The Power of Encouragement

What would your response be if someone told you that you have the power to influence someone’s life in a major way?

Many of us may say, I guess that could possibly be true, and then not think anything else about it. But the real truth is that you have the power to encourage and affect many lives on a daily basis! What a tremendous privilege and responsibility that is!

encouragementIndividuals who are Excellence Inspired understand and realize the responsibility that comes with the power of encouragement. They are persons who know how to effectively use the motivating power of encouragement for lifting others up when they may be down. This is a power that can be a personal blessing to use and also a major uplifting power for anyone.

The Seattle Seahawks fans undoubtedly set the standard for showing the power of encouragement! When Seahawk fans fill CenturyLink stadium in Seattle for a NFL game, the opponents for that day very quickly meet the “12th Man.” Seahawk fans are known to be so outrageously loud, that the opposing team’s quarterback normally has a tremendous challenge in making audible calls prior to the ball being snapped. According to the team’s website, the Seahawks have led the NFL in opponent false start penalties since 2005! On many occasions, the game’s advantage has shifted back to the Seahawks because of the power of encouragement shown by the “12th Man.”

The Seattle Seahawks fans undoubtedly set the standard for showing the power of encouragement! When Seahawk fans fill CenturyLink stadium in Seattle for a NFL game, the opponents for that day very quickly meet the “12th Man.” Seahawk fans are known to be so outrageously loud, that the opposing team’s quarterback normally has a tremendous challenge in making audible calls prior to the ball being snapped. According to the team’s website, the Seahawks have led the NFL in opponent false start penalties since 2005! On many occasions, the game’s advantage has shifted back to the Seahawks because of the power of encouragement shown by the “12th Man.”

Words definitely matter and can make a difference. As soon as God created mankind, He engaged His new creation verbally. Engaging with and speaking with others can be a very subtle way of encouraging and affirming others. Simply greeting someone who walks by or through a room can be encouraging to the person and uplifting to everyone around. Proverbs 12:25 says that “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

Can you think of those individuals in your own lives who have provided much needed moments of encouragement when it was needed the most? What did those persons do, either subtly or openly, that motivated you to move forward with confidence during a challenging time?

Following are some ideas on ways that we can encourage and uplift others along the way:

  1. At a committee or board meeting, before moving on to the next agenda item, stop to commend those who worked on the previous item.
  2. Hand write a personal letter or note card that someone can take home or put in a personal file. Note: Emails aren’t quite as effective as handwritten notes. They are less likely to be pinned up on walls or saved in a file for future viewing.
  3. Commend the wisdom and helpfulness of a suggestion somebody has made, especially when the person making the suggestion has offered to be a solution to a problem.
  4. Point out and explain how someone has inspired you to do something good for others.
  5. Never talk down to people. Always talk up to them and consider them better than you are. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
  6. Loan something of value such as books, sporting equipment, etc. that signals your willingness to take a risk. This indicates that you have noticed something in the other person that elevates your confidence in their trustworthiness which is encouraging.
  7. In the next birthday or Christmas card you send, include a personal notation that speaks of how much that person has meant to you over the years. This may be as simple as writing a brief statement affirming the encouraging force that this person has been in your life.
  8. Nominate someone for an office or position based upon their integrity, dependability, or trustworthiness.
  9. Ask for someone’s advice.
  10. This one was left blank on purpose. Please think about it and be ready to add your own way to use the power of encouragement with others.

There is one more thing interesting about encouragement that shows you the subtle power that it has. I am thinking about those courageous individuals whom I know or have known who exhibit tremendous grace, faith, and perseverance in the time of personal trial and crisis. How encouraging those persons are to me is amazing and allows me to have examples of personal heroes in my own life. They may not rock a football stadium filled to capacity with 67,000 people, but they can be just as powerful by “rocking the lives” of those who know them.

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

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