How to avoid getting discouraged

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I know the title says how to avoid getting discouraged, but I want to say to you that we all get that way sometimes. This is especially true for people in business, people who are working towards a goal, … Ещё parents, children, etc. Disappointment is a part of life and sometimes when we are disappointed by something, we get a bit discouraged.

Here are some tips I use to mitigate that:

1. Affirmations – these are powerful tools to use whenever you feel discouraged. As soon as you notice the feeling, then just start saying positive affirmations.
2. Avoid people who discourage you – there are people in our lives who don’t have a full grasp on their own lives and they have limiting beliefs so… Ещё

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Why It’s Important to Make Time for Self Care

As you may or may not have noticed, I took some time off from my broadcast. It was only intended to last for one day but I found that I needed a longer break because I was literally wearing myself out.

There is a section in the audio from Earl Nightingale that goes over the principles for success. One of those fundamental principles is “stop wearing yourself out”. Focused and intentional actions will get your to your goal faster than trying to go until you pass out.

I’ve heard and seen so many people online glorify the “no sleep club”. I’ll tell you why I do not subscribe to that club!

Several years ago I was diagnosed with hypersomnia. This is a condition where you can not… Ещё

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Did you Know, Tomorrow is not promised?

I heard someone say once “Don’t make someday your favorite day of the week”.
Have you ever listened to yourself when you are talking about your future? Do you catch yourself saying “someday” a lot? I used … Ещё to say that all the time and still catch myself saying it periodically.

I was reminded the other day that tomorrow is not promised, and we have to live our lives as if today, this hour, this minute, this second is all we have.

Let me ask you a question: If you knew you were going to die tomorrow but you had the whole day today to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?
I would hug everyone I loved then go out and do something I have never done before, like try and climb a… Ещё

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There is a place for every Nut!

I fervently wish that all of you could have been on our daily inspiration call this morning with Mr. Holton Buggs! The man is a master storyteller and knows just how to blend the story into something … Ещё uniquely inspirational.

This morning he told his story…The story of when he was young, and he and his wife were struggling financially. He said that when they went to the grocery story they really had to stick to a budget because he was barely able to pay the bills. He loved mixed nuts and that was their favorite snack. They couldn’t afford the name brand kind, but they loved them all the same. But there was one nut in the whole can that he loved and so did his wife as most people do,… Ещё

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How to Discipline to Yourself!

When I was a child and I did something wrong or something I was taught was wrong, I would get into trouble. Back then, a spanking was not unusual, but as the world changed, spankings became taboo in some … Ещё cultures and households.

This was a form of discipline used to tell you that what you were doing or not doing was wrong and that you should change your behavior. Now days there is time out, taking away privileges, grounding, etc., but the concept is the same. You are introducing some form of loss or pain to indicate the behavior is not right.

The dictionary defines discipline as : the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct… Ещё

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The Difference Between Doing Things Right vs. Doing the Right Thing

Have you ever wondered when things just don’t seem to be going right whether you are doing things the right way?

Sometimes it is not about doing it the right way but about doing the right thing. The right thing could be doing what is right for you or doing what is right for others.
In my business we have a philosophy of always doing the right thing. You don’t have to know the steps right away, but you just need to know that what you are doing is helping someone else to succeed.

When you hold a meeting with someone just to tell them that they matter, you are doing the right thing. When you smile at someone just because…you are doing the right thing.

When you are happy for someone… Ещё

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The Downside of Being A Skeptic

A lot of people are skeptical. I am skeptical on some things myself, but the downside of being a constant skeptic about everything is that you miss opportunities that are put in front of you.

I had a call the other day telling someone about the wonderful business opportunity that I have my hands on. The person asked me “Is this a Ponzi scheme” So let’s look at the definition of a Ponzi scheme shall we:

a form of fraud in which belief in the success of a nonexistent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.

So, my answer to her was “absolutely not” but she was so skeptical that she didn’t want to hear anything… Ещё

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The Hardest Lesson I’ve Learned from Being in Network Marketing

If you are an independent, I’ll do it on my own type of person like me, you probably have a hard time asking for help. This is especially true when you do let your guard down and ask for help, it doesn’t come, … Ещё right?

My personality has always been that I would not let anything defeat me for long. I might back away from something for a while to regroup but I never really quit. Sometimes though, the reason why I backed away was because I couldn’t figure it out on my own. I would research and try different things, but I refused to ask for help. I let my past disappointments in that area dictate what would happen if I asked for help.

