HOW THE VALUE OF ENCOURAGEMENT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Letter to A.F. Oeser, Nov. 9, 1768)

A number of times I wanted to embark on a project, I always had self-doubt. I questioned the possibility of my success. I am convinced about what I want to do but I get really scared. Scared of what? You may ask. I get scared of been a failure, scared of disappointing myself and maybe others; scared of another attempt to make something beautiful of my life but not succeeding. I forget that allowing the fear of failure cripple me would only make my dreams and aspirations not achievable.

I have written about four books (two inspirational books and two medical books) but all unpublished because I couldn’t get the funds to publish or even find sponsors to assist. Nigeria, not having a reading culture even made matters worse. I kept wondering if this talent of writing would serve any purpose for me.  But my dad (who is also a successful and brilliant author) always encouraged me to keep writing and hopefully I would land my break through soon. I needed to do this at least for me. I kept at it.

Even my creative art work (scrap-booking), just lay fallow as I didn’t know what to do with them. No one seemed to be interested or perhaps I was not meeting the right kind of people? I had it in mind to start this blog a very long time ago but I kept procrastinating. I kept pushing the thought out of my mind, hoping it would fade away soon. The lack of success in publishing my books or even making something great out of my art works made me less enthusiastic about starting a blog.

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I wondered if my contents would be worth reading. I wondered if they would be as motivating or inspiring as I hoped. I only know how to write as me. Coining news, gossips or entertainment gist is really not my forte but let’s talk about life; let’s talk about truly living a great and fulfilling life and I am your girl. I guess this is due to my love, perception and appreciation for life spurred on from different experiences I have had.

Though those that had the opportunity to read the manuscript of my inspirational books gave me thumbs up and encouraged me to continue, but still, the idea of starting a blog seemed like a step too bold for me to take.

One fine Sunday afternoon, my boyfriend and I were chilling, discussing life in general when he suddenly brought up the idea I had so struggled with and successfully shoved under the carpet (or so i thought). “Sweetie”, he began, “Why don’t you start a blog and use your talent for writing to reach out to others?”. “You are kidding me, right?” I replied but he insisted, “Seriously, it would be a nice thing for you to do especially now that you don’t have a job. You could use this time on your hands to start something great. Use your story to encourage others”, he told me.

I was astounded that he had the same thoughts as I did. The difference was the so much confidence he had in me and the self-doubt that was eating me up. I didn’t know what to say but then I heard a sound like a deep sigh, “Hmmmm” only to realize it had come from me.

“Where did he get off having so much faith and trust in me and my abilities?” I wondered as I got lost in my thoughts. Sensing I had traveled far in my mind, my ever encouraging and loving boyfriend/best friend said to me, “Omon, you can do this. I believe in you”. “I wish I could have as much faith in myself as you have in me”, I replied. He, been the ever insistent and reassuring friend gently encouraged me as he again reiterated “You can do it”.

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And so, I decided to give it a try and set to work. As I put my pen to paper, the words came flying out of my head as though they had been waiting for an outlet and with the help of the pen, my thoughts were translated to words on paper.

As I wrote the first, second and third articles on the first day and reading through them, the words on the screen of my laptop seemed to mock me as if to say, “It’s high time we came out of your head and into writing”.

I couldn’t help but smile at myself. “Good work, girl” I said to me as i gave myself a pat on the back. Having my brother read these articles and getting his constructive criticisms and positive response to the articles only spurred me further and all I could dream about was the day the blog would go live and I can tell you, it has been absolutely wonderful.

I have achieved this goal and found the beautiful purpose for my writing especially since I have great minds and beautiful people such as yourself read the posts on this blog.

Communicating with like minds and sharing similar stories with others has opened my eyes to see that there are people out there who go through similar situations like we do and are equally looking for an outlet to voice out.

To say I am thankful to my wonderful boyfriend, beautiful family and amazing friends for their continuous encouragement and belief in me as a writer and blogger is an understatement. I remain eternally grateful to them and this made me realize that truly “A word of encouragement can make a world of difference”. 

