What would our world be like if more people learned to encourage others as a matter of course?
Action Sports Competitors
Something occurred to me recently, while traveling with my niece Nikita, a BMX Freestyle athlete gunning for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, 2020. I was reminded first-hand about the practice of encouragement between Nikita and the other BMX riders, male and female. These athletes are friends, and at the same time, fierce competitors. The thing I notice, every time I hang out with them at a competition, and even practice sessions, is how they encourage each other.
They lead by example, for others in their generation, who may have things twisted. It gives me hope for our future, and I believe that many of them will surface as leaders in our world.
When I was younger, being an encourager was not "cool". However, I learned over the years that it makes a difference, in life and business.
I wonder how we can foster more of this in our business world. Fortunately, I am involved in circles of friends, on and off line, who are doing work that is similar to mine. As I pointed out in my post about collaboration being the new competition, #GetYourSlice, there is enough for everyone. I have found that encouraging others, even if they are your competitors, is good for everyone. It raises the bar, it motivates us to strive to be better, and it is a deterrent against complacency, which can kill any dream or business.
The same happens when employees and team members are treated with respect; encouraged to do their best.
How do you encourage your customers, clients, employees, team members?
Encouragement also benefits students from a young age, especially when great teachers foster it, as a daily practice.
I remember when I volunteered in my nephew Jonas' class room from first through third grades. His teacher made a point of teaching gratitude and encouragement, through everyday lessons. It was fully integrated. I often marveled when I saw Jonas and his classmates encouraging each other without being prompted, outside the classroom, on the playground, and at home, where it may have gone unnoticed.
When I returned from Japan recently (an international action sports competition with Nikita called FISE), I realized that I had a bit of a "dip" in my energy level, experiencing the worst jet-lag I've had in all my global travels to date.
It was my turn to practice what I preach. I am always encouraging others. It was time to encourage myself; quite literally, to wake myself up!
How did I do this?
I have a "tool box" for times like those:
Self-talk (what do you say when you talk to yourself?) There's actually a book by that title that I read years ago when I was hot & heavy in my sales career. It made an impact. In the book, author, Dr. Shad Helmstetter asserts: "We talk to ourselves all of the time, usually without realizing it. And most of what we tell ourselves is negative, counterproductive, and damaging, preventing us from enjoying a fulfilled and successful life."
This may sound weird, however, I'll put it out there anyway. I use aromatherapy and music to pull myself out of a "funk". It works, every time. Citrus essential oils are uplifting, as is peppermint. And I love vanilla. It's an instant "mood elevator" for me, as is one of my favorite bands, Metallica (no surprise there, for people who know me well).
I spend time with my nieces and nephews. At every age, as they've grown up, from babies to toddlers, and now, teens and early 20's, being around kids actually has a "centering"/grounding effect on me.
Nature also lifts me up. Especially hiking, and heading out to the coast. The ocean is downright medicinal/therapeutic.
How do you encourage and uplift YOURSELF?
Do you practice some of the same methods? I'm curious.
It would be great to hear from you in the comments. Thank you for reading.