What I have found out on my personal development… Ещё

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How I Give Back in Business & in Life

I find giving back uniquely rewarding. Sometimes we associate giving back with only money but when you give of your time, your money, your possessions, and your knowledge, you are giving back.

Giving back is simply giving what you are received. That can be anything. The way I give back that may or may not be having any impact, I can’t tell but I get on here everyday and give my time and what I’ve learned about personal development with you.

In my business it is really easy to give back because the business built by Mr. Holton Buggs was designed to give back and help people. I get to help people save money on the things they are going to do anyway, I get to help them keep more money… Ещё

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So, I understand that fitness is a journey and weight loss is a challenging thing. But how do people keep from feeling upset or even embarrassed by their lack of progress or how bad things have gotten?

Ive been to the gym almost every day for the last 3-4 weeks. I usually stick to cardio and weight machines, but today a friend (who is super in-shape) offered to help teach me about free weights. We did weighted squats, and I felt absolutely pathetic and embarrassed that I could barely do 100lbs. Afterwords we did crunches and box steps and that was a mess too. All I could think was how bad of shape I was in and how did I ever let myself get to the point where simple things like this were so hard? Im going to keep going to the gym and not stop, but im just really in a negative headspace regarding today.

Replies

Part of the journey is being a bit more gentle with yourself.

Nobody is judging you or shaming you when you are at the gym. Your friend went to the gym with you to help and encourage you. People like to support and encourage one another.

It is hard to outgrow the mindset of feeling judged or shameful. Once you make better friends with yourself you will see that others are there to support you.

you got to crawl before you walk man…

All of us started somewhere. When I started doing pull ups and chin ups I could barely do one, now I can do chin ups with a 45# plate hanging off my waist and pull ups with 35# hanging off my waist. When I started squatting it was like 145# now I can squat 245#….when I stated deadlifting I was doing like 175# now I can max out at 375# … April 10, 2015 12:31AM

Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Focus on what you can do and on making small improvements over time. Setting incrementally challenging, achievable goals and meeting those will give you a sense of accomplishment. So, next time do X more weight, or volume, or intensity, etc.

Give yourself a pat on the back for sticking with it for the last several weeks and not giving up.

You need to just keep your eyes on the prize. I didn’t feel like I was “getting anywhere” in the beginning. For me, it was (and is) a matter of weight loss so each time I lost a pound, I’d think: Wow, last week I’d have been overjoyed to be one pound down. And now I’m here! I went that way, pound by pound and so far at this point I’m 30 pounds down, and NOW it feels like I’m getting somewhere.

Hey, only a few months ago I could barely run for three minutes. Like, I felt like I was dying. Now I can run up to an hour. Then I discovered trail running and I was almost back at square one.

You need to start somewhere and you need to have a destination in mind–but don’t stress about how much time or effort it takes you to get there.

There is always someone in worse shape than you. If you saw them working out to improve themselves and they confessed that compared to you they feel pathetic and embarrassed you would probably tell them that it is awesome that they are working hard and encourage them.

Cut yourself the same slack!

So, I understand that fitness is a journey and weight loss is a challenging thing. But how do people keep from feeling upset or even embarrassed by their lack of progress or how bad things have gotten?

Ive been to the gym almost every day for the last 3-4 weeks. I usually stick to cardio and weight machines, but today a friend (who is super in-shape) offered to help teach me about free weights. We did weighted squats, and I felt absolutely pathetic and embarrassed that I could barely do 100lbs. Afterwords we did crunches and box steps and that was a mess too. All I could think was how bad of shape I was in and how did I ever let myself get to the point where simple things like this were so hard? Im going to keep going to the gym and not stop, but im just really in a negative headspace regarding today.

So, I understand that fitness is a journey and weight loss is a challenging thing. But how do people keep from feeling upset or even embarrassed by their lack of progress or how bad things have gotten?

Ive been to the gym almost every day for the last 3-4 weeks. I usually stick to cardio and weight machines, but today a friend (who is super in-shape) offered to help teach me about free weights. We did weighted squats, and I felt absolutely pathetic and embarrassed that I could barely do 100lbs. Afterwords we did crunches and box steps and that was a mess too. All I could think was how bad of shape I was in and how did I ever let myself get to the point where simple things like this were so hard? Im going to keep going to the gym and not stop, but im just really in a negative headspace regarding today.

