Did you know that one of the kindest things you do for another person is to simply encourage them? Making others feel good about themselves and their decisions can make a remarkable difference in how someone views themselves.

So, what does it mean to be encouraging? It means letting others know that you’re proud of them and motivating them to go on. If someone has a goal they want to achieve or they’re going through a rough time, just letting them know you believe in them can give them the confidence and energy to keep moving forward.

Sadly, a lot of people go through life receiving little to no encouragement at all. It can have such a powerful impact on a person’s life, and it’s something we all crave on some level. When it’s something that we’re not used to receiving, it can have a noticeable effect on your life.

I can say this from personal experience. As a teenager, when I was getting closer to graduating from high school, I started to think about what I wanted to do with my life. It’s the time in all of our lives when we consider what direction we want to go in.

I was asking myself questions like what college did I want to go to? Or what should I major in? I dreamed of working in the film industry as a director and writer, but when I expressed this to my family, I didn’t get the support that I expected.

Even though they believed I was talented, they didn’t see a future in it and wanted me to go to college for something that seemed more lucrative. Since no one was that interested in my career pursuits, I became down on myself and started to doubt that I could work in the movie industry.

Eventually, I just gave up on my dream altogether because I thought maybe it wasn’t a smart career choice. I didn’t have anyone to talk about these thoughts with, and I wound up going into a self-destructive spiral of depression and disbelief.

This negative mindset lasted for years until I met some inspiring friends and mentors along the way. Through these relationships and the encouragement they provided I was able to build up my confidence. Eventually, I decided to go back to school for cinematography and design.
Since graduating, I have grown as an artist and re-discovered my passion for visual arts and writing. I’ve been able to start building clientele in both areas, and it’s all because of the people who encouraged me not to waste my talents. Without their support, I would still be drowning in that cycle of self-doubt.

That’s why I’ve made it a point to spread encouragement in my life, and I challenge you to do the same.

Recently, I had an opportunity to pay it forward and provide the support that my mentors gave to me when I needed it most. One of my friends decided to go back to school and finally complete her degree in business.

She was so excited to start, but that excitement soon subsided when she noticed how much time and dedication it took, especially while working a full-time job. She expressed that she was starting to feel overwhelmed and felt like giving up.

Listening to her say this broke my heart, as I remembered feeling like that during my time at school. Most of the time I didn’t have anyone to cheer me on. It took a lot of willpower to stay self-motivated. Even though I got through it, it was one of the most challenging times of my life.

I let her know that I had been through her exact experience, and I told her she had to keep on going. I reminded her that she set the goal because it was important to her. I explained that she had to keep reminding herself why she was doing this and that the end goal will be worth all the effort.

My words of encouragement made her feel better and gave her the boost of energy she needed to complete her schoolwork that day. I was so happy that I could reassure my friend about her decision and help her stay motivated to keep on trucking.

Next time you have the opportunity to encourage someone, take it. Whether it’s reaffirming their decision to go back to school, change careers, or just simply feel better about themselves, it’s your duty as a friend and kind person to let them know not to give up. It can mean the difference between them accomplishing their goal or giving up.