This step pulls me out of burn out, overwhelmed and The Rut every single time: giving encouragement. Now before you pass this off as a wishy-washy challenge, turn it around on yourself. What are things other people have done for you recently that changed your mindset, got you moving forward or lifted your spirits to help you make things happen? They probably had no idea how much their encouragement changed you.
A note from my friend Valerie in the mail that I posted on my office wall, a text from Gina last night that made me laugh, a love note from Ari this morning, a song that Natalie sent us, a blog comment from Emily Thomas last week (I just realized how remarkable this is – it was a comment I left on her blog years ago that lead her to work for me!), Miss Susan (our amazing nanny) asking me daily how I am feeling, a text from Emily Ley on Monday that made me feel so supported and understood, a random thoughtful gift in the mail from a new friend, a smile and “hello” from an elderly man who lives in our neighborhood, an American Express agent in India saying “may God bless you” at the end of a customer service call where I took the time to get to know her a little (so awesome!), encouraging Facebook comments from one of our ministers at church, a text from Rhi this morning [EDITED TO ADD: Her text this morning said "have a sweet day!" and we just got a giant box of cupcakes delivered to our door - amazing!]… I could go on and on. These encouragements have really helped me in the last few days.
It would be realllly easy for me to veer off course these days. Sometimes I do. Anyone else in that same boat? My family is going though some challenging times, I’m really behind on email for the first time in a while because I have chosen to put my focus on them more right now (worth the sacrifice of a mounting inbox!), work is bustling as I work to simplify things, we still haven’t heard about Ari’s job, and I have lots of dear friends who are in need of prayer, etc. My heart is in many places. Reading scripture (the very best encouragement!), praying, giving encouragement to others and these ittle nods of encouragement I have received have helped me stay grounded and filled. They remind me that I am deeply loved and that I am enough, just as I am. They remind me that God is very very good. For that, I am so so so grateful. You just never know how your seemingly small encouragement can change someone’s world.
Love Never Fails print designed by yours truly, available here.
Remember that encouragement someone gave you at one point in your life that changed everything? I do. Genuine, authentic, honest encouragement is not only heard – it’s felt. It becomes physical in us. It changes our thoughts and, therefore, our actions. Encourage means to “give support, confidence or hope”. Even reading an encouraging quote (hello, Pinterest!) or listening to the lyrics of your favorite song can make you feel a little spark, right? Genuine words have power.
Now let me say this: do not get stuck in the trap of looking to others for encouragement in order to start making things happen. That’s the opposite of what this is about and a surefire way to drive yourself into the ground. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you GO! Don’t wait for some else to approve your great idea before you take action. Seek solid guidance and – at the same time – don’t get stuck thinking you have to have permission from others to act on your dreams. Encouragement is great, but don’t wait to ACT on what matters.
Give encouragement today to someone who really needs it or to someone you don’t normally talk to – anyone! This could be as small as a quick email, smile on the street, text, tweet, blog comment, a simple “thank you”. Or maybe it’s bigger for you. What would really help that person feel deeply loved? Whatever it is, do it. Start with just one person. Expect nothing in return and see what happens. Love never fails. Even without a reaction from that person, how does giving encouragement make you feel? If you are feeling ambitious, try giving encouragement to five people. Spread some love today and I guarantee – if you expect nothing from that person in return – it will energize you in your own work. Time to take things to the next level. Who’s in?!
My personal pep talk for you today: the fact that you are even reading this and have gotten to this sentence makes me KNOW that you want a big change in your life and in your business. Imagine I am right in front of you, looking in your eyes hi : ) saying these words: you’ve got this.
So, what are you going to do today to encourage someone? What has someone done for YOU lately that encouraged you? I’d love to hear your ideas and experiences. And you just might inspire someone with your comment : ) I know so many of you have been encouraged by the comments on previous posts! I’m so proud of y’all! As an extra push for you to get involved and DO something about these posts, I’ll be giving away prints from my shop when it opens and a one-on-one session with me to a commenter on this series.
PREVIOUSLY: And, friends, it’s never too late to start this process. There is NOTHING MAGICAL ABOUT JANUARY 1ST!
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 1
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 2
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 3
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 4
GOAL SETTING FOR 2013, Part 5
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: CLEAR THE CLUTTER
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: PREPARE FOR GREATNESS
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: TAKE A BREAK!
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: NAME YOUR FEAR
MAKING THINGS HAPPEN IN 2013: CREATE BOUNDARIES
P.S. Join Emily Ley and me for the Making Brands Happen 2013 Webinar Series that started yesterday! It was SO much fun! If you missed yesterday, you can still register for the series and get the video replay so you can get caught up for Part 2 next week! Video recordings and homework will be sent out to all registered attendees so you won’t miss a thing. See y’all again next Wednesday!