10 Encouragement Boosters

7 Jul

Encouragement infuses hope or confidence of a positive outcome despite difficult circumstances. Let’s face it, we live in a challenging world. Current financial situations, personal issues, health issues, and difficulties in starting a profitable business can strip us of our joy and the resolve to move forward. Affirming words create an atmosphere where we can believe that things are going to be okay even in the midst of difficult times. It is not about ignoring the very real problems that exist but rather infusing courage to take the next step to resolve them.

1. Acknowledge tough times

How do you feel when someone makes light of the situation when they have no idea what you’re going through? Many times in our effort to help others in their struggles, we minimize the obstacles they face. Instead of strengthening their resolve, we demoralize them.   Do you remember how you felt as you were going from one grade into the next when in school? Just because you’ve made it through, don’t forget the struggles. Instead, reassure the person who comes to you that they have come to the right place to find a sounding board to help them work through these hard times.

2. Look at both sides of the issue

My friend, Michele Markey with SheVenture says, “No matter how flat the pancake is, it still have two sides.” Often those who are discouraged, are only looking at one side of the situation and it’s usually the downer side. Write down all the unfavorable conditions without saying them out loud. List them or put them in a web or mind map. The important part is to get them down on paper. Take a few minutes to number them with the greatest obstacle first.

3. Listen

One of the hardest things to do when someone is sharing their problems is to keep from jumping in with the perfect solution for them. The greatest gift you can give someone is to listen and ask questions that allow them to keep sharing what’s going on. Some people process as they talk so it’s hard to see them go in circles. If this happens, paraphrase what you’ve heard them say so far. This will help them to distill their information and get closer to a workable solution.

4. Set a timer for discussing the problems

The only danger with being a good listener is that the person you are trying to help regain their edge may get stuck in the negative cycle that pulls them down even further. I would suggest that you use a timer and agree on the amount of time they might need to discuss the problems. Otherwise, you will get pulled down also. Remember that you want to encourage  them and that won’t happen if you spend all your time looking at the negative side.

5. Shift the conversation to the positive

Once the timer has gone off, it’s time to change the channel and start looking at the positive side of the situation. This is very hard for some people. As the encourager ask questions like:

  • What’s the bigger picture here?
  • If you take a step back can you see some of the amazing things that are happening in your life?
  • What do you want to see happen in this situation?
  • What is one thing you’ve learned during this difficult time?
  • Who have you been able to help now that you have experience in this area?

6. Rebound by finding 5 things that are going well

After they answer the questions, inspire them to explore what’s going well or any good that has resulted from the difficulties. The goal of our lives should not be to take it easy but rather to grow, develop and become stronger as we overcome challenges. It’s about learning and growing. You may have to give the first one but after they get going, you will notice a marked shift. For more on the 5:1 ratio check out ABT in Action.

7. Express what you admire most about that person

Applaud their efforts and reassure them that they are unstoppable if they will move forward. Focus on the qualities that make them who they are and not on their appearance or what they’ve done. You don’t have to say a lot, in fact, most people will be a little uncomfortable with this part of the process since we rarely receive pats on the back.

8. Use honoring words

Honoring words are those that focus on your intrinsic value and character. Accentuating these positive qualities can become a life-long transformational habit. If you are at a loss to come up with words, create an alphabetic list of honoring descriptors. Add to it regularly.

9. Check in frequently

Establish a process of encouraging that person for several weeks. It doesn’t take a lot of time to reach out to them with a call, email, tweet of Facebook post. It doesn’t take much time to reach out and brighten their day. Additionally, you will begin to find renewed energy as you look for ways to encourage others.

10. Keep the momentum going

There are many avenues you can use to encourage others. Write a note in which you include the honoring words. Before long encouraging, reassuring, praising, restoring and strengthening others will become a way of life. What a great life it is!

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. She is a certified facilitator with Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching to accelerate your personal and professional growth.


4 Responses to “10 Encouragement Boosters”

  1. Hello Karen, you couldn’t have said better… “there are many avenues you can use to encourage others.”

    The 10 suggestions you have written above is an excellent place to start.

    Thank you for encouraging me and other women in business.

    Many Blessings,

    Stacie Walker

    • Karen Sebastian July 9, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      Always a pleasure, Stacie. You are an example of a creative problem solver who is outstanding in so many ways. I love the way you reach out to women entrepreneurs and give them tools for success. You encourage me as well and that’s the way it should work.


  2. twin1234 August 23, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    joy@ women entrepreneur leadership
    These Encouragement Boosters was a big help for us women entrepreneur, as I was in my business I have experience being rejected and neglected.
    Have a blessed day..


    • Karen Sebastian August 23, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

      You truly have to be strong in order to be an entrepreneur. When I feel that others are rejecting me, I step back and look at the situation from a neutral perspective. Usually they are dealing with their own issues. When it comes to the neglect, I simply seek out the input of those that are significant to me. The best thing to remember is that you are the only one who gives others the power to hurt you. Best wishes and blessings as you move forward.

I would love to get your insights on this topic.

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