In a World Full of Critics, Be an Encourager

It is but natural to get completely frustrated, frazzled and fraught by the numerous opinions and suggestions on all you do from everyone around you. So many of us give up when we hear negative feedback as we work hard towards our goal. Choosing a contagious group of friends and a solid support system is the key to help you accomplish your dreams, and to do things that might be scary at the moment but that will ultimately help you in the long run.

While choosing great encouragers to spend most of your time with is important, you also can become an encourager for others. There are three aspects of being an encourager.

First and foremost, you have to be able to listen, and with that, be a good listener. That means removing yourself from all distractions, whether it be your phone or Instagram or TikTok, thinking about what else you have to accomplish during the day/week, etc.; you must be fully present. Listening and thinking of how you will eventually respond to the person speaking is crucial, because that person is confiding in you and they deserve a well thought response. However, it is important to also give that person an adequate amount of time to share. If they are taking the time to confide in you, they must trust you, and that says a lot.

Second, you have to be an acknowledger. While you are listening to one’s concerns, hopes, or dreams I hope you are also taking mental note. It is important to be able to acknowledge one’s concerns, hopes, or dreams because it means you are truly listening. In return, give a thought out response that takes into concern the sharer’s needs. That alone shows a true act of acknowledgement of the person because you are taking that time out of your day to truly focus on them.

Take time to acknowledge strengths and weaknesses: how far that person has come, why they would be great at something, or why they should pursue whatever they are dreaming about.

Third, you have to be a cheerleader. And I mean the best cheerleader anyone has ever seen or heard. Positive comments, excitement, and enthusiasm for encouraging someone to pursue something or feel better is extremely important. That upbeat and excited vibe you will give that person is contagious, and necessary.

While I encourage you to find the ultimate support group, a group of people who will encourage you and love you through anything and everything, I also encourage you to take time out of your day and be an encourager for someone who is brave enough to share information with you. There is a reason people choose to share information with people; you should be grateful that they trust you enough to confide in you. This is your chance to be an encourager and help that sharer with the encouragement they need in whatever aspect of their life.

Here is a lovely poem that may help you when your inner critic decides to jump out

When you’re criticising others,
And are finding, here and there,
A fault or two to speak of
Or a weakness you can tear:
When you’re blaming some one’s weakness,
Or accusing some of pelf –
It’s time that you went out
To take a walk around yourself.

There’s lots of human failures
In the average of us all,
And lots of grave short comings
In the short ones and the tall;
But when we think of evils
Men should lay upon the shelves,
It’s time we all went out
To take a walk around ourselves.

We need so often in this life
This balancing of scales,
This seeing how much in us wins
And how much in us fails;
But before you judge another –
Just to lay him on the shelf –
It would be a splendid plan
To take a walk around yourself.

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