We’ve been talking about the art of encouragement. And because encouragement is a basic necessity of life, instilling it in others is an essential people skill. So, whether you’re a manager, spouse, parent, teacher, coach, or pastor, you’ll be your best when you know how to effectively encourage others. But there’s one other angle we need to cover. Do you work hard to encourage yourself?
You can’t give someone a “nothing.”
Last week, we identified your strong emotions, physical senses, and determination as just three internal sources you can tap into to be an encouragement to others. But there’s another perspective we cannot neglect. The skill of encouraging yourself is even more important.
To some, that may feel selfish. It’s not. In fact, you must learn to gather your courage and make sure it’s firmly implanted in your speech and in your attitudes. After all, how can you instill courage in someone if you do not possess it for yourself? (Thanks, “Law of Conservation of Matter”!)
Encourage yourself with a simple formula.
This morning, a friend texted to report the weather forecast for our area. Given how crazy the weather has been, most of us are paying a little more attention to what the forecasters have to say. But honestly, unless it’s good, many of us don’t even want to know. “Abundant sunshine for today,” she reported. And that was all I really need to hear. My mood changed immediately. I became expectant to hear good news about all sorts of other things I’m concerned about. I even turned around and gave that report to other friends – just in case they needed to know. Encouragement is contagious!
With that said, encourage yourself! Entertain positive thoughts about your own value. Focus on your unlimited potential to be a blessing to those around you. Tell yourself a real story with a happy ending. BE OF COURAGE. And if you need help, ask a trusted friend to get you started.
Here’s a simple 2-step formula to encourage yourself or someone else:
- Identify something you’re good at observing in other people.
- I’m good at spotting ________________ in other people.
- I love it when someone reminds me of ____________.
- I really try to find___________________ when I’m in a tough situation.
- Then, offer that person (or yourself) proof that you can see that very thing in them (yourself).
- I’m good at spotting real courage in other people. I can totally see that in you every time you _____________.
- I love it when someone reminds me that no matter how discouraged I may feel, I’m truly blessed. You have that effect on me.
- I really try to find positive examples of what others have accomplished when I’m in a tough situation. You set a great example to me when you _________.
There you have it. Two steps to encourage yourself or someone else who needs some courage. And if you want to make encouragement an art form, grab your copy of “The Art of Encouragement” and become an expert!