Change Your Self-Defeat: These 5 Strategies Grow Your Courage (Part Three)

By Nancy Virden (c)2016

Your seed abounds with ripe courage.  Strategies four and five will prevent it from rotting on the tree.

Strategy 4: Celebrate!

Celebrate the victories, which are each step!  Pay attention as your confidence muscles bulk up.  As change develops, you will inspire yourself.

The result: You will reap success after success

For a long time, my mantra was negative and self-loathing.  I turned down compliments and denied myself the joy of victory by counting only my mistakes.

A therapist recommended I write down each success without judgment.  I remember beginning one list with “got out of bed”.  The battle lasted for three years as automatic thoughts routinely dismissed even significant gains.  The process worked!  Today, attagirl overrides should’ve because I see success in effort and growth instead of failure.

Strategy 5: No worries

If you fall back, do not worry.  Everyone falls back in bigger and smaller ways.  Start again, even if it is from scratch, and congratulate yourself for being so bold!  Most people remain stagnant.  You are a champion just for trying again.

The result: Self-defeat is defeated.

Cheryl moved to another state, grateful for the opportunity to start over.  Her intention was to avoid making a fool of herself in her new sphere by holding her temper.

Her job requires that she speak up and share ideas.  The first time someone criticized her words, she nervously snapped back in defense.  The next day she stayed home nursing her wounds and regret.  She was embarrassed.  Practicing the first four strategies over the last two years had built her confidence and all but eradicated her displays of temper.  Now old doubts refueled her shame.

It was difficult returning to her new co-workers, apologizing, and trying again to win their trust.  Nonetheless, she did not run from it or make excuses.

Remember… every movement counts. 

At the time of my attempted suicide, no one could convince me my life held a purpose.  A blanket of old wounds, preconceived ideas, and unmanaged major depression obscured the truth.  From motionless despair to a slow crawl, from standing to walking- my task was to listen to wise counsel, retrain my mind, and take one step each day.  My primary motivation from the start has been to honor God in how I think and in my choices.  I now pursue a mission of bringing hope to others who cannot see beyond their pain. 

It is your turn to name what you want and to decide what kind of person you want to be.  Engage in brainstorming ideas to reach these goals.  Start moving.  You will astound yourself, and your courage will strengthen one step at a time.

Father God, You are faithful to be merciful and forgiving when I blow it. Thank you that you are never eager to toss me aside. I want to conquer self-defeat and be a courageous example of your goodness. Please help me all my days. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Today’s Helpful Word

1 Corinthians 16:13

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

How the Difference Maker Lifts You Above Depressive Thoughts (c)2020

More on Always The Fight:


HERE IS HELP Reference pages


If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.


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