31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 28 {Encourage}

Day 28

Just for today, what if we spoke only kindness, light, and love? Today, what if we all freely gave compliments to everyone we meet? What if for one day we recognized each person we interacted with for their positive contribution to our day? What if?

How do you suppose the folks we connect with would feel?

How do you suppose you would feel?

There is nothing quite like the feeling we give when we choose to {encourage} others. And it turns out that the more we encourage, the more that feeling blesses our souls as well. It is contagious!

During this soul searching journey, we have examined how our self-talk effects us in negative ways if our internal chatter is critical. Take a moment to think about the source of some of that chatter. It didn’t just appear one day, it came over time and through experience. And much of what “sticks” with us, is criticism from others.

Encouragement is a powerful way to counteract the negative force of criticism.

I was recently asked what quality I was most proud of in myself. What a difficult question to answer! It feels boastful if you say anything in moments like that, but I thought about it a bit. Why is it so hard to find qualities that we actually like about ourselves? Wow!

I could have rattled off a laundry list of things I want to work on or improve or that I am horrible at. But I was supposed to share something I am proud of. I began to remember interactions where I’ve had the opportunity to encourage someone. As I remembered one situation, another instance came to mind, and another, until I was able to convince myself that the ability to encourage others is a pretty great thing.  

We each have the opportunity to encourage absolutely everyone we come into contact with, every single day. But what do we choose to do with those opportunities?

In a world where we are all in a hurry, speeding around to accomplish the zillion things on our “to-do” list, we often don’t even acknowledge the people who cross our paths, let alone encourage them. Sure, we know they are there, but we don’t really connect. Today we will.

My challenge to you is simple… Make a conscious effort today to give words of encouragement to each person you are blessed to interact with. Every one of them! It can be something small, or something big, but it has to be encouraging.

You may need to fight off the temptation to criticize someone during your day. You may need to fight off this temptation many times during your day! In the workplace, this may be especially challenging. But today (whatever day you are reading this) you will speak only encouraging words. Simply encourage them.

Ever notice that sometimes what we say to others is more a reflection of how we are feeling about ourselves at that moment? This seems particularly true when I’m having a bad day. I am snappish, more critical, less patient.

Not today! Today we will fill our friends, family, and co-workers with reasons to feel good about themselves no matter how we are feeling at the moment. We will celebrate them and encourage them! We will build their confidence and we will be the source of their smile.

I cannot begin to explain to you how much I treasure encouragement from people I respect and admire. Their kind words have the power to completely change the tone of my day! And you have that positive power too. Think of what you will be doing for the beautiful people in your life through just a few kind, encouraging words. It will be priceless!

I am excited to hear how your day of encouragement goes! Please share!

be kind

*This is the 28th post in a 31 day series on Soul Searching. To follow the series from the beginning, simply click here and you will be directed to the introductory post which contains links to each day’s topic.

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2 thoughts on “31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 28 {Encourage}

  1. Anne October 29, 2013 at 8:59 am Reply

    I needed this today. Usually, I consider myself a good encourager, but I’ve struggled in this with our college grad son who’s back home and 6 months unemployed. I have negative chatter about him. God, help me encourage and empathize.

    • trisbendickson October 29, 2013 at 6:51 pm Reply

      Oh goodness, parenting adult children is tough! I feel for you there 🙂 Here’s hoping you can help him celebrate the small steps toward his goal of finding employment. The activities he’s doing are encouragement opportunities even if the results are not. And more of those positive activities will eventually bring about desired results. Fingers crossed for you, Anne!

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