The Gift Of Encouragement

I believe in you, you can do anything you set your mind to!

Such simple words, and yet spoken at the right time they can change the course of a life. No matter who you are, or how much money or power you may have if you are a living breathing human you can occasionally use a word of encouragement. Trust me, there are a LOT of people out there right this very minute faking confidence!

Motivation versus Encouragement

Motivation and encouragement are often treated as one and the same, but there are some key differences that are worth understanding.

Motivate: to provide with a motive (reason or cause), to give incentive to, move to action, to impel.

Encourage: to inspire with courage, confidence, or hope, to stimulate, spur on, to give help or support.

I’ve given these definitions a lot of thought in recent days and recognize that I am much better at encouraging others to rise above their challenges and pursue their dreams than I am at motivating someone to find a purpose or goal to believe in. I suppose this comes from the fact that I’ve always been a self-motivated person. I don’t need someone else to move me to take action. However, like everyone, I do occasionally get to the point of feeling worn thin and discouraged and it’s at those times that a word of encouragement can really make a difference … even if it’s just talking to myself in the bathroom mirror!

How about you?

When was the last time you felt you could really use a word of encouragement? How about the last time you offered a few words of encouragement to someone else?

There are those who will say, “Well, nobody has ever encouraged me so why should I waste the energy encouraging others?!” I hear you, and I’ve been there. It is true that sometimes, okay, maybe most of the time you’re going to have to encourage yourself. But what you may not realize, and what I’ve learned from personal experience, is that encouraging others not only feels great and makes a positive difference, it can do a bang-up job of lifting your own spirits.

Encouragement is like verbal sunshine, it costs nothing, it warms the hearts of others and inspires them with hope and confidence.

Reflections on the Quiet Power of Encouragement

The ability to encourage is not something we’re born with, but it most assuredly is something we can learn IF we desire to make the effort. To encourage you to give this some thought, I’ve collected a few powerful reflections to share with you.

When you listen, whisper a word of encouragement, or attempt to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.

~Loretta Girzartis

Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Take time to care. Let your words heal, and not wound.

~Author Unknown

Encouragement is oxygen to the soul.

~John Maxwell

One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.

~John O’Donohue

A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.

~Author Unknown

If you have no one to encourage you, instead of using that as an excuse for failure, encourage yourself and use that as your motivation to succeed.

~Kevin Ngo

The best way to encourage yourself is to encourage somebody else.

~Author Unknown

Have you doubted your progress, regretted your choices, put yourself down? Remember that you are doing just fine. Remind yourself that no matter what it feels like, you are doing the best you can and getting better. Encourage yourself, support yourself, and celebrate every little thing about yourself.

~Iyanla Vanzant

You can’t count on people to always cheer you on and keep you built up. You must learn to encourage yourself.

~Author Unknown

Sometimes the strength within you is not a fiery flame that all can see, it is just a tiny spark that whispers softly, “you got this, keep going.”

~Author Unknown

If anyone tells ever tells you your dreams are silly, just remember there’s a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle. You’ve got this one life, how do you want to spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning or hating yourself? Running after people who don’t see you? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. Make yourself proud. ~Author Unknown

Stop worrying how it’s going to happen and start believing that it will.

~Author Unknown

One day it will dawn on you what’s important and what isn’t. You’ll learn to care less about what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You’ll realize how far you’ve come and remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you’ll smile. You’ll smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become. ~Author Unknown

Closing Thoughts

Encouragement is a gift that we all have the ability to give. Every day we come in contact with people who could use a smile or word of hope. The important thing is that whatever words of encouragement you share come from your heart, what that looks like will be different for each of us. Some people dole out lavish and effusive praise, bear hugs, and hearty cheers or applause, while others prefer a more quiet and subtle approach: a soft smile, a kind word, or a light touch on the hand.

Regardless of the form our encouragement takes, it carries amazing potential—the potential to lift the spirit and sometimes even change the course of a life.


Marquita Herald
Marquita Herald
Marquita is a transformational author, coach, founder, and chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. Her message is that resilience isn’t an umbrella to be reserved for a rainy day and you don’t need to wait until you are facing a major life change or crisis to claim the power and authority you have to create the quality and course of your life. In every way that matters, resilient living is a lifestyle choice. Through her blog, books, courses, and coaching, she provides insights, inspiration and a wealth of personal experience as a roadmap to grow through life’s inevitable challenges. Marquita makes her home in Oregon and loves red wine, rock n' roll, hiking, road trips, peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

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