Person Feeling discouraged Over Credit Bills

How to Beat Discouragement to Get Through Tough Times Stronger Than Ever

Discouragement plagues all of us from time to time. If you’re discouraged about your situation—be it financial, family, job, or just basic uncertainty about the future—there are some things you can do to counter those feelings and attitudes. The most important thing is to know that tough times don’t last forever.

Person Feeling discouraged Over Credit Bills

Imagine this scenario: Your neighbor pulls into the driveway with a shiny, new car that turns heads. Instantly, a pang of desire and envy hits you like a ton of bricks, leaving you feeling discouraged.

There was a time when you would have been consumed by the need to keep up, rushing to find a way to get your hands on a new ride. But things have changed. You have a new set of values, and you no longer make financial decisions impulsively.

The car you have is already paid for and meets your family’s current needs. But still, those feelings are bubbling up. The moment you recognize them, it’s time to hit the reset button.

Replace those destructive attitudes with thoughts of paying for your next vehicle with cash, not making huge monthly payments, not paying triple insurance premiums, not paying $400 for the annual registration fee, and not forking over $600 for that 50,000-mile tune-up.

It’s not just about saving money—it’s about reclaiming control over your finances and your future.

Choose To Be Positive

Feeling discouraged is often accompanied by a barrage of negative thoughts that can intensify our feelings of anxiety and diminish our sense of control. Fortunately, incorporating positive affirmations into our daily routines can serve as a powerful antidote to these destructive thought patterns.

According to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Los Angeles, “positive affirmations are empowering statements designed to replace negative thoughts and reshape our perception of ourselves and the world around us.” By repeating these affirmations, we can steer our thoughts away from self-doubt and toward a brighter, more optimistic outlook. This isn’t just wishful thinking—it’s a proven way to conquer anxiety and cultivate inner peace. By weaving personalized affirmations into our daily routines, we can guide ourselves toward a mindset that’s resilient in the face of challenges.

Ready to give it a try? Here are some examples to get you started:

  • I never have enough money. I am so thankful for a regular paycheck.
  • It’s not my fault. Even though I wasn’t 100 percent to blame, I take full responsibility—I will find a way through!
  • This is too difficult. This is challenging!
  • I work hard, so I’m entitled to have what I want. I work too hard to let money leak out of my life.
  • I want it now! Waiting builds my character.
  • Maybe I’ll win the lottery. I’d rather save $5 a week than throw it away on the lottery.
  • It won’t matter just this once. Even the little things add up.
  • If only I had more money, then everything would be okay. More money is not the answer, but managing well what I have is!
  • If I didn’t have to worry about money, I’d be happy. I choose to be happy regardless of my present circumstances.
  • What’s the use? I’ll never get out of this mess anyway. I am stronger than anyone knows.
  • They wouldn’t give me the credit if they didn’t know I could handle it. I have the confidence to make my own financial decisions.

Through practice and repetition, these affirmations become more than just words—they become tools for fostering optimism and promoting mental well-being, even in times when we might feel discouraged.

8 Ways To Get Back on Track

No matter what’s going on, things are not hopeless. Consider these eight actionable things you can do starting now—today—to overcome feeling discouraged and get back on track:

1. Develop your most powerful asset

Your attitude—the way you respond to life and all of its circumstances—is more important than anything. It is more important than the past, than struggle or success, than education or experience.

It is more important than how much money you have, how much you owe, what you would like to do, or where you would like to go. When you face tough times, your attitude will be your greatest asset or worst liability.

The key to changing your attitude is to reprogram your mind. Whatever you choose to focus on will be what you move toward.

2. Assess your resources

Figure out exactly what you earn, what you own, and what you owe.

What insurance do you have? How long would it take your unemployment benefits to kick in? Do you have enough cash to bridge the gap?

3. Live below your means

It’s a simple strategy: Spend less than you earn. Stop living paycheck to paycheck. Start swimming against the tide of the consumer credit culture that says you can have it all while making it possible for you to spend consistently more than you earn.

A good rule of thumb is to adjust your lifestyle to fit within 80 percent of your income. Start NOW to cut a little from every area of your spending. Take it a step at a time. You will be amazed at how quickly your financial picture will improve.

4. Get out of debt

Is your money being sucked into a compounding interest sinkhole? If you’re not paying off your credit cards every month, that’s just what can happen. The minimum payment on credit card debt is calculated as a percentage of your current balance. The minimum payment drops as your balance is paid, but thanks to the magic of compounding interest, you’ll end up paying for a long time if you allow the credit card company to determine how you pay off the balance.

5. Build an emergency fund

No matter where you live or work, the future is uncertain. You never know when you might face a temporary separation from your income. That’s why it’s crucial to begin building a financial safety net immediately. Don’t stop until you have squirreled away an amount that will pay your bills for a full three months (six is better). Then, leave it alone.

Don’t borrow from it or play around with it in any way. This is a sacred sum because it could mean the difference between survival and disaster in lean times.

6. Put a lid on stress

Feeling discouraged is tough, and stress only makes it worse. Stress is not only hazardous to your health, but it can also make otherwise tolerable life events unbearable.

Under stress, your decision-making abilities become compromised, increasing the likelihood of impulsive and unwise financial choices. Releasing the stress in your life will help to clear your mind so you can manage your finances calmly and intelligently.

Remember, for every setback, there are a hundred blessings. Count them. Cultivate a mindset of gratitude by acknowledging the positives in your life, even amidst adversity.

7. Layoff-proof yourself

If your employer downsizes, some will lose their jobs. And many will not. Make sure you’re one of the latter.

Keep your expense account significantly below your authorized amount. Don’t complain, but instead, develop authentic gratitude for your job. Don’t whine, demand, or play workplace politics. Or Instagram on company time. Keep a low profile. Do more than is required without demanding recognition. 

By demonstrating commitment and professionalism, you position yourself as a valuable asset to your employer, increasing your job security.

8. Avoid scams

They are the natural outgrowth of a stunted economy. When going through tough times, brace yourself for the onslaught. You’ll be able to fill a small room in your home with pre-approved offers for credit cards, loans, and “opportunities” to get rich quick.

Run from anything that promises instant wealth with little work. Shun new credit because it can only lead to new debt.

And remember …

Going through hard times makes us stronger. Tough times don’t last; tough people do. Get tough!


Question: What’s your favorite strategy for staying positive and financially resilient during tough times? Share your tips and inspire others.


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3 replies
  1. cheryl says:

    I know this isn’t for everyone, but in order to show up to work, I promise myself that if I feel bad today, I may feel worse tomorrow. So I give myself permission to call in tomorrow. Of course I do that everyday so everyday I am giving myself permission to call in tomorrow, instead of thinking well i feel bad and am going to call out today. The uplift to that is that where I work, we get a perfect attendance bonus!! (sad that it came to that, but it has worked to keep most of the staff showing up.) That bonus is what I use to pay the water bill in full for the whole year. So I make sure the water stays on, and I get motivation to get up and go to work everyday!!


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