Deutsch: Entmutigung / Español: desánimo / Português: desencorajamento / Français: découragement / Italiano: scoraggiamento

Discourage in the psychology context refers to a state or process where an individual feels less confident, enthusiastic, or hopeful about pursuing a particular action, goal, or outcome. This condition often results from external criticisms, failures, comparisons with others, perceived lack of progress, or internal doubts, leading to diminished motivation or desire to proceed with certain activities or objectives. Discouragement can significantly impact one's mental health, causing decreased motivation, reduced self-esteem, and sometimes, avoidance of challenging situations. Understanding and addressing the sources of discouragement is crucial in psychology to help individuals build resilience, maintain motivation, and foster a positive attitude towards facing obstacles.


Discouragement in psychology refers to a decrease in motivation and enthusiasm towards pursuing goals, activities, or behaviors. It is a complex emotional state influenced by a combination of internal and external factors, including negative feedback, personal setbacks, comparison with others, and intrinsic self-doubt. Discouragement can lead to a significant reduction in an individual's willingness to continue efforts towards a particular aim, affecting various aspects of personal development and mental health.


  1. Clinical Psychology: Understanding how discouragement impacts treatment adherence and the recovery process in therapy.
  2. Educational Psychology: Analyzing the effects of discouragement on student motivation, learning, and academic achievement.
  3. Organizational Psychology: Examining the role of discouragement in employee performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment.


  • A student who consistently receives poor grades may feel discouraged and question their academic capabilities.
  • An athlete facing repeated injuries might experience discouragement, doubting their ability to compete at a high level again.
  • Employees who receive little recognition or feedback may feel discouraged about their job performance and career prospects.


  • Positive Reinforcement: Encourage efforts regardless of the outcome to build resilience and motivation.
  • Goal Setting: Establish clear, achievable goals to help maintain focus and direction.
  • Support Networks: Leverage social support from friends, family, or mentors to provide encouragement and perspective.

Treatment and Healing

Strategies to overcome discouragement include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to challenge and reframe negative thought patterns, mindfulness practices to cultivate a present-focused, non-judgmental attitude, and resilience training to enhance the ability to cope with setbacks and failures.


Persistent discouragement can lead to depression, anxiety, and a withdrawal from socially and personally meaningful activities. It can undermine self-esteem, increase feelings of helplessness, and decrease life satisfaction.

Examples of Sentences

  • "After facing discouragement, she sought to change her perspective, focusing on small achievements."
  • "He used his moments of discouragement as a stepping stone to build a stronger resolve."
  • "Discouragement often precedes moments of great personal growth and understanding."

Similar Terms

  • Despondency
  • Demotivation
  • Disheartenment


Discouragement is a psychological state that poses significant challenges to personal growth, achievement, and well-being. It arises from both internal and external sources and can deeply affect an individual's motivation and confidence. Addressing discouragement involves understanding its root causes, implementing strategies to manage negative thoughts and emotions, and cultivating a supportive environment that fosters resilience and perseverance. Overcoming discouragement is not only crucial for achieving personal goals but also for maintaining mental health and overall life satisfaction.


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