The Power of Encouragement

Bill Abbate

How often does someone encourage you? If you are like most of us, you would say, “Not often enough.” Would you like some encouragement right now?

It is no accident you are reading this. Who hasn’t experienced receiving encouragement at just the right time? That time has come once again. Get ready to be encouraged!

Be encouraged

I want to encourage you at this very moment. You are special. No one on earth is like you. You are unique and extraordinary. You are an amazing person!

Are you thinking, “You don’t know me, so how can you say that?”

Ah, but I do know you. Are you reading this because the title caught your attention? Or perhaps you are one of my regular readers. Either way, I know more than a few things about you. For example:

  • You want to become better at what you do.
  • You want to live a better life.
  • You are industrious and have already learned many lessons you can put to use.
  • You are a unique person, one of a kind, and there will never be anyone else exactly like you on this earth.
  • You have great value to someone in your life and likely many someones.
  • You have a vast amount of untapped potential. When even a tiny portion of it is released, great things happen for you and those you love.
  • You can learn anything because of your ability to read and access the world’s knowledge via the internet. With enough drive, patience, and time, you can use this knowledge to do and become whatever you want.
  • You enjoy a sincere compliment and a kind word of encouragement when it comes your way.

I could go on, but do you see how I know you better than you thought only moments ago?

A little praise can go far

Doesn’t it feel great when someone compliments or praises you? Think about some of your most cherished memories. Do they not include some form of praise? The right word at the right time from someone who cares about you can change your life.

One of the nicest things anyone ever said to me came from an aunt when I was only about 5 or 6 years old. She gave me the nickname “little professor.” To this day, I often wonder what she saw in me to make her say that, but I took it as a compliment. Many decades later, her praise continues to tell me I am intelligent. It has served me well, and I believe it is partly responsible for my love of learning.

While that is the earliest compliment I recall, it profoundly impacted me and helped shape my identity.

We all need someone to speak something good into our lives, don’t we? It happens far too infrequently for most of us.

Produce radical change in your life and the lives of others

“Encouragement is awesome. Think about it. It has the capacity to lift a man’s or a woman’s shoulders. To breathe fresh air into the fading embers of a smoldering dream. To actually change the course of another human being’s day, week, or life.” Charles R. Swindoll (1934-present)

Can a simple complement affect another person so profoundly it helps them take a new course through life? Absolutely! Consider how a sincere compliment can help you see yourself differently and fill your heart with gladness.

I once coached a mature gentleman, and as we finished our session, I gave him a sincere, straightforward compliment, saying I believed he could do the work he dreamed about successfully. I told him he would undoubtedly succeed if he did not give up and kept moving forward.

When the session ended, we walked out together. He looked me in the eyes and said something that stunned me. It nearly broke my heart to hear this man, a man’s man, say, “Bill, I have never had anyone in my life encourage me as you just did. No one. Not a single person. No one has ever believed in me and told me I could do such a thing or anything. You have no idea what it means to me to hear you say I can do it.”

The impact on him was life-changing, and it still amazes me how the complement affected each of us to this day. Considering he was about 50, you can never be too old or young to be affected by the power of a compliment.

You never know how what you say to someone may affect their life. But know this: we all need more encouragement, compliments, and praise. As an ancient Roman statesman once said:

“We all are imbued with the love of praise.” Cicero (106–43 BC)

But be careful not to overdo it. Giving praise too often can reduce its impact, no matter how sincere you are. It’s best to give praise when appropriate, with a humble heart filled with good intent.

As a famous English poet and author once said:

“He who praises everybody praises nobody.” Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

Imagine how you can lift the spirits of others by offering a sincere compliment when it is due. You will lift their spirits by showing them how much you appreciate them, and in turn, they will also appreciate you in their life! What could be better than that?

Final thoughts

Why not practice giving a sincere compliment or praise to someone close to you? Encourage that child, young person, spouse, friend, colleague, or older person. You may never know how significant it impacts them, but know it could make a huge difference in their life.

I leave you with the thoughtful words of the author-lecturer known internationally as “The Love Doctor” and “Dr. Hug”:

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia (1924–1998)

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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