The 10 Vulnerabilities of Discouragement

Turning an ember into a flame takes skills. But any fool can throw water on enthusiasm.

Show up to fuel energy and build morale.

Everyone gets discouraged. That’s why successful leaders make it a daily practice to energize others. 

Drooping shoulders are leadership’s responsibility.

10 vulnerabilities of discouragement:

#1. Fatigue is a megaphone for your inner critic. When your inner critic is loud, your outer critic finds courage.

#2. Discouraged teams think like losers. The world shrinks when you feel beat down.  

#3. Stress, fatigue, and discouragement cause people to spiral inward. You can’t serve others when all you think about is yourself.

#4. When you’re tired and stressed, you revert to patterns that worked in the past, but hobble you today.

#5. A tired brain is befuddled like a two year old that’s up past his bedtime. You aren’t thinking right if you’re living on caffeine.

#6. Prolonged discouragement turns to bitterness.

#7. Bad is glaringly obvious but good is a hazy memory when you’re exhausted.

#8. Words like ‘always’ are common when you’re stressed.

#9. The faults of others are big but your faults are small when your hands hang down.

#10. Self-pity and blame rule the day when your fire goes out.

How to build morale:

  1. Turn toward people. All you think about is getting something done when you’re stressed out. You lose sight of people and relationships.
  2. See the good side of frustration. A frustrated team member cares. “Thanks for caring.”
  3. Notice something good. Discouragement justifies itself by focusing on bad. The people you hired aren’t complete losers, are they?
  4. Breathe.
  5. Hold your shoulders back and your head up.
  6. Smile.
  7. Stop being a control freak. It’s exhausting.

Tip: Don’t judge others by your ability to endure discouragement.

What are the indications that people feel discouraged?

How might leaders build fires rather than quench embers?