Need Encouragement?

Do you need some encouragement? Are things not going as planned even though you know you’re doing the right things to make it happen? Are you wondering whether the payback will be worth the effort? Well, there’s a remedy for that…encouraging others.

Before you order a straightjacket and padded cell for me, recall a time when you encouraged someone who was sorely in need of encouragement. How did YOU feel when your words energized them, made them smile, and prompted them to quick action?

I’ll bet that you felt energized as well. You probably experienced moments of creativity and excitement about the creative ideas that surfaced. It’s counterintuitive, but what we need is often attained when we provide for others what we need.

The logical question is “How do I muster the energy to encourage others when I feel that I’m in need of encouragement?” A related question is “What if I’m not around anyone who needs encouragement?” Really? Who among us doesn’t benefit from encouragement whether we “need” it or not?

In fairness, there are times when we’re alone when the need for encouragement surfaces. What do we do then? Interestingly, recalling your previous success in encouraging others affords you the same energy that you’d have received from actually helping others.

Whether we actually help another or simply recall the joy we experienced in helping others, we gain the energy that we would have received from others’ encouraging words. If we are able to help another, we often gain the added benefit of encouraging words from them. This exchange boosts confidence, self-esteem, feelings of being valuable and valued in both parties.

Awareness of the benefits gained from something as simple as words of encouragement is one thing, making this way of thinking a habit is another. Let’s see what it takes to develop a habit.

For you

If you want to minimize the number of times that you feel the need for encouragement, get in the habit of encouraging others…whether you sense a need or not.

Each morning, shortly after rising, commit to expressing words of encouragement to everyone you meet throughout the day. Each evening, shortly before retiring, recall the success you had that day. These memories will heighten your desire to continue the practice.

Don’t beat up on yourself for the instances when you failed to encourage others. Instead think about what may have gotten in the way of offering encouragement. Then give some thought to how you’ll handle a similar situation in the future. Remember that you are successful when you either get the desired result or learn something in the process. Reviewing results assures that you learn something from an experience…whether you got the desired result or not.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you develop the habit of encouraging others and how much joy you create for both the person you’re encouraging and for yourself. This joy will keep you focused on perpetuating the practice of encouraging others.

For our kids

The kids in your life will notice how much you enjoy life and that much of that joy relates to your ability to spread joy to others in the form of encouragement. Because kids pay more attention to what we do than what we say, they’ll mimic your behavior and, in doing so, develop the habit of encouraging others. As a result, they too will experience great joy in their lives through their words of encouragement to others.

If kids are struggling to develop the encouragement habit, share with them the daily exercises outlined above. Better yet, perform the exercises together. Each morning, jointly commit to encouraging others each day and throughout the day.

Review your success, together, each evening including the joy gained from helping others and lessons learned during the day. This will not only help your children develop the habit of being encouraging, it’ll strengthen your bond with them which, in turn, minimizes the likelihood of them falling victim to peer pressure.

Many of the best practices in life are counterintuitive, like encouraging others when we need encouragement ourselves. One of the things you’ll discover is that in the moments in which you feel the need for encouragement, the people whom you’ve been encouraging will be there for you. This awareness should not become your motivation for encouraging others; instead it should be viewed as byproduct of being kind to others.

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Readers would love to see your thoughts and experiences in a comment.

If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs (opens in a new link).

If you’d like to enrich the lives of others by teaching them to be more confident, check out our Teaching Confidence Instructor Certification program (opens in a new link).

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