I ask myself that question any time I catch myself wondering why some other person does not seem more supportive or positive. We all may wonder such things from time to time, particularly when the naysayer lives in our inner circle of close friends or loved ones.
That’s when I try to say, “Woah!” Am I supportive of them? I truly only have control over my own thoughts, words, and actions. It sure helps me when I stop focusing on someone else’s negative.
Instead, I look inward. I ask myself, “Am I being an Encourager or a Discourager for them?”
Did I listen when they spoke?
Did I genuinely try to see the situation from their perspective?
Did I deliver building blocks or stumbling stones?
Did I speak words that revealed compassion and encouragement?
Did I do anything to make them feel worthy or capable?
Did I recognize their achievement, even small steps toward their goal?
Did I leave them with strengthened resolve and boosted self-confidence?
I try to ask myself such questions whenever I catch myself thinking or speaking or even feeling negative toward someone. I know. I know. Sometimes that someone may have been sucking the air out of the room, squelching my creativity, diminishing my dreams, directly or indirectly putting me down. They may well have been highly discouraging.
Step one for me is trying to not absorb their negativity. I don’t want to accept pity party invitations.
Encouragement just may be one of our most vital personal and professional Life skills. So, it thrills me to say that encouragement is the theme of my newest book.
Encouragement: How to Be and Find the Best is now available in paperback and digital formats. The Audiobook is in production!