Ever heard the saying, “Fear walks out when Faith walks in?” We may all have our various definitions and interpretations of the word, “Faith” but aside it been “Believing in things yet unseen”, the word, Faith is sometimes used as a means of encouragement to people, to help them believe in themselves like in my story above.

We say to our loved ones, “I believe in you and trust you would succeed in this job” or “I know you can do this as I have much faith in you”. Wait a minute!….Now that I think about it, the definition of Faith I mentioned earlier, “Believing in things yet unseen”, sure works in every ramification. Believing in others means you trust them to be able to succeed even though you have not yet seen them in action.

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At times, when people are been celebrated and are asked to give the vote of thanks, more often than not, we here responses like, “l like to thank my parents, family and friends, (or whoever they appreciate in the speech) and everyone who believed in me. I couldn’t have done it without you all”. 

In some other cases when the one celebrated is been appreciated, you may hear maybe the parents say something like this – “We knew you could do it, kiddo. We knew you had it in you all along. We are so proud of you”.

These words of faith spoken to someone, “I believe in you”, “I trust you can do this”, are an embodiment of strength.

These words make people and help them discover their innate potentials. These words can transform the life of another and make them a positive force to be reckoned with.

These words push people to look deep within themselves and rise above any situation or circumstance life throws at them. Writing someone off as a “no good” doesn’t in anyway improve anyone. Instead, it pushes them farther off the cliff.

There are people out there who have given up on themselves and just hold on to that thin thread of hope that someone out there would be able to illumine their path with these simple but powerful words of faith.

All they need is just that one word of encouragement to find their way again. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

Be the hope to someone out there. Be the shining light to guide a lost one back to his path. No one is useless. No one is worthless. We all stray away once in a while only that some stray farther and get lost. Let someone smile again because of you. Let someone choose to live because of you. Be a friend.

Let your words bring healing and not cause wounds. In concurrence to what Robert Fulghum did say, “Yelling at living things does tend to kill the spirit in them. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts…” Let us be a shining light to change the world. We can be the difference in another’s life.

We don’t have to wait for something bad to happen to someone else before we open the book of lamentation and start squealing tears that “Oh……he was so full of promise”, “I used to be in the same class with her, she was very smart”, “Dancing was one thing he was really good at”, “She had a most beautiful voice”…… and so on.

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Say all these beautiful, positive and encouraging words now to these people who still have life in them and give them hope to discover their path and live gracefully. I very much agree with Jarod Kintz who said, “I think eulogies are wasted on the dead. It’s the living who need to hear kind words spoken about them.”

Come to think of it, of what use are these words to the dead? It’s not like they can come back and live again. Say these encouraging words to people now that they still live and breathe and maybe….just maybe your words would bring that lost soul from the brink of death and add another pleasant 50 years to his/her life.

“Our lives are the gospel that people read”, so someone said. Be the light others are searching for. Let your words not cause destruction but bring life to people.

All it takes is a “You can overcome this”, to prevent someone from committing suicide or give up on life. It takes just an “I believe in you” to shine a glimmer of hope to someone who got lost somewhere in the tunnel. Do not push people away with your I-am-better-than-you attitude. You too need or would need encouragement at one time or the other or you think not?

Naaaa……. Life is not an island. We all need each other to push forward and together, we create that wonderful world we all want to live in. Employing his sense of humor, again Jarod Kintz said, “I’m a master of encouragement. Why should I do work myself when the price of getting others to do it for me is as cheap as cheering them on?”

So sweetheart, be encouraged and do not give up hope. You have more in you than you think and in the words of A.A.Milne, “Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think and twice as beautiful as you had ever imagined”.

I believe in you and I know that you can achieve any and every goal you set for yourself. You can live that amazing life you want. You can fulfill that dream of yours. All it takes is for you to believe in yourself because I believe in you. From me to you,

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So how has encouragement helped you and how have you helped others with it? I really would love to hear your stories, comments and contributions. Who knows? Your story may be what others need to find themselves again. So, please share.

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