Last year, I learned of a quote originally spoken by Abraham Lincoln. A friend of mine shared it with me not realizing how true it had been for my life thus far. It read: "I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down." (Abraham Lincoln) Even in times of uncertainty, anxiety, and struggle, I was blessed to have people (not always the same people) encouraging me through words of affirmation. Their consistency allowed me the opportunity to believe that I was capable of success, even when I didn't feel the same internal confidence.
Although it can be hard on our pride to admit it, we can all use a boost at times.
Encouragement is an incredible gift! When we “en-courage,” it’s as though we actually infuse courage into another person. Encouragement can provide people with strength to look ahead, move forward, and reach for the next goal. The whole emotional tone of a tough situation can be transformed through encouragement. Somehow things seem a little brighter.
Some people offer encouragement in a boisterous way. They hand out lavish praise, bear hugs, and hearty cheers or applause. Other encouragers use techniques that are more quiet and subtle: a soft smile, a kind word, or a light touch on the hand. But regardless of the form that encouragement takes, it carries amazing potential—the potential to lift a person's spirits while helping them to stay focused on their goals.
Consider what words of transformation you can share with someone today. Consider who has spoken words of affirmation to you in the past and reciprocate with words of thanks. Pay it forward. It can be life-changing.