Saturday, March 04, 2006

Curious about Encouragement: What Kind of Role Does It Play in Your Life and Career?

Give encouragement (the incentive to action) you will have courage and be encouraged.” - W. Clement Stone

There is no such thing as a 'self-made' man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.” - George Matthew Adams

Tuesday, March 7th will be exactly six weeks since I experienced surgery for my hip fracture. And, it will also be six weeks since I was allowed to drive. Even though I have been driven by a few gracious and generous friends to doctors’ appointments and to run errands, I have basically been holed up in my apartment for most of that time.

What does that have to do with “Encouragement?”

Well, it has given me more time than usual to think about my businesses and plan my next strategic steps to take us to the next level. I have also been catching up on important reading, listening to teleseminars and audio files, and just plain thinking.

For more than a year now, I have been grappling with creating a business and/or personal brand and homing in on exactly what is and how would I describe my USP (Unique Selling Proposition). So far - during this gift of less hectic time - I have realized the two dominant strengths that I bring to every part of my personal life and also use when working on every career project.

The first is that I am an encourager! (Note: Next week I will share the second strength with you.)

I encourage every person I come into contact with to pursue his or her dream(s), convincing them that they have what it takes to succeed:
  • In my fitness classes, participants work hard and realize great physical changes.
  • In my “Discover Your Core Passion” classes, I assure attendees that they already know what their core passion is - they just need to get over the fear, accept it and run with it.
  • When writing my two e-newsletters, I encourage the readers to have a huge helping of hope for the future.
  • At storytelling performances and events, I encourage the listeners to share and tell their own stories or find traditional stories that they will love telling to others.
  • When designing and/or updating a website, I encourage my clients to get excited and passionate about the project and, in turn, work along with me.

You get the idea!

So, what role does encouragement play in your life and career? I hope a large one. Below are some more thoughts from the experts:

  • Most people are not really conceited, but feel a certain amount of inferiority and tend to get a little discouraged with themselves, therefore encouragement is a very important thing! I do it all the time! I praise everybody for everything they do that I see is good.” - David Brandt Berg
  • Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal.” - Robert Collier
  • That gives me tremendous encouragement and optimism for the human race in general, that people choose to go off and do their own things.” - Bruce Dickinson
  • Nine tenths of education is encouragement.” - Anatole France

My assignment for you: start by encouraging yourself to take that risk, perform the action you have been avoiding and telling yourself that you “have what it takes.” Next, pick a friend or family member and encourage them to excel in an area that is meaningful to them. Convince them that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Then, let me know the outcomes!