Have you noticed how some people are natural encouragers? They’re good to be around, mostly positive and rarely leave you feeling like a sucked lemon. They are life’s cheer leaders and great to have along for the journey. So what does it mean to be an encourager? I’d like to share a little about what I’ve learned about this special group of champions.
It is good to know what the official definition of encouragement is and from there we can explore the different interpretations and effects of encouragement we have experienced as travellers through this life.
- The on-line dictionary describes encouragement as: the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope
- The same resource states that these gifted folk are: heartening, cheering, uplifting, inspirational, motivational, stimulating, animated, invigorating, emboldening and provide fortification as well as morale-boosting
- Synonyms/phrases for encouragement include: informal bucking up, inspiriting, a shot in the arm
In the midst of some extremely difficult and traumatic times the words that have caused me to lift my head have been from those people who have observed my struggles at other times and been able to identify the strategies I used to get me through those times. When my emotions are a fruit salad of confusion and irrational thoughts, being reminded of my strengths in similar situations is very empowering. It short circuits the stinking thinking and gets my mind focussed on the solution rather than being panicked by the problem.
Encouragement is a powerful motivator. Paraphrasing Stephen Covey in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: When you help encourage and motivate someone to accomplish a goal or dream he seeks to achieve, you have given him a form of validation in themselves to go for it.