I agree with this.

Get a personal trainer to show you the basics so you can build from there. Your friend was just walking you through his workout. (Which isn’t his fault if he’s not a trainer or good at training naturally.)

Did he trash talk you by the way, was he really competitive? Or was he cool and it was more you doing the comparing?

Many professionals have felt discouraged at some point in their careers. Learning about the signs of discouragement can help you identify what changes to make and how to implement them so you can find joy and fulfillment in your career again. In this article, we explain some of the signs of discouragement and offer tips to help you overcome it.

Signs you’re feeling discouraged

Here are some signs that you may be feeling discouraged in your career:

  • You’re unwilling to accept new tasks
  • You’re not excited to go to work every day
  • You don’t see the outcome of your work
  • You don’t feel you have any advancement opportunities
  • You lack focus when you work

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you can take steps to feel motivated about working again.

How to overcome feeling discouraged

Here are some techniques to help you overcome discouragement in your career:

  1. Make a list
  2. Look for a way forward
  3. Focus on the work, not the rewards
  4. Consider speaking with others
  5. Help someone else
  6. Look for other influencing factors
  7. Try a new project or skill
  8. Consider your career goals
  9. Reflect on your values
  10. Consider a job change

1 . Make a list

When you experience signs of discouragement, it can be helpful to make a list of factors that could be affecting you. Write down the challenges you’re experiencing so you can address all of them. This is an ideal first step for overcoming any feelings of discouragement at work.

2 . Look for a way forward

You may need to make changes in your work habits or career to move forward. If you lost out on a promotion, there might be things you can do to increase your chances of getting one the next time the opportunity arises. Perhaps you can adjust your work habits or improve your professional networking to find new opportunities. Seeking a new job or promotion with more responsibilities can bring purpose to your work again.

3 . Focus on the work, not the rewards

Whether it’s a thank you from your manager, verbal recognition at a staff meeting or a corporate award, it’s encouraging to know someone appreciates your work. Receiving little praise can make it challenging to continue working. If you depend on recognition for your motivation, start looking at the work as its own reward. Let the satisfaction of a job well done be your motivation.

4 . Consider speaking with others

When you feel discouraged, it is tempting to share your feelings with others who are discouraged. You can often find solace talking to people going through the same thing as you. However, this can stop you from overcoming your discouragement. Instead, look for people who have overcome discouragement and find out what helped them get beyond a disappointment to achieve their goals.

Consider working with a mentor to help you develop a more focused career path. A mentor can answer career-based questions and serve as a guide through challenging situations. They can assist in showing you how to overcome different forms of discouragement to progress in your career.

5 . Help someone else

Focusing your attention on other people can be an excellent way to help you get a perspective on your situation. Look for ways that you can be of help to someone else. If your workplace has a mentoring program, volunteer to be a mentor. Consider helping someone on your team with their project, which can help reignite your enthusiasm for your job.

6 . Look for other influencing factors

There might be external factors influencing your feelings of discouragement. In some cases, stress can affect your work and make you feel more discouraged. Learning how to manage stress and other factors can help you overcome your dejection. Make sure to eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of sleep to reduce your stress levels. Practice a manageable work-life balance to stay focused and excel in the workplace.

7 . Try a new project or skill

Ask your manager if you can work on a new project to try something different other than the job you’ve been doing. See if there are training opportunities within the company to learn new skills. Perhaps you can volunteer to help on a project with a different team. Changing your work in this way can challenge you and help you feel better about yourself. You can then return to your regular work with renewed energy and encouragement. Alternatively, you might discover a skill that leads to other job possibilities.

8 . Consider your career goals

You may have set goals and a career path, and it’s possible your current position doesn’t quite match your needs. Talk with your manager to determine if you can work out a way to make your job align better with your career goals. Your manager might be able to help you find something more suitable within the company. If not, consider finding a job that helps you regain focus on your professional aims.

9 . Reflect on your values

Your core values are the personal values that guide your decision-making and work. You tend to find the most satisfaction with your work when the job you are doing corresponds with those core values. Perhaps something has changed with your job where it no longer lines up with your values. If this is the case, then that might explain why you feel discouraged. You should either talk with your manager about this or consider looking for a different job.

