Encouragement is a powerful force.
It was still dark out when I left my kids nestled in their beds at my parents' house and headed to the train station early one morning last week. I was headed to New York to ABC's studios for a taping of The Chew, a daytime food and lifestyle show. My trip was part of a work assignment, though I wasn't sure what I would be doing there — beyond seeing the taping.
As I arrived in the city and headed uptown, my friends texted me, wishing me luck. That little encouragement meant so much.
The waiting room was packed and loud. I looked around, finding a familiar face — another blogger there for the same assignment. With a little wave, I headed over to her. Minutes later, we were a group of five and had been asked to sit at the show's tasting table, a fun honor that meant we'd get to taste some of the goodies cooked up on the show — and also be on camera throughout the show.
Soon, we were seated, chatting with the crew and waiting for the taping to begin. Then it did, and it was magic — the cast (and crew) was as friendly, happy, excited and encouraging to each other on screen as they were off screen.
Encouragement was everywhere that day — in the words of my friends, the actions of The Chew's cast and crew and the help of my family who took care of my kids so I could be there. It was empowering to feel and see.
That's the beauty of encouragement — in work, in life and in parenting.
"Encouragers are a support, reminding us of the good in us, the wonder we do and offer to others. When we have this kind of support as individuals, we are more likely to grow in academics (with comments like "You are smart enough to take that class," or "I know you can do well on that test"), work ("I like the way you handled that situation with your co-worker"), [and] parenting ("Wow! Your kids are so nice and a pleasure to be around. You are clearly doing something right")," says Stuart A. Kaplowitz, MFT, a marriage and family therapist.
Having encouragers in your life is enriching. Whether it's a simple encouraging text or something bigger, encouragers help us to do better, be better and try harder. But more importantly, they reinforce what we're trying to do — make our dreams feel truly possible.
"Being around such people helps challenge our own doubt and worry sometimes, when we may be in the throes of a discouraging period in our lives," says Kaplowitz. "Encouragers also help make it easier to reach out and ask for help and then get that support because we believe we will be validated as opposed to doubted or ridiculed in some way for asking for help."
Who are the encouragers in your life?
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