The Power of Encouragement

“Wow! You look like you are really making progress in your life. I can really feel how you have strengthened your inner confidence. That’s amazing. Keep working at because it looks fantastic on you!” Imagine receiving an encouragement of this nature every week. Or what about variations of such encouragement. “I know its tough changing core beliefs when they have so controlled your life and kept you functioning. And I know how hard it is to trust that changing beliefs could truly change your reality, but the progress you have made in this last week has brought a lightness to your heart that is incredible and its lovely to be with you.”

Or what if its just really simple?

” I truly believe in you. Go for it.”

” It doesn’t matter whether you fail at trying something new, I just know you’ll master what you most love to do. You’ve got that kind of soul in you.”I remember when I was in grade 8 and my teacher organized the classroom by grades. I was in the B section of the class. The ‘ordinary/average’ section of the class. No matter what we did our ‘lot’ had been assigned us. So as many of you can imagine, I simply decided that I would be a rebel to a greater cause. Not that I had any desire to raise my grades. That wasn’t my dream to learn their way. However, we were the group that laughed the most and caused the most disruption in the class simply because I wouldn’t give him the power to lock the whole of my spirt in the ‘average’ category. Nevertheless, I wonder how different my school experience would have been if he had encouraged me rather than labelled me. I know he never envisioned me with 2 masters degrees! In university when I was defending my master’s thesis, there were 2 professors arguing with each other over the concepts and theories I had created. One was in favour and supported me and the other didn’t like it. The third professor just sat there and hardly said anything. At the end of the defense, I got up to leave, not sure what to think about my capabilities to create new ways to be in the world that brought freedom and kindness to humanity and to all life.

The professor who was in favour of what I had written, came to me and said, “You know Shirley, what you wrote was amazing and you have the potential and the goods to do your PhD. Think about it. You would do well at it.” What difference might it have made if I didn’t have to wait until the end of my first master’s degree for that genuine encouragement of my potential?

His encouragement stayed with me. His encouragement was the power I drew upon when I went on to complete another masters degree and when the next defense came and the profs argued with each other about I wrote on power and accountability, I knew I had the goods. What I wrote created conversation, dialogue, inner searching and challenge. They couldn’t dismiss what I wrote in sheer robotic boredom. It engaged them. The encouragement of this one professor helped me stand my ground and speak my truth, even when the “experts” argued about it.

I realize how much negativity we feed ourselves and how much we hand out to others in an attempt to help others be realists about their life. We hear so much negativity in the news, media and even in our churches or circles of faith, that we loose sight of the power of encouragement to uplift and support each other. In a recent course I took, the teacher reminded me that studies have been done that show that 80% of our self-talk is negative (85,000 -110,000 words we speak to ourselves daily) and of that percentage, 70% of that negative talk is about others! Now that stopped me in my tracks. No wonder we aren’t getting anywhere fast.

The fifth principle in Reiki is to BE KIND. I believe encouragement is a truly extraordinary expression of kindness. Recently, I hired a new Results Coach for myself as I love to grow and work at opening to my potential. She asked me what I need from her to build trust in the coaching relationship. Besides accountability, one of the key supports I needed to most get to my potential, I said, was encouragement. Now I get a beautiful, genuine, heartfelt expression of encouragement every 10 days about what really matters and about the steps I am taking. It is making all the difference for me!

I invite you to consider where you weren’t supported to be and live your potential in a job, or in a relationship, in studies, or in starting something new, and what beliefs about yourself you are still operating from out of that negativity. Then, equally consider the difference it made when you were genuinely encouraged with heart by someone. I bet that the encouragement from the heart made all the difference in the power and the choices you made and lived by. And I bet that the ripple effect of this encouragement went further to positively affect others than you ever imagined.

Do you need more encouragement in your life? If you were given regular encouragement, what do you believe you would have the power to do? To move to? To start? To live? To write? To step forward with? To let go of? To leave behind?

For me, Reiki is one way that I receive daily universal encouragement. Its why I’m still here. I commit to encouraging you even more so because I love and believe in you all! Each one of you is extraordinary and I believe that if we encouraged each other with the kindness of our hearts, together we would change the world. All it takes is for you to encourage another, to encourage yourself and allow another to encourage you!

You must participate wholeheartedly in the game, however, even when the old core beliefs and negative programs start acting up to ‘protect’ you from being encouraging and receiving encouragement in case you might one day get hurt. We have all been hurt. No one escapes it. But we do have a choice whether we live by the hurts of the past or equally honour the potential of a life of love, peace and joy that comes with frequent acts of encouragement! The power of encouragement is the leverage to living successfully and prosperously. Give it a committed effort!