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Combating Discouragement To Recover From Clipped Wings

Discouragement pushes you down. Clipping your wings gives them control over keeping you down. If you want to keep free-range hens in the yard, you clip their wings. They can still mull around the yard, but they can’t take flight. The world is constantly looking for ways to clip your wings and tether you to the limitations it has set. Be prepared to avoid the clipping and have a plan for healing if it happens.

Logic will not change an emotion, but action will.


Logic will not change an emotion, but action will.

Covered by Discouragement

I went into the battle prepared. I knew victory was on our side. Nothing they could do could make me doubt my truth.

Except for what they said. Their words were hammered into my heart for three days until they were all I heard. I played their words over and over in different formats – sometimes as biting dialogue, other times as false sympathetic cooing. None of it sat well. Before I got home, I was beginning to believe their words.

When things don’t go the way we expected, and we can’t see the end of the storm, it can be easy to miss the attack and get clipped. When you face them clipping your wings, you often crash to the ground. It’s hard not to. The momentum that lifted you up is suddenly not around. 

But getting clipped doesn’t mean you have to stay down forever. You can dispel discouragement by choosing to pick up after a discouragement attack and move onward one little bit.

Pro Tip: Learning the basics of encouragement can give you a firm foundation for standing up to discouragement when it attacks.

daily challenge - rising above the limits of discouragement

Overcome Them Clipping Your Wings

I read recently how the butterfly has such large wings that even when the wings get clipped, the butterfly can still fly. My logo from the beginning had always included a butterfly, even before I knew about some of the amazing attributes of the butterfly.

Knowing that a butterfly can keep going even when the wings are clipped fueled my hope in a time when it was hard to see anything but the storm. 

One clip doesn’t stop the flight

Several clips don’t even stop the flight. The only thing that will stop you from flying is when you quit. Keep flapping. Keep moving. Keep daring to live your dreams. Even if you just do a little bit, that little bit will move you a little bit closer.

Clipped doesn’t mean broken

You can stumble and still maintain momentum. When others clip you, that doesn’t mean they get to knock you off the track.

Focused flexibility overcomes the clip

Things happen. When the going gets tough, you can give in to the toughness, or you can flex into that toughness so you can continue into your focus. 

Get the bonus content: Living INcouraged Workbook

Stumble, Fall, but Get Back Up

Every morning, I got up to walk in the neighborhood before people woke up and interrupted nature. I could listen to the birds and enjoy the sunrise. Every week, I added to my neighborhood tour until I was walking for almost two hours each morning.

One morning, I stormed the steep hill I had added to the tour, proud that I could still hold a conversation with my husband. As we started down the hill, the pavement reached up and grabbed me and threw me to the ground.

That would be a cooler story than what really happened. I had just taken a sip of water, and as I was putting the bottle back in my pocket, I stepped into a slight dip and crashed into the pavement – with one of the neighbors watching in stunned silence.

I was embarrassed for falling in front of the neighbor. I was angry for not paying better attention. I was frustrated for needing help getting up. But I was able to get up and finish the walk. 

My next morning walk was shorter and didn’t include that hill. For a long time, I avoided that hill completely. Discouragement told me I couldn’t – people would point and stare (not like they don’t already point and stare when I’m dancing and singing during my walks, but you don’t always recognize discouragement tricks when they are at play). I wasn’t sure if it was because I didn’t want to risk face-planting again or because I didn’t want to face the neighbor. Either way, the result of that stumble was clipped wings.

We get our wings clipped in little ways – like a humiliating face plant in the pavement – or big ways – like a big decision that publicly goes against us. No matter how it happens or what the damage is, the next step matters. If we don’t get up, then we can’t go on.

Clipped wings hurt, but they heal. They heal even faster when we dare to stand up, dust off the gravel in our hands and knees, and keep going.

Clipped wings hurt, but they heal Click To Tweet

Clipped Wings Recover

You will get clipped wings. You will fall. You will stumble. You will be just a little short (and no, that’s not a place where Steve gets to make a short joke at my expense – but I know he will). We don’t always get it right, but we can find a way to get right back to it. 

If you are struggling with a clipped experience, reach out to someone you know who will encourage you or support you without rubbing salt in your wound. Drop into a life video that offers hope and inspiration (I just found The EXPERIENCE Live with Russ and Scott and I will be adding that to my inspiration list). Turn up the music and dance – and force your kids to dance with you (their looks alone will bring you delight).

Do whatever you need to do to move your focus from the clipping to the dreaming. Your dream matters. The more you lean into your unique BIG DREAMS the less the clipping has an effect. When you focus on your flight, you take the power away from them clipping your wings and you defeat discouragement.

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Looking for more encouragement?

Practical Proverbs pulls encouragement tips directly from the Book of Proverbs.

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