Sunday, March 2, 2014

Be an Encourager


I never truly realized the value of this one word until I became an adult.  As kids we get green ribbons just for participating in the science fair, trophies just for playing t-ball, and a t-shirt just for entering the tournament. We get accustomed to praise and encouragement.

It seems that now, as adults, we need that encouragement more than ever. We don't get awards just for showing up to work, and sometimes, even when we work our very hardest, we feel like no one even notices. After 20 years full of green ribbons and cheerleaders, life happens, and this all sort of stops. Because of this many adults struggle just to keep on keepin' on. 

When I started this post, I came really close to talking specifically about creative adults. And while I do believe it is totally applicable to them, I realized that (duh) it doesn't matter what a person is doing, we all want to know we are doing it well. So why is it so hard to tell someone they are doing a good job? 

I, for one, have been so guilty in the past of just assuming that if someone was doing something I thought was great, someone else probably thought it was great too and was most likely telling them. So, I figured they didn't need to hear my compliments because they had them pouring in daily. 

The truth is, it doesn't matter if you get 2 or 200 encouraging words.

So today if you see someone doing something great, don't hesitate to tell them just how great it is. If you know someone who is just great all around, go ahead and let them know how super you think they are. We don't always think of the effect that a bit of encouragement can have on a person, but think about how it makes you feel? I know without the help and encouragement of some particular girlfriends, I would not have had the confidence to open my Etsy shop. I would not even have had the confidence to keep creating and doing what I love to do if not for their support. It was more valuable than they probably realize, and I am so thankful to have them around.

We all need a little pat on the back every now and then, so next time you see someone deserving of one...don't be stingy. Whether it be a note, a hug, an email or comment, don't hold back. It might just be a time of day when they need it most. You never know.

My new goal? Be an encourager. I don't mean to go tossing around crazy half-hearted compliments to anyone and everyone for every little thing, but a bit of genuine encouragement goes a long way. So if you know someone who is working extra hard, is in slump, or doing something super amazing, pick up your pom poms and make them feel good about themselves. It might just make you feel good too.