“There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.”
Katharine Butler Hathaway
The year was 1992. The organization I worked with had just transferred me to another branch. Suddenly from being in familiar surroundings, I was in a strange place. My enthusiasm waned. I worked as a salesperson and I hated asking directions all the time. Everything seemed like too much work – I was spending more time on trivial stuff and by the time I was face to face with my customer, I was tired. I wasn’t happy at the end of the day. Things improved, as it is usually the fear of the unknown that drags us down.
As the days went by, my supportive colleagues encouraged me. During this time, I met a placement consultant who was visiting our office and from the moment we shook hands, it was instant friendship. A few weeks of interaction convinced her I was meant to be a Trainer. She pushed me to attend an interview in a large organization. Just to humor her, I did. And got the job. While my immediate boss wasn’t the happiest person on earth, his boss was, and encouraged me to move on. I did. At 8 times the salary I was currently earning. If she had not encouraged me to stretch out of my comfort zone, I might not have found my new comfort zone!
As we go through life, we are fueled by encouragement to achieve the things we aspire for.
We live by encouragement and die without it – slowly, sadly and angrily. Celeste Holm
At various stages in my life, it was the encouragement I received – from my Mom, my Grandmother, my family, my friends and peers – that motivated me to become mentally strong. It helped me move closer to my potential and cope with the challenges I faced. I learned from my experiences rather than get disheartened by them.
I am a positive person, but I too have my moments. But the reinforcement that I received gave me a realistic view of myself. I saw myself as adequate and didn’t beat myself up so much when I did not get the result I expected. So maybe I set myself high standards, but my folks simply admired me for it and that alone was encouragement to keep on keeping on. I am open minded, open to new experiences and am not scared of making mistakes. In life, the path of learning is sprinkled with opportunities, disguised as mistakes.
“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – Unknown
I have learned from my Mom that the language of encouragement is different from the usual. She would say:
“I think you can do it.” not “Let me do that for you”
“You have what it takes.” not “Be very careful.”
“What do you think?” not “Let me give you some advice”
“I could use your help.” not “You can’t do this”
“It looks like a problem occurred.
What can we do to solve the problem?” not “I told you to be careful!”
“I know you did your best.” not “Too bad that didn’t work”
Correction does much, but encouragement does more.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Encouragement nurtures. Stimulates. Recognizes. Accepts. Appreciates. Focuses on Strengths.
So when my soul sister Elle Sommer of Reflecting A Life invited to guest post as the encourager of the month on her blog, I wrote about encouragement. Because Elle encourages and motivates on a daily basis.
The post is titled “The Power of Encouraging Words. The gift that keeps on giving”
I would be honored if you would come over and read it – and share your story/views.
At the end of that post, I’ve invited readers to answer the following question and share the answer with me via email.
Can you think of a time when someone’s words changed the course of your life? Or have your words made a difference in someone’s actions or life? If not, find someone and encourage them this week.
Share your experience with me via email (vidya at vidyasury dot com) and I’ll feature it on my blog in a post.
Thank you for always encouraging me with your presence.