I love this word!
Encouragement is a key to building self esteem in yourself.
It is a key that unlocks the heart
of the one giving and the one receiving
and also reinforces and strengthens positive self concept.
It is a big key to supporting the creation and establishment of self esteem in others.
It helps build and reinforce self esteem in many ways.
According to the dictionary:
1. The act of encouraging.
2. The state of being encouraged.
3. One that encourages.
This is how I hear the word:
It is an action of and from the heart to support another
(or yourself - yes you can and need to encourage yourself!).
It is a “fear bypass” operation to support movement into your heart to move forward from love instead of from fear.
It is a state of being when two hearts connect and empower and strengthen each other.
or more simply stated...
It gives your heart wings!
When someone supports or inspires us, they are in their heart loving us and inviting us to follow our hearts.
And if you are the one giving yourself this gift, you give yourself acceptance, loving and the wings or energy to follow your heart!
Be grateful for any piece of encouragement that comes your way!
How can we begin to make a dent
in our history of lack of self-esteem or self-respect?
I have often said, when coaching caregivers, “Catch them doing good! And then praise them for it!” That is a good place to start.
Please DO NOTICE when you do good, however small the improvement, and recognize it. This is how good behavior grows.
Negative behavior needs feedback and consequences but it is helpful if you deliver negative feedback neutrally, as fact without judgment and without too much drama.
Then when you give the positive feedback with emphasis and encouraging words, the positive behavior can grow and the negative behavior can begin to die from lack of attention and energy.
Praise is a reward for an achievement. Praise fosters competition.
Competition has its place.
However, when you are dealing with discouragement and low self esteem, competition can lead to reinforcement of the discouragement and negative self-image.
The ones who “win” get rewarded and the ones who “lose” can become more discouraged and have more proof that they cannot achieve or succeed.
I recommend encouragement.
The word encouragement means to impart strength and confidence or to “hearten”.
Encouragement is given for effort and improvement. It promotes qualities that everyone needs to succeed in life.
"Words are powerful and can fuel life or fuel death and destruction of hope. Speak life to those who cross your path."
The Frog Story makes a powerful point about the power of words.
The benefits of encouragement
You are motivated and inspired.
Your heart is strengthened and expands.
You can move into your true or spiritual heart.
You are moved into greater alignment with your highest Self and more aligned with God’s Will for you.
You are uplifted, strengthened and fortified for the next steps before you.
Both the encourager and the one being encouraged are revitalized and heartened.
You are able to move forward in your life, grieving whatever losses you have had.
You are more prepared to face the future.
In the moment of encouragement, you let go of negativity and are free.
You open to receive the blessings that are available.
It is the antidote to discouragement.
It fosters cooperation and self-esteem.
It increases self confidence.
It promotes feelings of being accepted.
This positive action helps us to believe in ourselves during the process of learning that includes stages of success and setback.
It gives needed evidence that there is improvement, progress and potential of success so we can continue on and not give up.
"Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed." Abraham Lincoln
How to speak the language of encouragement
When you speak with the intention to hearten, it is good to avoid words like good, great and terrific.
Here are some examples of how to speak with words that promote motivation and strengthen true self esteem:
I like the way you handled that.
How do you feel about how you handled that?
What can you learn from how you handled that?
To promote self confidence you can use phrases like:
You’ll make it!
You’re making progress.
I believe you can handle it.
To recognize effort and improvement you can say:
I can see you put a lot of effort into that.
I can see a lot of progress.
You’re improving in ______(that behavior).
A FEW FAVORITE QUOTES:
“Nine tenths of education is encouragement.” Anatole France
“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” John O'Donohue
Encouragement is an important tool in raising children with ever growing true self esteem or in re-parenting your inner child.
No matter your age, you can create, build and strengthen your self respect and self esteem.