10 . Consider a job change

This might be the moment you realize this job isn’t what you thought it would be. Maybe it’s time for a change. If you like the company, review internal job postings. It is possible that updating your resume will be enough to help you remember all you have done and all you are capable of doing. That might be all the encouragement you need to overcome your discouragement. Perhaps looking at the other jobs available to you will help you see that your current position is better than you thought.

How to avoid getting discouraged

Association of Biblical Counselors

Discouragement and disappointment are normal emotions we all experience even as Christians, but it’s important to know how to make sure those debilitating emotions don’t get the best of us.

First, let’s look at four reasons why we get discouraged and disappointed.

Job felt discouraged with his wife and friends. They didn’t get it. In the midst of his suffering and questioning God, they tried to be helpful, but they ended up heaping more shame and blame on Job for his afflictions. We, too, can feel let down by our friends and family. They don’t understand what we’re going through or don’t offer to help as we wish they would. Our disappointment can turn to discouragement.

Elijah became discouraged with life’s circumstances. Despite our persistent and fervent prayers, things don’t turn out the way we’d hoped they would. Elijah hoped that after all the miracles the Israelites saw performed on Mount Carmel, Ahab and Jezebel would repent and put God first, but they did not. King Ahab and Jezebel were as stubborn and hard hearted as always, and Elijah felt discouraged, exhausted, and told himself that his entire ministry was a waste (1 Kings 19).

Jeremiah felt angry and discouraged with God when he believed God was against him, and because of that perspective, he temporarily lost hope in God (Lamentations 3). The disciples too felt discouraged after Jesus was crucified, before he rose from the dead. They said, “We were hoping that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). They couldn’t see the bigger picture and felt disappointed that Jesus did not fight for his kingdom.

Peter felt discouraged with himself when he realized that he wasn’t as courageous as he thought he was. Jesus had warned him that he would deny him, but Peter’s pride kept him from seeing himself clearly (Matthew 26:31 and 74, 75). We too can feel discouraged and even depressed when we fail to live up to our own or someone else’s expectations.

Discouragement happens, even to the strongest and best of people. Below are five (5) steps you can take when you start to feel the black cloud of discouragement swallow you up.

1. Be honest. It does you no good to pretend you don’t feel what you feel. You can’t take action against a negative feeling until you first admit you have it. A strong Christian is not someone who never experiences negative feelings. It’s someone who has learned what to do with them when he or she has them and how to process them biblically.

2. Take care of your body. If your body isn’t working, your mind, emotions and will are also weakened. I love how God tended to Elijah’s body first—before addressing anything else and provided ravens to feed him. Sometimes the circumstances of life drain us dry, and we need to press pause, stop doing, and simply rest and refresh.

3. Pay attention to your thought life. Maturing as believers means we learn to think truthfully (Philippians 4:8) and to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

All of us attempt to make sense of the things that happen in our lives. We try to figure out why they happen and what it all means. It’s crucial that we pay attention to what stories we are telling ourselves about ourselves, about others, about God or a particular situation, and whether or not those stories are actually true. For example, if you look at what Elijah was telling himself after he became discouraged, much of it was not true, yet because he thought it, it added to his misery (read 1 Kings 19).

Jeremiah was also telling himself things about God that were not true but because his mind believed his version of reality instead of God’s, he lost his hope. Read through Lamentations 3. Notice in verse 21 Jeremiah begins to have a change of mind and heart. He says, “This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.” When his thoughts changed his negative emotions also lifted even though his circumstances stayed the same.

4. Train yourself to “see” life out of two lenses at the same time

When the apostle Paul counsels us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), he is telling us that our mind needs to be trained to think differently than we have in the past. Part of this training is to learn to see both the temporal (life is hard) and the eternal (God has a purpose here) at the same time.

Paul speaks honestly of his temporal pain when he says he is hard pressed on every side, perplexed, persecuted and struck down. Yet he did not become crushed, despairing, abandoned, or destroyed. Why not? Because he learned to firmly fix the eternal perspective on his spiritual eyes. He says, “Therefore we do not lose heart.… So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:8–18).

Paul never minimized the pain of the temporal, yet discouragement didn’t win because he knew that God’s purposes were at work. (See Philippians 1:12–14 for another example).

5. Press close into God

The truth is life is hard, people do disappoint and hurt us, and we don’t always understand God or his ways. The prophet Nahum talks about a day of trouble and reminds us “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, he knows those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7). If we’re not in close trusting relationship with God, life’s troubles can become unbearable. The psalmist cried out, “I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see God in the land of the living” (Psalm 27).

