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Encourage. Every week I choose a word to explore and grow. This week I chose ENCOURAGE.

I wanted to really look at WHO I encourage… WHEN I encourage…WHY I encourage…and HOW I encourage. Ultimately understanding WHAT encourage means to me.

The definition of encourage is to give SUPPORT, CONFIDENCE, HOPE. To INSPIRE to BELIEVE.

When we encourage - we ignite HOPE, BELIEF, CONFIDENCE in our soul and the souls of others.

What does a word or words of encouragement do for our faith and the faith of others?

Encouragement gives us the confidence to go after our dreams, to take the first step…the second step…the last step.

This deepens our faith to move forward and live our

full purpose.

It grows our belief from fear of future to confidence in future. In Jeremiah 29:11, God says to each of us - For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. HOPE!

It turns our doubt to knowledge and wisdom, our weaknesses to strengths.

The HOPE we grow allows us to LIVE BRAVE and PLAY BIG!

Encouraging others is sometimes easier than encouraging ourself. We see the value, the potential, the possibilities of those we love. Why is it often so difficult to see the same opportunity in ourselves?

There are three important principles to remember when encouraging others AND self. BE SPECIFIC. BE HONEST/AUTHENTIC. BE VOCAL.

~ Be specific in what you say to others. Not just “you got this” BUT “You will do amazing! You have been studying and preparing for this exam for the last 9 months” OR “You are an amazing friend - you are always there when I need someone to talk to and I can trust you to keep it confident.” Rather than “You are such a great friend!”

~ Be specific in what you say to self - “I can get through this surgery because God is with me holding my right hand and filling me with strength and peace.” This speaks specific hope to our soul because it is more personal and real than just “I can do this!”

~ Be honest and authentic with others. People know when you are not being sincere. Speak from your heart in love and empathy.

~ Be honest and truthful with yourself. When we are doubting ourself we are speaking lies to self and can’t think of any encouraging truth. Have a journal of TRUTH. Write truthful statements about yourself and then when you are in need of encouragement, meditate on those truths. It’s all about changing our messages to self from lies to truths.

~ Be vocal with others- If at all possible …Speak encouragement. The spoken word is sincere and powerful. Hearing others speak encouragement to us is soothing and motivating. Hug someone today with your words.

~ Be vocal to yourself. Speak encouragement out loud to yourself. Look in a mirror and speak life to your soul. Say it and claim it. Proverbs 18:21 states that life and death are in the power of what we speak. So practice speaking words of life out loud to yourself.

Life is difficult.

En- Courage.

Fill others and yourself with courage and belief to embrace their journey.

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