I’ve been thinking a lot about discouragement.
It’s been top of mind.
Because I’ve been feeling discouraged.
Because my friends are discouraged.
Because my coaching clients are discouraged.
Maybe 2020 didn’t cut your heart out with a knife, but it was a dull spoon of disappointment digging at you.
The world feels like it’s moving backwards. Schools are sending kids home. Businesses are up against the wall. We’re heading into the cold dark months. The holidays aren’t going to be normal. There’s not a definitive light at the end of the tunnel.
The other night my friend told me, “I’m tired of having to innovate just to get back to zero.” That’s exhausting, demoralizing, discouraging. If you’re a leader you’re good at putting on a brave face to rally the troops, inspire the team, weather the storm. We need that kind of resilience, but at some point you’ve got to be honest. So I want to be a mental splinter to get in the way. I give you permission to remember two things.
Discouragement is part of being a human. We all feel down sometimes. There are moments and seasons of momentum, and there are moments and seasons of stuckness. It’s part of the human gig.
Discouragement is part of being a leader. If you’re a leader you’re allowed to be down, too. You don’t always have to rally, inspire and glow. You’re allowed to share how hard it’s been. People actually want you to be honest.
If you’re tired, rest.
If you’re isolated, pursue people who know you again.
If you’re overwhelmed, clarify.
If you’re bottled up, pour out.
If you’re anxious, pray.
If you’re not well, see a therapist.
And by all means, if you’re discouraged please admit it.