The Nature of Encouragement

“okay, I’ll try it one more time”
Encouragement comes in many forms. I think back to when I went to a water-ski camp with my older brother in the late 90’s in the Okanagan. After an entire morning of falling flat on my face, my arms felt as thought they were about to dislocate from the sockets. The water-ski coach had been my cheerleader all morning, very sweetly encouraging me, the only woman in the group, to get up on my feet.

After falling yet again, I looked up dejectedly at the coach in the boat, and said “I’m going to take a break, and try again after lunch”. To which my brother, hung his he head over the side of the boat and said, “why did you even bother coming out if you are not going to get up!”

“Okay, I’ll try one more time”, I muttered out of sheer exhaustion. Much to my amazement (and delight), the very next attempt I was up on my feet soaring along on top of the water.

My brother got me to do many athletic things in my life that I thought were impossible, periodically with tender support, but most often with blunt declarations ‘because he believed I had it in me, and what was the delay with my performance’ .

Encouragement comes in many forms, perhaps not in the form we had hoped for or thought would be most helpful, but it is interesting how ‘we get what we need’ if we are willing to listen.

Where can you expand your listening?
Life Coaching with Ruth
t: LifeCoachRuth
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1 comment

  1. The Nature of Encouragement

    How very true! My family has always been one which is brutally honest. Sometimes when I was younger I used to wish I had the kind of family who would say “wow that was fantastic” recognizing all the work that had gone into any given project, whether it was a music recital, a show, or an athletic activity, a written assignment, or even a resume or cover letter for a job. But alas, my family was not like that. I'd say “so… what did you think?” and my mom would reply , “well…” and then would come the diatribe, the real critique. It was hard to take many times but I have become far more focused and far more aware of my actual limits and abilities because of it, because I have learned that the first time through is rarely the finished product, that refinement can always happen. It always came from a place of “you can do better”… and occasionally there were times when my mom or other family member would say “wow that was great”… and then I really knew that it was.

    But when the critique comes from someone who knows your limits and abilities and won't settle for mediocre, the critique or comment is always encouragement because they are saying to you “I know you can do better because I believe in you”. What could be better than that?

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