the shape of leadership

Live Like a Leader: Fighting Off Discouragement

Six ways to overcome feelings of defeat

Todd Bishop on May 15, 2018

I’m not sure how you process decisions or results, but I analyze. That comes at a price because I can become discouraged when things don’t go as planned. Every great leader battles discouragement.

I have learned that if the enemy can keep you down, he will stop you from your destiny. Fight off those feelings of defeat! Difficulty usually comes in seasons. That’s why you must work through discouraging moments.

Stay Faithful

Through every challenge, stay consistently faithful. My wife and I started our church 10 years ago, and there have been many lows and highs. One week, when I was feeling especially discouraged, I received a call from a great friend, David Crosby. He said, “Todd, God puts the sharpest tools in the hardest soil.”

Choose to be faithful where you are.

Remember God’s Promises

If God gave you a promise, dream and vision for your life, treasure those things. I find myself rereading old prayers I wrote years ago. They energize me because they remind me of God’s promises! I talked with God about nearly every miracle we have experienced — in our family or church — long before it happened. Never forget what God has promised.

Be careful what voices you allow to speak into your life.

Focus on Solutions, Not Problems

When you are down, it is usually a focus issue. If you are looking for the negative, you will find it. Some people see solutions to every problem. Others see problems to every solution. What’s the difference? Focus.

Leaders see solutions. Your focus will always determine your forecast.

Keep Your Joy High

Choose to smile; your emotions will catch up. Focus on how God is moving in your life. Certain seasons are difficult for pastors. You cannot fall into the comparison trap. It is a dangerous prison that will suck the life out of you and kill your joy.

Scripture declares that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Find joy in each day. It will help you fight off discouragement.

Hear From Positive People

I’ve changed some of my relationships because they became voices of negativity. Surround yourself with “Yes we can people.” Whoever has our ear will have our heart. Be careful what voices you allow to speak into your life.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Get the right people around you and stop letting the negative voices distract you. Miserable people will crush your dreams, hopes and spirit.

Never Give Up

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Stay strong. Keep pushing. You will get where God promised you would be. God is always doing something behind the scenes. Creating discouragement is one of the enemy’s tactics. The enemy fights hardest those God wants to take the highest. The Lord handcrafted your destiny. Trust Him for the journey.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2018 edition of Influence magazine.

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