.

Smiling Man

When something, someone or some condition discourages you, breathe in that feeling. Then, breathe out that energy in a conscious process to release it from your mind. Because that’s where discouragement lingers: in your mind, in your emotions and in your heart.

First of all, try to avoid amplifying a problem that causes your discouragement. Define it, understand where it’s coming from and, finally, appreciate it. For example, one big movie star, in his screen debut, discovered that the director cut him out of the movie. Yet, when he entered the director’s office, he thanked the man for the incredible experience he enjoyed acting in the movie in a bit part. The director, so impressed with Kevin Costner, wrote the young actor into the next movie, “Silverado,” where he became a huge star. Later, he acted in “Dances with Wolves,” which became a western classic.

First, you can accomplish the same success by how you handle your discouragement. Learn from it; release and grow. In the process, your gifts will reveal themselves. Use any failure in your life as a stepping stone to your own success.

Second, realize that life sustains those with a great sense of humor about themselves. They know the game of life offers many forks in the road. So, laugh often at the remarkable opportunities you enjoy for success, failure and choices during your stay on this planet.

Third, in all discouragements, you must release the “feelings” and embrace your heart. Whether you can do this by talking to a friend or loved one, in the end, you must come to terms with yourself and love yourself. Your heart generates the current of self-acceptance and peace.

Fourth, think about the good things in your life, such as your health, a roof over your head, food to eat, a friend, your pet, or the next movie you might enjoy. When you start adding up all your blessings, the darkness becomes a little brighter. Much like any rainstorm, there’s usually a rainbow at the end of the dark clouds. Walk toward it, embrace it and enjoy it.

By engaging these four points, and allowing a little time for perspective, you grow out of despair into renewal. Engage the concept of honesty toward yourself. It calms your spirit. Shift toward enthusiasm. By taking that course, you cultivate your passionate fire within. Take a conscious mental effort to step off the “discouragement” track by jumping your mind onto a new track or attitude. Replace fear with faith.

Faith stone

Finally, realize that you live on Earth to work, to play and to enjoy yourself like few other creatures—because you possess the will to live a creative life. You’re here to love, express and flow with the energies of life. Make it a great ride!

Frosty Wooldridge lives in Genesee, Colorado and is a six-continent, world bicycle traveler who gives 12 concepts and practices for living a fabulous life in his book, “Living Your Spectacular Life.”