Do you realise how powerful your words of encouragement are?
Why is it that we hang onto negative comments, or constructive feedback so much tighter than we do positive, kind words?
I can bring to mind within seconds any comments that have been critical, constructive or downright hurtful – yet ask me to list all the wonderful, positive affirmations that I have received over the years and I’d have to really rummage around to find these buried deep in the recesses of my memory bank.
Most people I coach are exactly the same. When asked what they are great at, what they do best in the world – the answers trickle in slowly and cautiously, like pulling teeth. Yet when I ask people to step outside of themselves, and think about what other people would say; what they are often complimented on, what people rely on them for, what their friends or family would say they are great at – it becomes so much easier to rattle off their strengths.
Why do we do this?!
Perhaps it’s a fear of looking full of ourselves, or that we will seem too ego driven.
Or perhaps we are better at acknowledging the greatness in others, ahead of the greatness in ourselves.
So I shared with you previously how a year ago I took the plunge, and moved to the other side of the world. What i didn’t tell you, was the support network that gave me the courage to leap into the unknown.
I am blessed to come from one of the most nurturing families on earth. As the years go by, I am feeling more and more grateful. I have only been met with possibility, love, support and encouragement from all of them, and this was so evident when I made the decision to move overseas. My chosen people, my “sista’s from anotha mista” are also responsible for giving me the strength and belief in myself that made this scary big move possible.
These people really did fuel me on my adventure.
I took three pieces of gold with me onto the plane that day. Three handwritten letters, from my twin sister, and my two best friends.
I knew it was going to be one of those ugly cry moments when I finally read them. As I sat on the plane on the third leg of my epic flight, I finally felt ready to open them. At the risk of sounding like I’m tooting my own horn, I want to share some excerpts from these letters with you. In doing so I hope to highlight how important our relationships are with each other, and the power that we all have in supporting those we love:
- “If there were to be anyone taking a trip like this with such an open mind, heart and determination to explore the world – it would be you. With your passion for adventure, optimistic attitude and zest for life, only time will tell what magical knowledge, experience, and people you will meet along the way . . . you are a gift to this world and it is waiting for you to experience it all.”
- “Wishing you the most fun filled, adventurous and life changing trip! Smile, dance, sing and enjoy every single day of your amazing adventure! I’ll be there with you in spirit!! I’ll miss you madly and be thinking of you constantly.”
- “You have such a power Jules, a spiritual energy that not many people posses, and I hope you harness that super power in every situation going forward because your unique instincts will only propel you to your amazing fate.”
I still get choked up when I think of the love, the encouragement and the unwavering belief in me they had.
They believed in my vision more than I did – that’s an incredible thing to feel. Their inspiring words empowered me and reinforced why I was on this journey. My head space went from one of anxiety and fear of the unknown, to one of quiet confidence and a deep belief that everything would be ok, because I was strong, capable and deserving.
I cannot tell you what that support meant to me sitting on an airplane headed to a foreign land. Their love gave me the courage to leap into the new chapter of my life.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to acknowledge other people. Never underestimate the role this encouragement plays in shaping those around us. It fuels, gives strength, lights fire and fosters belief.
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
We assume that others know the greatness that lies within them, but we all need constant reminders. Often it’s as simple as holding up a mirror just so others can see how wonderful they truly are.
We are not islands.
We all need to relate to others, to feel connected, and most of all – to feel LOVED.
Thank you to all my energy sources, you know who you are.
Who can you fuel today?