One final tip. The best way to chase out a negative feeling is with another feeling. The Bible teaches us “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Gratitude is a powerful anecdote for discouragement. We may not be able to give God thanks for the difficult situation that we find ourselves in, but we can learn to look for things we can be thankful for in the midst of it.

Leslie Vernick is a writer for The Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC). ABC exists to encourage, equip, and empower people everywhere to live and counsel the Word, applying the Gospel to the whole experience of life.

22 Powerful ways to Overcome Discouragement

Ignore anyone that says they don’t get discouraged.

We are bombarded with – be positive, think positive – messages because leaders get discouraged. Sad but true.

22 suggestions for overcoming discouragement:

  1. Ask someone you respect if they ever feel discouraged.
  2. Accept people for who they are. Trying to change people is futile and frustrating.
  3. When you feel discouraged acknowledge it to yourself. People who never feel discouraged are out of touch with themselves and the world.
  4. Anger frequently grows into discouragement. Let go of anger.
  5. Learn to do something new.
  6. Hold your head up. Good posture helps.
  7. Encourage someone. Your needs reveal what others may need.
  8. Stop trying to control things you can’t control. Let something go.
  9. Exercise.
  10. Persistent ambiguity is discouraging. Establish milestones; seeing progress encourages.
  11. Solve a small challenge or complete a project. Checking something off your list lifts a weight from your shoulders.
  12. Do your best to focus on things you do best. It feels great to do something well.
  13. Feeling alone can be discouraging. Let someone in. Find a friend by being a friend.
  14. Reward yourself or someone else.
  15. Journal.
  16. Reinterpret your setbacks as learning experiences and stepping stones.
  17. Enjoy fresh ideas from a book or lecture.
  18. Do something fun.
  19. If you don’t get some rest you’ll end up discouraged.
  20. The up side of discouragement is it may motivate you to evaluate yourself.
  21. Change a routine.
  22. Drain the drama. Respond objectively.

Writing a list of things that encourage – encourages me. Maybe #23 is writing a list of things you can do that encourage you.

Where do you find encouragement?

How do you encourage others?

Your ability to stay focused is more than just a worthwhile thing to cultivate–it’s a critical factor in your success or failure. Getting things done is imperative, and focus is the key to getting things done.

Here are 10 tips to help you stay focused at work by managing distraction, drawing healthy boundaries, and eliminating opportunities for procrastination:

1. Check up on yourself.

Distractions can be internal as well as external, so start by looking within. If you’re all over the place, ask yourself what’s really going on. What’s the source of your flightiness or anxiety? What do you need to be working on in your life?

2. Pinpoint the cause.

Once you have your internal priorities sorted out, look at more external causes. Is it your office setup? An intrusive co-worker? A lack of skill, ideas, or time for something you need to be doing? Burnout? When you can identify the cause, you can fix the effect.

3. Be prepared.

All successful leaders are great planners; they make lists for every major and minor objective. When a task comes your way, spend some time thinking about how you will accomplish it. Write down every step necessary from start to finish, with a timeline (even if it’s a rough one). There is a saying that every 10 minutes you spend on planning saves an hour in execution.

4. Go offline.

Some of the biggest sources of distraction come from email, social media, and cell phones. If you want real focus, take yourself offline until you’ve accomplished what you need to do.

5. Give yourself a break.

One of the keys to doing great work is to know when to take a break. When you start to feel distracted, take a break, and then reassess and refocus yourself. It doesn’t just act as a reward–a short break can help your mind become clearer.

6. Tune it out.

One of the best ways to tune everything out is to tune in to music. When everything around you is distracting, put on your headphones–find something that can serve as background music rather than music that holds your full attention. Music can help you concentrate, and the headphones signal others that you’re not available to chat.

7. Break it down.

Especially when distractions are high, make tasks smaller and break down your large projects into smaller tasks to help you concentrate and give you a sense of accomplishment and progress.

8. Clean it up.

What’s the state of your office or workspace? If it’s dirty, disorganized, or cluttered, invest some time in clearing it out so you can focus.

9. Set a deadline.

If you’re working on a complex task, it takes an average of 90 minutes to accomplish anything worthwhile–and about 30 minutes just to get your mind on the task. Once you are in the flow, set a concentrated period of time–and when the time runs out, stop. It’s easier to stay focused when you have an end in sight.

