I’ve never been on a football team, a hockey team or even a cheer leading team. But I did play a little basketball in high school. Our school was so small that you didn’t have to be tall or even very good to play basketball; you just had to show up.
During my stint as a basketball player I had two different coaches.
Coach Ann hollered a lot, often until she was had turned a dangerous-looking shade of purple, noticed every mistake the players made, and pointed out our errors in front of the rest of the team for the benefit of all.
Coach Jenn also shouted a lot, jumped up and down, and cheered when any of us made a great pass or a basket, and reinforced our successes while training us to do better.
Even when we lost, which was fairly often, she encouraged us by saying we had done a good job and that next time would be better.
Which coach to you suppose helped us win more games? Both, each in her own way, or you could say, neither, given our dismal record of wins.
But Coach Jenn made us want to play better and win more games than Coach Ann did. Coach Ann made us want to quit.
When one or the other of my daughters is having a down day, she sometimes calls and intones in a plaintive voice, “Mom, I need a pep talk.”
Since I’m a pretty positive person by nature it’s not too difficult to think of something uplifting when the need arises. Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying, “You can do this,” or “It will work out, you’ll see.”
An encouraging word from a friend can make all the difference in keeping going or giving up. Commiserating isn’t usually helpful.
If someone you know is miserable, what good will it do to become miserable with her? (Misery may love company but it doesn't help.)
To encourage means to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence. How we need those things sometimes!
My aim is to encourage us all to believe in ourselves more, to be inspired, to know we are not alone, or just to laugh.
I write to inspire you with courage, spirit and confidence. Whatever you want or need to do, know that you can have the courage required to do it.
You have the strength, the ability, or the inspiration to follow through.
Recently, I was musing about making some changes in my life and when I thought about certain things, I could actually feel a sensation in my body. It was like that feeling you get when you are startled by a knock at your door, or when it's your turn to speak a meeting.
What is this? I didn't want it to pass unnoticed, because I've learned over the years to pay attention to those visceral responses. The are useful indicators of what's going on emotionally under the surface.
I realized that the sensation I was experiencing was a little quiver of fear. Now, I consider myself to be a pretty confident—even fearless—person. Most things don't slow me down. However, as with everyone, there can be things under the surface of daily life that still have an emotional hook to something fearful.
This brought me to another question: What would my life look like if I weren't afraid?
This question is different than, what would I do if I weren't afraid? I want to know the end result, what my life looks like without that particular fear holding sway.
So let me ask you...
What would your life look like if you weren't afraid?
"But I'm not afraid," you might protest. And in most situations, you're probably right. But see if any of these give you a little twinge.
What would you life look like if you weren't afraid...
Obviously, there are more possible fears than I can list here. The point is, if your particular fear were not part of your life, how would you life be different?
If you can imagine or picture your life without that fear controlling your actions, you're well on your way to eliminating it and living a better life.
Fear is a thief.
If you think about how fear affects your life, you can easily see that fear is a thief, by any other name.
It steals your peace, your joy, your future, your choices, your happiness, your health, and your relationships. It robs you of confidence and ambition.
Fear is a Liar.
Fear lies to you about your abilities and your future. It lies about how smart or capable you are. It lies about what people think of you and how much God loves you. It even lies about danger.
Fear is destructive.
Fear destroys your dreams, your compassion, your thought life, your sleep, and your health. It damages your ability to think clearly and make decisions that will enhance your life.
My life is like this...
If you've identified anything from the list above, or that you already know is causing you to hesitate and not to do what you would like to, take some time to imagine your life without that particular fear.
Where would you go?
What steps would you take?
To whom would you talk?
Where would you live?
What would your days look like?
What would you try?
This is a fun exercise because all it requires is a bit of imagining.
Close your eyes a picture the result you want. It's pretty easy but if you're getting resistance, just keep trying until you can see your life without the stumbling block.
Daily joy is up for grabs so don't let fear steal it away. Go for the happy.
Where I share creative ideas, uplifting thoughts, and spread sweetness to make life pretty.