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Be an Encourager

We live in a society that loudly and proudly celebrates huge wins and successes. But it’s helpful to shift our minds and our habits to encourage and celebrate and support our communities and friends not only on the highs of life, but also on the lows…

We live in a society that loudly and proudly celebrates huge wins and successes—Graduation! Engagement! Marriage! Kids! Promotion at work! New Business! Professional Award! Retirement!

Those are all great accomplishments and milestones that are worthy of being celebrated, and I hope you have people in your life that are doing that for you (and that you are doing that for them). But I also think it’s helpful to shift our minds and our habits to encourage, celebrate, and support our friends and family not only on the highs of life, but also on the lows—the misses, the failures, the not-so-great moments.

Recently, I was watching the Olympics while the U.S. Women’s Volleyball team was playing. After every point, won or lost, the women come together in the middle of their court and encourage one another. If you’re not paying close enough attention, you honestly can’t tell if they won or lost the point based on their huddle afterwards. It appears to always be the same level of encouragement for one another. They are building each other up to win the next point no matter what happened in that last one. It’s thrilling and inspiring to watch. I was struck by how much I want to be like that, and how I can change the conversation in my friend and family groups, my community, and social media with this attitude switch.

Let’s be encouraging to one another. Let’s meet failure with empathy and acknowledgment and not try to sweep it Let’s be encouraging to one another. Let’s meet failure with empathy and acknowledgment and not try to sweep it under the rug or expect to bear it alone. If you were up for the promotion and didn’t get it, tell your friends, your network, or your community. Be open to sharing your misses with others and hearing their successes and failures, too. If your friend didn’t get her book picked-up, is going through a tough breakup, or lost a big job—how can you encourage them? It’s not just about being there with platitudes or unhelpful cliches, but be there in a way that allows them time to feel sad and mourn while lifting them up now. And then later encouraging them to fight for the next thing. We can and should come together for wins, but let’s not forget to help through the losses as well.

Photo by The Confetti Project

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