Encouragement is one of our core values at Lily & Val. Prints and note cards filled with encouraging messages are certainly a key part of what we do, but my goal is that a spirit of encouragement will run even deeper than that in our company. I want our team members and everyone that interacts with our brand to feel encouraged and uplifted. This goal caused me to dig a little deeper into what it actually means to be an encourager and how I could do a better job. What I found was extremely helpful and I wanted to share it with you all along with 5 simple ways to spread encouragement to those around you!
Often times, encouragement can be mistaken for praise. Praise, of course, is a wonderful thing, but it is limited. It emphasizes something earned – a reward. Encouragement, on the other hand, is given freely. Sometimes the best encouragement comes from noticing and affirming something others may never even notice or think of mentioning!
Encouragement is all about imparting confidence and affirming someone’s worth and dignity. It tells them “I accept you. You are enough.” We are all given the ability to offer encouragement and these simple acts can have a profound impact. An encouraged person believes in themselves and accomplishes even more than they thought possible!
Here are 5 simple ways to encourage those around you:
1. Be Optimistic
Having an optimistic attitude is one of the best ways to be an encourager. An optimistic person expects the best possible outcome and thrives on hoping for the best. When your attitude is one of positivity, you will be better able to impart that courage into someone else.
It might sound simple and cheesy, but making eye contact and smiling is one of the best ways we can encourage each other. This is a very simple, but effective affirmation and unspoken acceptance.
With so many distractions vying for our attention, it is hard to be fully engaged with someone who is talking to us. Our minds may be distracted, or, we are too busy thinking about what we are going to say next instead of truly listening to what the person is saying. Notice if you begin slipping into this pattern, and practice truly paying attention. When someone knows you are fully engaged and listening to them it shows what they have to say is important.
In any situation, both positive and negative, look for anything that can be turned into an asset or a strength and recognize those things! If you think of something to recognize, don’t hold back! Share these compliments verbally or in writing. A hand-written note is our favorite way because the recipient has something to keep. Sharing publicly also a great idea!
5. Jot It Down
When someone shares a piece of information about themselves – a personal preference, birthday, favorite candy, fear, dreams, etc. – jot it down! Remembering these small details shows that you care about what they care about.
I hope these tips are helpful to you! I’d love to hear your tips for spreading encouragement, too! Leave a note in the comments. xo