You all know how I feel about encouragement.
For those who don’t, here you go- I feel it is a superpower we all have access to. There is a relatively easy onboarding to being an encourager. And that is good news because anyone can do it! It is all about willing and doing the good of another person, as our pastor shares very regularly. If you want to talk more about how to be an encourager in daily practice, hit me up. It is so important.
But what about when you are on the receiving end of discouragement- what if you get news that deflates the sails?
What if you thought that your work was good and then… you are told otherwise.
This was me- yesterday.
I completed a project and waited for feedback. I thought my project was good. Actually I thought it was quite good!
And then the feedback let the wind out of my sails. Discouragement had set in. Has this ever happened to you?
My first thought was what the what? My work was good! Where is this coming from?
And then I considered the words again. And the source. And this was not an attack on me. Not by a long shot.
This was a friend trying to coax greatness out of me. This was someone who has done a lot more life than I have- especially in regards to the project I was working on.
He was an authority on what I was trying to accomplish.
But I had to sit in those feelings of discouragement and consider where they came from.
And what i could learn from them.
Sometimes I am still that third grader on the playground at recess trying to convince the other kids I am good enough.
And anything other than praise feels like a gut punch.
Once I gathered myself and brought myself back to reality and stopped the downward spiral of thinking that I am no good and that my project is crap, I realized with gratitude, that my friend, an amazing encourager, was giving me a wonderful gift.
He could have given me a simple atta boy and rubber stamped me to go forward.
But I wouldn’t have learned. I wouldn’t have taken the next step.
You see, that is what we get to do as encouragers. We get to coax greatness out of others. We get speak truth to them (always truth- if he had sugar-coated it, there would have been no growth). But ALWAYS speak the truth in love- willing the good of another.
I sat in that discouragement and realized that ultimately it was great encouragement.
It just depended on how I would CHOOSE to see it.
I flipped the script. I moved forward. I stepped into a new day realizing I had been given a gift.
Not an attack on my character. Not an indictment that I wasn’t good enough to play.
A gift of- you are on the right track, but, based on my experience, I see this and this. And then I moved forward.
I don’t want just good enough. I want impact. I want to, with God’s help, make a difference. And so I move forward. Armed with this new encouragement.
So I don’t know what your discouragement is- a promotion that was denied, a dead-end lead, a friendship or relationship that is fizzling, something you wanted but didn’t get.
Just remember… good days are ahead. A setback may be leading to an amazing breakthrough. A relationship fizzle may lead to one that is amazing. A loss may lead to an incredible gain.
And it may take time to see the master plan. When we look back on our discouragements, my guess is that most of them look different with the lens of time.
So next time… keep your head up. You are amazing. I know it. I hope you do as well. I believe in you! And as always… #WINtheNOW