One thing that we all need to do is “learn to encourage yourself”
Encouraging yourself is an art.
It requires a skill that creates something out of nothing. It commands an imagination that feels the end when you can barely see the beginning. This kind of art has no set style and no perfect method. It just asks that you show up, and paint yourself a different picture. Dream furiously, speak life into your situation and sculpt yourself a different reality.
Encouraging yourself is a practice.
It must be done constantly and consistently in order to take effect. It is refined with time, patience and devotion. It can start simple and small, yet its pursuit provides proficiency. There is always another level to reach, and another depth to be explored.
Encouraging yourself is an act.
It needs you to do, to demonstrate, or to express. It is most powerful when you combine all three. It begins in the mind, but must manifest as a deed. It is a close cousin of love – an inexpensive and indispensable gift.
Encouraging yourself can be difficult.
Depending on the challenges you may face, it may seem unnatural, false and silly. In the thick of situations, it’s often the last thing we want to do. However, self-encouragement is necessary for both endurance and victory. It is one of the most important habits we can cultivate in order to achieve our goals.
Quite like inspiration and motivation, encouragement is something our spirits crave. Once again, we cannot rely on others to provide it when we are most in need. Often we may find ourselves in situations where the very people we thought would have our backs, are the ones who have their backs turned. We are therefore responsible for finding our own sources of encouragement in order to make it through.
This art, this practice, this act, is something that we owe ourselves.
Considering all that it has taken for us to get to this very moment, we must encourage ourselves to press on. We must set our minds beyond what we can presently see, and strive towards understanding and realizing our purpose.
When I think back to past relationships, past jobs, and past dreams, it becomes ever so apparent that all things work together. Even the most painful of situations produce something within us that outweighs the circumstances themselves.
Encouraging yourself requires preparation.
Every person should have some form of encouragement toolkit. Perhaps you fill your mirror with post-it notes. Or maybe you write down inspirational quotes in your planner. Perhaps you leaf through and highlight scriptures. Or maybe you say affirmations to yourself when you begin your day. Perhaps you write letters in journals. Or maybe you make gratitude lists. Whatever your method, whatever your style, you have to stay encouraged.
As you look for ways to encourage yourself, consider this:
- Why did you start this journey? Often remembering your “why” will help you in the pursuit of your goals. If necessary, place reminders around your work and living space as to why you started the journey in the first place.
- Why can you keep going? Sometimes we have to remind ourselves where our strength comes from. This varies from person to person, but for me it comes from my faith. I believe I can do anything with God, and that often keeps me going!
- What is your reason to continue? What will be your reward? Having the end in sight can help you through the most difficult parts of the journey. Concentrating on what’s ahead can give you the fuel power to continue.
- Are you focusing on the problem or are you focusing on the solution? Focusing on the problem is only distracting you from finding the solution. Step back, seek counsel, and start working towards remedying your situation.
- Do it daily. Remember, encouraging yourself is a practice. In order for it to become a habit, you must begin by being intentional. Choose to start your day off by delving into your encouragement toolkit.
- Can you encourage someone else? Sometimes the best way to encourage yourself, is to encourage someone else. Often, we can give to others exactly what we need. With this, we are not only being a blessing to someone else, we are being a blessing to ourselves also.