10. Become an early bird.

This is a simple thing, but the rewards are great if you can pull it off: Start your workday an hour before everyone else. Use that hour to organize your day and to get started before there are any distractions. Similarly, skip the long office lunches most days and instead give yourself a short break to take a walk or clear your head, with something light and nutritious to keep your blood sugar steady. You’re literally giving yourself time and energy.

The distractions that surround us aren’t going anywhere, so learning to overcome them is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Give some of these ideas a try, and let me know if you’re feeling more effective and less distracted.

How to avoid getting discouraged

Management 101 dictates that an employee who has become discouraged will not perform at the level he or she is capable of. Additionally, they often grip and start to bring other employees down to their level. It is important for a manager to know how to recognize a discouraged employee and figure out how to help them return to their former level of production.

Signs of a Discouraged Employee

There are many reasons an employee becomes discouraged and the symptoms can be as varied as the causes. Here are a few of the signs to look out for to identify an unhappy worker in need of your help.

  • They complain that work is no longer fun
  • They overreact to minor hassles and are easily irritated
  • They complain about being overwhelmed
  • They question the value of the tasks they perform
  • They are lethargic and often comment about feeling unfulfilled at work

Ways to Determine Why an Employee Is Discouraged

After you have identified a discouraged employee, you have to find out why they are dissatisfied. Very often employees are afraid to tell their boss, so you’ll need to be persistent or innovative in your approach. Sometimes even the employee can’t pinpoint why they’re discouraged, which makes communication all that much more critical.

Here are some steps to take to ensure your team members avoid feeling discouraged:

  • Be direct and ask them but pick a quiet time and keep it private.
  • When they make a comment about their job try to really listen, which means “listening between the lines,” not just to the words coming out of their mouth.
  • Ask their colleagues. The other members of your team may be more aware of the situation than you think.
  • If your efforts fail, ask the Human Resources (HR) Department to get involved. Someone the employee sees as a neutral third party may have better luck than you did.
  • If all else fails, refer the employee to your Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) if your benefits plan includes one.

Encourage Open Dialogues and Adjust Workloads, If Needed

A discouraged employee may be suffering from burnout, may be suffering from a lack of confidence, or maybe bringing their outside to work.

Based on the cause, here are some common suggestions for helping your employee:

  • If they’re burned out, and you can’t reduce their workload, try to vary it. Give them different tasks or give them more latitude in regards to how they can complete their tasks.
  • If they lack confidence in performing their tasks, give them tasks with some degree of difficulty but make them assignments they can do. Letting them be successful will motivate them to take on more challenging work.
  • Encourage them to talk with you. This will give them a safety valve for their frustrations and help boost their confidence.
  • Don’t be afraid to refer them to the EAP if they need professional help. Your job is to keep them a productive member of the team, not cure mental health problems.

Take Preventative Steps to Keep Your Group Happy

Rather than identifying a discouraged employee and figuring out the cause and cure for their condition, it’s always preferable to prevent discouragement.

Here are some things proactive steps to take to reduce the likelihood of a staff member becoming discouraged:

  • Keep your team motivated.
  • Communicate openly and freely with all your employees. Let them know what is going on in the company and inform them why their job is essential. Whether in staff meetings or one-on-one explain to your staff how their efforts contribute to the overall success of the department and the company.
  • Listen, and then listen some more. Listen to what employees say about each other, about their jobs, about the department, and the company in general. If an employee has a grip, let them know you’ll help them out to the extent that you can.
  • Get out of your office. The best way to keep employees motivated is to be among them. The time you spend out of your office and walking around the department will afford you the time to listen and observe and squelch a potential problem before it arises.

Bottom Line: Be an Active Manager

You can do a lot to prevent discouraged employees, but you can’t avoid it completely. Be alert for symptoms of the problem and take action to help the employee as quickly as you can. It will benefit both the employee and the rest of the team.

Try these five tips when you are choosing friends and mates.

How to avoid getting discouraged

Many of us have had the experience of letting someone get close to us and then later regretting it. Toxic relationships can take many forms. We may have thought that someone was our best friend until she started making fun of us behind our back. Or, we may have idealized our handsome new lover without really noticing that he gets drunk every night, flirts with other women, and gets irritated when we complain. Some of us spend years in unhealthy relationships that make us very unhappy.

