Are you feeling defeated? I mean, are you totally and absolutely discouraged about life? If so, know this: you’re not alone.

If you’re overwhelmed, take heart, there are many other people who feel this way too. Considering the world is in turmoil right now, you’re probably hanging on pretty well. At least I hope so. If not, it’s okay. Sometimes I feel like losing hope is the default in my life too.

Do you know what to do when feeling defeated by life?

When hopelessness takes over, can you handle this feeling? I’m guessing you don’t have that much energy to do anything, right? I know I’ve spent countless hours just rolling ideas over in my head. If you’re sitting around trying to figure a way out of this feeling, then that’s a good thing.

If you’re drowning in these emotions, then you may need a hand to reach down and pull you out. I’ve needed that hand, so here’s mine. Here are a few things to do when feeling defeated. Instead of wallowing in our sorrows, let’s take action.

1. Help someone

The first thing you’ve got to understand is that the universe does not revolve around you. There are billions of people in the world with issues, just know that. While I am not discounting your pain or trauma, I am trying to reroute it.

Today, help someone, even though you may feel defeated. When you help someone else, you will make them feel better, and in turn, you will see more purpose in life. I’ve done this before when it felt like my world was falling apart. When I saw a smile on someone else’s face and knew that I helped to put it there, my whole perspective shifted.

2. Ditch comparisons

There’s something you should stop right now, and that’s comparing yourself with others. Know that no individual is exactly like another, not even identical twins. Comparing only magnifies imperfections.

So, the next time you notice an impressive quality about another person, instead of wishing for that quality for yourself, just be happy for them. Then remember this, you are only seeing what they show you. You also have great qualities and imperfections as well. Comparing yourself to others is pointless.

3. Notice the little things

Have you ever heard someone talk about “the little things in life”, and about how you should notice and appreciate them? Yeah, that’s a good idea.

While your life may be filled with humongous chaos and it does feel defeating, there are still those little positive things tucked away. Honestly, some of those little things are right in front of you, like, for instance, the gentle breeze and the beautiful blue sky.

4. Take a step at a time

If you’re feeling defeated, stop thinking of the long term destination for a while. Thinking so far ahead will put pressure on you, feeding the feelings of discouragement. If you can think of one small step directly in front of you, then you can slowly change things.

For example, you want to buy a house, but your credit is bad, you have no down payment, and you have several debts. If you keep thinking about acquiring a home more than budgeting and making smart decisions, you will be stuck in these negative feelings. It takes time to make a positive change of this magnitude. This usually calls for small steps.

5. Accept what is

Every time you ruminate about the past or think of the future, you deprive yourself of the present. Most of the time, you feel miserable. When you feel defeated, you’re living somewhere else in your mind. It’s certainly not in the present.

Perhaps you’re going back in time to think about your children when they were younger, or maybe you’re thinking of a relationship that’s long since ended, and this is unhealthy.

Also, thinking too much about how you’re going to handle situations in the future will cause the same turmoil. The only way to stop defeat is to live in the now. Take what you have and make the most of these things.

6. Embrace change

Even though you should live in the present, this doesn’t mean you cannot change things. When it comes time to make a difference in your life, don’t shy away from that. You could be feeling defeated because you keep running from the change you know that’s inevitable. Yes, change is hard, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to live a healthy existence.

7. Know thyself

This one will be a life-long learning process, so you must start immediately. If you really want to know what to do when you feel defeated by life, then here it is: learn who you are and let no one tell you otherwise. Now, this doesn’t mean you cannot take advice about bettering yourself, it just means that you shouldn’t listen to toxicity.

You will recognize toxic behavior when someone makes you doubt your self-esteem. If they say you’re self-absorbed, take a step back, and examine yourself. That’s just a healthy response. But never let them cause you to doubt your basic feelings of self-worth. This causes defeat.

Don’t give up just yet

Life is hard. I mean, it’s downright almost impossible at times. I get it. But if you are feeling defeated, it’s time to turn that around so you can be a blessing to the world, and to yourself.

These negative feelings not only waste precious time, but they also act as an emotion that spreads. Remember, when you feel defeated, there are others watching. I think we should try harder, for ourselves and for those who are influenced by our behavior.

I know we’re strong enough to be better.



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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Daphne

    Very good advice and very relevant in these unsettling times. Thank you for this simple and easy-to-apply method to gain back some perspective and calm.

    1. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

      Thank you, Daphne, for reading. This has really been a doozy of a year, hasn’t it? Regardless, we are never truly defeated, no matter how down we may feel. Sometimes we may just need a break or a breather.

  2. Ted

    Thank you, Sherrie. As a stress-head myself, who also suffers from Clinical Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Neurotic Perfectionism and Imposter Syndrome, This is excellent advice.

    I am starting to learn and practise Mindfulness, and your list privides some wholsome thoughts and actions to focus on.

  3. Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

    You know something, Ted. You might be surprised by how many people actually suffer from these same issues. Many people don’t talk about it and thus, they do not get the right therapy, even natural therapies they can learn from others like themselves. I love learning new techniques to lift my spirits. Some days, it’s difficult to even lift an arm. Just keep going and use those tools to get you through whatever is trying to hold you back.

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