En=Make,put in. Courage=Heart,bravery
encouragement=“make strong, hearten”
Do you need encouragement?
Do some people need encouragement more than others?
I have spent time with people who say they don’t need encouragement. Some folks think that encouragement is unnecessary. They act as if there is a such thing as ‘too much encouragement.’
“Be careful, that guy is all jacked up on encouragement. He got way too many pats on the back today- he could do something rash!”
-unlikely scenario guy
I’ll be the first to admit that I thrive on encouragement. It’s the difference between dry spaghetti and spaghetti with sauce. Imagine a piece of dry bread compared to bread with peanut butter. Encouragement is that extra ingredient that makes things happen.
I believe in the power of encouragement because I have seen it in action.
I had a job many years ago taking groups of kids on top rope climbing trips and ropes course adventures. I remember one kid who wanted to give up on his climb over and over. As I kept talking to him and cheering him on, the other children started yelling out “you can do it!” He overcame the fear and climbed a tricky steep rock face. This boy was so proud of himself I still remember his big grin. I don’t think he would have ever made it to the top without the added encouragement.
If you need encouragement, ask for it.
It’s so easy to get caught up in my head, worrying about small things, and feeling inadequate. So many times a few comments from a good friend have changed my outlook. A new perspective offers leverage to get out of the pit of introspection.
Looking at an obstacle from another point of view makes it seem smaller, easier to overcome.
Speaking to a person who has already dealt with an issue and hearing them say it was not so bad gives me new confidence. At one point in my entrepreneurial journey, I was feeling stuck. I reached out to a complete stranger who gave me some great advice and encouragement. Check out my interview with Kaylee Summyt on “I’m Starting From Scratch” Podcast.
Can you think of a time when some encouragement helped? Perhaps you would not have gone that extra mile without someone’s urging push?
In the last year I have realized that it helps to ask for some kind words from my family. It’s not that hard. When I’m feeling beat up and ragged in my mind, it helps just to let the family know. I say, “Hey guys, I’m feeling bummed out today. I’m going to lay down for a few minutes. I sure could use some positive words tonight.” This simple choice to ask for help alerts the family that I might not be in a great mood. As a bonus, I also avoid possible conflicts and arguments.
Most people that love you will jump at the chance to help you out. Especially if you are the type of person that helps them out when they need it. If you do not ask, it is the rare person who senses that you need help.
The Dangers of Encouragement
The problems with encouragement are:
1. Aggressive, annoying approaches to “forcing” an idea or action.
2. Too much talking without action or result
3. Insincere motivations
Folks shrug off the importance of encouragement because the word is misinterpreted. Insincere statements such as “it will be OK,” or “don’t worry” are frustrating. I have learned the hard way that things can go from bad to worse.
I intend to use the term “Encouragement” in is purest sense. From the heart. Selfless motives, honest criticism.
Can encouragement come in the form of criticism?
Yes, why not? Or in silence, like the old guy saying “wax on, wax off” in The Karate Kid. In my experience, good feedback can come from unexpected sources. Old grumpy construction guys rarely offer compliments. I can remember one day when a boss who did rarely smiled or say kind things did give me a compliment. His few words meant a lot to me because they were hard to earn. Encouragement can come in various forms. A helpful word or compliment must come from the heart with honesty to be effective.
When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.
Give out lots of positive encouragement to your friends and family and coworkers. You will not regret it.
“What comes around, goes around.”