How Not be Discouraged By Your Nigerian Problems
“I tire for this country sef.”
I wonder how much money you would have had now in the bank if any time you made that remark it translated into one thousand naira?
And yes I too confess to having made that comment or a variation of it quite a few times in my life. (Probably still will too at some future date.)
The above cry however is most loudly heard among young ones like you.
There are challenges everywhere: light, water, roads, health, education, jobs and the list can go on and on.
And every now and then it gets to you and you just want to throw in the towel or try some unethical means to get things to work for you.
You have become discouraged.
You see, successful people are forged in fire.
Meaning, they overcome obstacles, challenges and battles against the world and against themselves to get there.
People who eventually become successful find a way to strive in the most hostile of environments.
They turn into cactuses in deserts, grow coats in winter. Turn to fish in the ocean.
Bottom line they find a way every time.
Nigeria can be very challenging you and I know. Interestingly that is what makes it the ideal battleground to learn how to be successful.
But that is a topic for another time.
Right now know this: the biggest battles you have to fight in order to be successful are not because of external factors like say the problems you may be facing in the country.
They are the battles within you. You against you. Nothing can totally defeat you except you.
The good thing about battles within yourself is that they are 100% under your control.
You can work to fix it without necessarily depending on outside help.
One of the major battles you will wage against yourself in your quest for success is discouragement and that is why I am writing about it.
By the end of this post, you would have learnt some ways of dealing with discouragement.
It is a critical skill to learn because you cannot be successful if you give in to the hardships and problems around you.
Successful people find a way to press on despite what happing to do them and around them. They do not allow themselves to stay discouraged for long.
So what does it mean to feel discouraged?
You may not know the definition but I am sure you must have felt it at the very least there is no escaping it especially in a country like ours.
Is it a fruitless job search? Traffic? Trying to sell day in day out with little or no success? Making ends meet? Discovering you failed JAMB or WAEC?
Yes, you may have felt it. But let’s take out a little time to understand it fully. I promise you the knowledge added will empower you and lift your spirit.
The Cambridge dictionary gives the definition of discouragement as the state of having lost your confidence or enthusiasm about something. Some other dictionaries define it as losing hope.
And that second definition is the one I liked the most.
Now as knowing the actual definition done anything to you right now?
It has for me. When next I am feeling down. I can tell myself Amaka don’t lose hope.
Don’t. Lose. Hope.
As I write these words down I am feeling more upbeat than I was a few minutes ago. Full understanding of an issue does that to you. Now let’s turn our attention to dealing with it.
How do I stop been discouraged?
The truth here is that discouragement is a part of life. There is no escaping it.
So the first way to defeat discouragement is an acceptance that it will come to you from time to time.
So how do I get over discouragement when it happens?
Try the following methods
Find out specifically what is discouraging you at that point in time
“I tire for this country” doesn’t tell you anything. What is stressing you? What is or are your problems? Identifying the problem can help you find a solution. You may be feeling discouraged but knowing why is the first step to getting out of it.
Try to solve your discouragement problems
Whatever is weighing down will fall into any of these three categories
- I can fix this!
- I can fix this partially.
- And there is nothing I can do about this.
A lot of the things discouraging you will most likely fall into the first category.
For example, if you failed your Jamb exam you can decide to study for two hours daily so as to be better prepared to write the next one.
Or you can switch subjects. Or choose to enter the system through A ‘levels.
Or if Jamb isn’t working out at the moment should you consider learning a skill? Starting a business?
Bottom line most of the things discouraging you would have a solution. You need to sit down and find out how to fix it.
Now, you may not have a a complete solution but a partial solution is always better than nothing.
Some of the things discouraging you will fall into that category.
If for example there is never light at night where you stay and the heat is unbearable can you get a rechargeable fan? A solar powered one? Or the popular generator set? Or even sleep outside if security or mosquitoes permits?
This is a simple example but it can be applied to anything. And trust me you will feel good about your partial fix enough to ignore what is left that still inconveniencing you.
Then we come to discouragement brought about by things we cannot personally fix. Things we can do nothing about like the death of a loved one or losing your a job because of recession etc
Acceptance and moving on is the only solution.
Making peace with a situation you cannot fix frees you to work on those you can.
It allows you to sleep at night and get on with the business of being happy and successful.
One of the finest examples of this comes from the Bible. King David prayed and fasted for the life of the child he had by committing adultery.
When he finally got to know the child was no more he got up and moved on. Much to the surprise of those around him.
His reason can be summarized into “I can’t fix this so I just have to move on.”
Getting hung up on things you can do nothing about is a waste of time and is energy sapping. And above will take you nowhere.
So accept the things you cannot change and move on.
Build habits and engage in activities that get you quickly out of a discouragement slump
Feeling down? Go and spend time with some friends. Spending time with good and supporting friends works wonders.
You may not even need to tell them what the problem is. Just been around them can boost your morale.
Talking to a mentor or someone older about your problems is also an option. The person may have a solution or even just the person listening to you can make you feel better.
When I am down at times I watch a comedy or movie where the hero overcome all of the obstacles thrown at him or her.
Have a long view
Most things worthwhile take time. If you’re just getting started or even gone halfway through say a project or an event in your life and it’s getting you down keep the end you want in focus.
Persist and eventually you will get to the end of the tunnel.
Find the positives in discouraging moments
There is traffic and it’s bumper to bumper. You are unlikely to get home in two hours maybe three.
You can choose to be miserable about it or to turn this into an opportunity.
Do some studying via your phone or you can listen to a book or a course or plan your activities for the next day etc
Develop a backbone against getting easily discouraged
You may be the type that gets discouraged too easily. If you are you need to develop some staying power.
Many young people, in particular, stop doing things as soon as those things develop problems.
You stop studying because you failed a second time. You stop looking for that job because have been job hunting for long.
The truth is success belongs to the people with staying power.
The people who do not give up easily. If you crave success you just have to develop a backbone against not easily been discouraged.
In summary, make a plan and make a commitment to yourself to fight discouragement in whatever form it comes to you that includes Nigerian issues.
Discouragement is an enemy of success.
So that’s it. As always I will like to hear from you what do you think of the article? If you know other ways of tackling discouragement post them in the comments below for others to see and learn from