In this article, I share with you my encounter with my worst defeat and 5 easy ways to overcome defeat when you feel like quitting.
My burnout experience at the age of 27 as a young entrepreneur who was setting the world on fire appeared to be at the time a terrible defeat. I crashed and burned so bad that I thought I never rise again from the ashes. I felt totally defeated!
The pain and agony of depression, anxiety and insomnia I experienced were something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. How could I have gone from the happiest person I knew to the most miserable?
The thought of living the rest of my life in a lethargic state without any energy was enough to push me to the brink of suicide.
The effects of defeat can be deadly. I say that because the most common symptom of defeat is depression. Worse still is that the most severe symptom of depression is suicide.
When people feel they have no other way out, they simply give up. Without hope for a better future they chose the easy way out today.
I am grateful for a brother who encouraged me to hang in there and not give up. If he hadn’t, I’m not sure I’d be writing this 30 years later. Thirty years of depression-free living and giving myself to the Universe and my purpose.
The 5 lessons I learned that have helped me overcome defeat, discouragement and depression are not at all complicated or hard to do, but they could save your life or that of a loved one:
1. Tell yourself “This didn’t come to stay, it came to pass!” Write it on sticky notes and post them everywhere. Place one on your mirror so that these are the first words you see every morning. Write these words in your journal. You must learn to encourage yourself, whether or not you feel like it. Do it and the feelings will come later on.
2. Find someone to share your feelings with who has gone through a similar experience. Only people who have been where you are can honestly say “I know where you are coming from.” As a rule, the rest of the free advice you will get from your well-meaning friends, family and associates is worth every penny you pay for it. Find a true encourager even if it’s online. I have coached people I have never met to step back from the brink of suicide.
3. Realize that everything happens for a reason. Constantly remind yourself as many times a day as you need to, “All things work out for my good!” Look for the good in every situation. The fact is: we don’t know if a failure is good or bad. Sometimes, missing a flight, which seems like an utter failure and disappointment at the time, can turn out to be a real blessing. Our perspective changes when we hear that the plane which we were supposed to be on, has crashed. It is at that moment that our disappointment turns into gratitude.
4. Learn to view failures as lessons. There are times what appears to be a defeat is really a setup for something much greater that God has in store for our lives. Closed doors can be a blessing. They keep us from getting stuck in something good and prevent us from discovering the best for our lives. Keep moving along the corridor of life. Keep trying doors. Stop trying to kick them down. Doors that don’t open may be locked for a reason.
5. Look up and look ahead. Stop beating yourself up! Don’t keep looking back, you’re not headed in that direction. Keep moving ahead with the belief and determination that the right doors will open at the right time. Sometimes the wilderness experience we are going through is simply preparing us for an incredible future ahead.
Are you are feeling defeated at the moment? I encourage you to share your feelings here in the comments so we can encourage each other.
Ben Kubassek is an international expert on social entrepreneurship, author, and speaker. He’s on a mission to help young people in developing countries launch their own businesses in order to create jobs and bring transformation to their communities.
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