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You don’t have to look hard to see that discouragement is all around us. Any encounter with a large group of people will give you a glimpse into a life battling discouragement. When I know the enemy – when I can recognize discouragement – then I can be better equipped for the fight.
Learning to Recognize Discouragement
I look for certain things when I am watching for the attacks of discouragement.
1. Discouragement produces pessimism, a focus on inadequacy, and a need to find faults in others in order to feel better about self.
2. Discouragement causes a zone out reaction to life, a feeling of being trapped (because you are in a way), and an overall lack of initiative.
3. Discouragement crushes confidence, creates a loser mentality, and can even push into being loud and overbearing because as fears and frustrations mount.
4. Discouragement creates a stuck situation and traps the mind in the moment (or more likely in the past moments).
5. Discouragement drives a need for perfectionism and complete control and can result in a need for constant affirmation or any type of attention (including negative attention).
Dealing with discouragement that is attacking my life is tough enough – but dealing with discouragement in the lives around me is even more of a challenge because the discouragement they are enduring is contagious – and I mean highly contagious. I have to be on the watch for discouragement so I can protect against it.
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