The Practice of Encouraging Yourself
Why does taking on something new seem so daunting at first?
For me, it’s because until I give myself a chance to think about it my mind charges into the realization that I don’t exactly know how to do whatever it is.
I realized this a couple of years ago when our church announced its yearly them: Fearless.
A yearly theme is great because, like an annoying 3 year old competing for your attention, it nudges you enough to make you aware of how you think about it.
What I learned about myself is that when I am in a state of fear and therefore sometimes stuck, it’s not because I’m not smart enough to think my way through it. No…it’s more of a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that I don’t automatically know how to do something. Hence a fear reaction.
When I finally give myself enough time to calm down and think it through or ask someone who knows, I’m ok.
Learning the practice of how to encourage myself through the little and big challenges is an important skill to develop. There really aren’t any courses exactly for this. At least I haven’t seen any.
There are meditation courses to calm you down from your cold-sweat panic, there are adventure courses to challenge you, there are self-esteem courses – but somehow no one ever got around to teaching anyone how to encourage themselves.
Beginning a practice of self-encouragement begins with awareness. Awareness of how you are feeling right now and who you are being. Be neutral about your observations. Judgement never helps.
Pause on that and investigate a bit deeper. See what you find. Write it down.
One of my commitments to this project is to post twice a week. So by Friday, the next steps will be available.
Meanwhile, make some notes for yourself. Ask yourself what is making you feel discouraged, out of sorts, fearful, etc.
Now, put a hand over your heart and talk to yourself as you would a beloved child. You don’t have to talk out loud so that anyone on public transportation wants to move to another car. Just quietly sit and let loving thoughts move through your hand to your heart.
The word practice, remember, means that you have to do it many times before you get really good at it. ,
If you have any types of encouragement that you use, I would love to hear them.