The beginning of a new year is a good time to entertain fresh thoughts, contemplate new behaviors, and make positive changes. This year I offer the following thoughts about encouragement and plan to take my own advice.
We all know the devastating consequences that negative, belittling and disparaging words can cause, but have we truly considered the equally powerful, but opposite effect that words of encouragement create? Individuals need validation, appreciation and understanding to sustain a healthy foundation for our well- being; especially since self-worth is a transitory state of mind. If you don’t feel valued or appreciated, it can be difficult to encourage others.
Prepare yourself to be an encourager by beginning each day with gratitude. Either say out loud or write down a short list of things that you are grateful for. Recognize that your life has significance and purpose and that it is your birthright to be happy and fulfilled. Validate your own existence.
As the day unfolds, make a conscious effort to offer sincere praise to a family member, co-worker or friend. Acknowledge exemplary behavior, above average effort and forward progress as often as possible. Bestow a compliment that you may have withheld for selfish reasons. Surprise your family with a favorite meal. Tuck a “congratulations, good luck, or I love you” note into your child’s lunch sack. Pay genuine attention to a friend’s problem or concern.
You will discover numerous opportunities to be an encourager. Take advantage of as many as possible. But beware – insincere compliments and actions will jeopardize your credibility and your intentions may be viewed as manipulative and have a destructive rather than constructive result. True encouragement reflects the joy in your heart and is given freely without expectation of receiving anything in return. The seeds you plant each day will lead to a satisfying harvest. Live abundantly. http://suzanneandmalcolm.blogspot.com/