One approach to avoiding these toxic relationships is to learn how to quickly recognize psychological disorders that come with a lot of relationship baggage. Unfortunately, very few of us are trained to diagnose other people. However, we are very well equipped to notice other people’s impact on us. All it takes is for us to trust our gut reactions and pay close attention to how we actually feel when we are with new people. Below are some tips that can help you assess whether your new friend or lover is likely to be toxic for you.

NOTE: I am using the word “toxic” in this post as shorthand for all those things that we are exposed to in relationships that diminish our self-confidence and our physical and mental well-being.

Tip 1: How do you feel when you are with them?

This is the easiest way to tell if people are healthy or unhealthy for you. If being with them leads to you feeling inadequate, boring, discouraged, ugly, stupid, ashamed, or otherwise bad about yourself, they are likely to be toxic for you.

If, however, whenever you are with them you are so entertained and stimulated by your interaction that you forget to be self-conscious and you are comfortable and relaxed, they are likely to be healthy for you.

Example: Bob and Sara

Bob was a Narcissistic know-it-all who was always lecturing those around him about how to behave and what he thought that they were doing wrong. When he started dating Sara, she was an emotionally open and confident young woman. After a few dinner dates with Bob, Sara realized that her confidence was sinking and she had become defensive and uneasy in Bob’s company. His scrutiny of her behavior and his criticisms were making her very self-conscious.

Sara wondered: Did I always use the wrong fork for fish at dinner? Should I have left my napkin on my chair or on the table when I got up to go to the bathroom?

Sara eventually realized that she did not really care whether she or Bob was right or wrong about silverware or napkins. What mattered is that she felt very uneasy in his company and did not want to spend another minute being scrutinized by him.

Tip 2: Are you your best self when you are in their company?

Some people bring out our best self. When we are with them, we act wisely and kindly and say and do interesting things. We feel smart, interesting, and capable.

Other people lead us into trouble by evoking the less pleasant aspects of our personality. It may be as simple as engaging in nasty gossip or as dangerous as encouraging us to shoot heroin. Many people have found themselves drawn into destructive and criminal acts by so-called “friends” that they normally would have avoided. There is a reason we are warned: Beware of the company you keep.

Tip 3: When you leave, do you feel better, worse, or the same as before?

This may vary a bit if you are extraverted or introverted by nature, but in general there are some people who give more than they take and others who will leave you drained and in pain.

Energy Vampires: These are the people who suck the life out of you. When you leave their company, you feel drained and exhausted. Other people give back at least as much energy as they take. Obviously, if you repeatedly feel as if you are sucked dry after spending time with them, they are not healthy for you.

Put-Down Artists: These are the people who make jokes at your expense or subtly devalue you. After you spend time with them, you always feel worse about yourself.

Enliveners: They stimulate you. After you leave, you feel energized and better than before you were with them.

Obviously it is healthier for you to spend time with “Enliveners” than with “Energy Vampires” and “Put Down Artists.”

If you interact with someone and you leave the interaction feeling pretty similar to how you were before it, this person can be thought of as fairly neutral where your mental health is concerned.

Tip 4: Do you feel more creative and inspired after being in their company?

Muses: All of us have a creative side. Some people are very gifted in inspiring other people to think in a new way or come up with a new project. If you feel more creative and inspired after being with certain people, they are healthy for you.

Tip 5: Do you do physically and mentally healthy activities together?

There are some people who are good influences on us. In its simplest form, we find ourselves eating better, exercising more, and having mentally stimulating conversations when we are in their company. These are the friends who encourage us to sign up with them to study that new language we always wanted to learn, or take up tap dancing, meditation, or Tai Chi.

Example: Jessie and Joanna

Jessie tended to be a bit of a couch potato by nature. She knew she should get out more and exercise more and all the other healthy “mores.” But…it wasn’t until she met Joanna that she actually began doing any of those things. Joanna invited Jessie to go hiking with her, take Salsa dancing lessons, and eat out at healthy restaurants. Jessie discovered that she actually liked being active and having something to do on weekends that did not involve binge-watching her favorite television show. Joanna enjoyed Jessie’s company and had a good time introducing her to new activities that they could do together.

There are other people whose idea of an exciting social evening includes drinking, drugging, and eating till they pass out after having unprotected sex with strangers. Obviously they are on a self-destructive path, bent on wrecking their own health, and are happy to wreck yours as well.

Punchline: If you pay attention to how you feel when you are with specific people, what types of activities you do together, and how you feel later; you will be able to discern which friends or lovers are healthy for you and which should be avoided.