How Ideas Grow and Why You Have to be Patient With Yourself

I got the idea for The Encouragement Project around 20 years ago.

At first, I just noticed the effect that encouragement had on a bunch of school kids. It changed their attitude in about three weeks. It was amazing.

Once I identified it, I wasn’t sure what I could do with that knowledge. I read some books on encouragement and thought they were pretty boring.

Then my life fell apart - the whole thing -into little pieces. I turned my attention to gluing it back together. It was hard. So many things happened that required encouragement. I call this my Crossroads.

I believe that sometimes ideas make their home with us because as Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Big Magic, we are the best person to make that idea come alive. The trick is that you have to act on the idea or the idea WILL find another home.

I was busy starting a marketing consultancy. I was trying to get my kids on track. I was building a new life and trying to define it as I progressed. I got stuck, then unstuck. I had many people rooting for me, but somehow the ones who told me I couldn’t do it had louder voices- at least at the time.

Four years ago, an old friend called me to tell me I had saved his life.

That got my attention. I realized I didn’t need to know that I had that kind of power but it was so nice that he made the effort to tell me how his life worked out. Then it slowly dawned on me that everyone has this power - we just don’t use it much.

I decided to create The Encouragement Project and built a website - which I hated. The colors were wrong, there wasn’t enough depth to it, it had no life. So, I created another one two years later. I hated that one too.

Now, it was too busy, still not enough depth and I was a bit depressed about the fact that I couldn’t find the right words or put them together in such a way to show my readers that they have rocket fuel available any time they want or need it - by using encouragement.

Last December, I decided to give it another try. I like it. It’s not quite cooked yet. I have to add the workshops and activities that will make it zoom and have impact. I think I’m on the right track though.

Good things do take time. I gave up being hard on myself for having to try multiple times. Of course, this itself is a lesson in self-encouragement. We all want everything instantly and it’s not how things work.

So walk with me on this journey. I’ll trip and skin my knees, but I’m pretty sure it will be worth the trip.

I am making myself feel welcome as I create this project. You are welcome to join me.

What inspires you when you have gotten stuck?

What things do you say to yourself when you’re having a bad day and no one is around to comfort you?

Share some of your answers and skinned knees - we’re all here to help each other.