Hey, let's face it. We all get down and discouraged from time to time. But how we handle our discouragement can chart the course for our day or even life. I realize in my own life (though I forget quite often) that I always have a choice to do something either empowering or disempowering.
Being kind to yourself is a must in surviving this sometimes hard-to-navigate world of ours. And for many of us this doesn't come easy as we often grew up hearing discouraging words than encouraging ones. We are so good at throwing disparaging words at our own self calling ourselves "no-good looser" for the seeming "failures" and unwise choices we made, as if it helps us to do better next time when we are severely harsh and critical. Perhaps this gives us a feeling that we have paid our dues by punishing ourselves.
Regardless of the reason, this approach does not work. We just end up feeling even more dejected and miserable. I know this because I was an expert in beating myself up. I was my worst enemy. I thought I was rooting for myself by cursing myself out and saying, "Damn it, why can't you do anything right?! You stupid idiot!" In recent years, I have managed to demote myself from president to about middle management in the School of Beat Me Up. I hope to be totally useless in this department one day and resign.
A better approach is to be kind to ourselves. This seems hard for many of us because we feel we don't deserve it if we mess up and fail, but this is the time to give ourselves a massive amount of self-compassion. We already feel pretty bad about our mistakes and failures, we don't need to triple the doses. We can certainly learn from the experiences and decide to do things differently next time but lowering our self-esteem and self-worth with a barrage of self-criticism for the purpose of doing better isn't going to help.
My teacher Terry says there's no such thing as mistake. It's all research. We find out what works and what doesn't work. You just make a different choice next time. Our world is a lab.
How to Feel Better in 3 Steps:
1. Allow yourself to feel your discouragement and dejection and whatever else you are feeling. Don't resist your feelings. Feel them as sensations in your body.
2. Give yourself a hug telling yourself "I accept you for whatever you are feeling and love you no matter what. I'm here for you." And take a deep breath or two.
3. Journal. Put down here all your doubts, rant, grievances, and negative thoughts without censoring yourself. You may start out with negativity but soon you'll find yourself writing countering thoughts that are more reasonable and encouraging. Let your inner wisdom come through. Make sure you write till you feel a sense of relief and space.