Tag Archives: health

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.


Eliminating Excuses Caused by Perfectionism

24 Apr

Celebrate Progress rather than Perfection

“What’s wrong with perfectionism? Shouldn’t I set high standards,” you might be thinking. In my own experience, perfectionism has done me more harm than good. When facing new situations, I feel uncomfortable and unwilling to look like a fool or ask for help. Here are some of the ways where seeking to get it ‘perfect’ has hindered my success (along with the HOPE Antidote – of course):

Too hard

When facing a new challenge, it can seem like an insurmountable situation. Every time you try something new it will seem hard at first. If you are a perfectionist,  you  may resist moving forward when you are not sure of yourself.

Hope Antidote

My hope antidote for this excuse is to think back on other times when I felt like something was overwhelming. With time, I became comfortable with the new skill and encouraged others to try it. Why should this situation be any different? It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay if you’re unsure. The key is to move forward and take action.

Take too much of my time

This excuse can become a self-fulfilling prophecy because at times, when I’ve tackled a new project, I’ve lost sight of all the other things that I need to do. This ‘all-or-nothing’ thinking  is confining and holds me back.

Hope Antidote

The best way to eliminate this excuse is to schedule my time and move forward systematically and not compulsively. Darren Rowse in Problogger writes about how perfectionism itself is a ‘time drain.’ He’s right about that. Determine how much time you are willing to spend and reward yourself when you stick to it.

Too complicated

I have to face that, most often, I am the one making it complicated. This goes back to the saying, “If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing it right.” The flip side of that statement is that I’d rather not even start the project because it looks too daunting.

Hope Antidote

The battle is in my mind. What I believe becomes my reality. In other words, if I keep believing that it is too complicated, I will indeed be paralyzed by my perfectionism. On the other hand, I will move forwards if I create a mind map or a list of next steps and tackle each one consistently. It’s my choice. My new saying will be, “If it’s worth doing, I will take steps in that direction.”

Set a simple plan in place. Take a few steps. Laugh when you trip. Learn from your mistakes.  Cheer yourself on as you tackle big projects. If you do this on a consistent basis you will be much better off. Experience the joy of forward progress instead of beating yourself up because it’s not perfect.

What hope antidotes to perfectionism can you share? I would love to celebrate with you.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

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