Today I want to talk to you all about something that I’m really passionate about. I love encouraging others and I love seeing others do the same. It’s really beautiful when we’re all kind and uplifting to each other. But can we get stuck in the rut of being kind just to be kind? Can we end up not really encouraging each other but instead, doing the opposite? Let’s talk about empty encouragement vs. intentional investment.
Empty encouragement is false encouragement. Now, that may not be the intention of someone who my have fallen trap to giving false encouragement, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t lead to empty encouragement. With just that being said thus far, please continue on with an open heart and mind.
We agree that the point of encouraging one another is to build each other up by investing truth into each other’s lives, right? Well, it’s time to take a look and see if we’re truly encouraging others or if we’re just passing out words to make people feed good for the time being.
Everywhere I look online, I see encouraging phrases that are very positive. Some are:
Keep on dreaming, you dreamer!
Sending good vibes and positive thoughts your way – You are awesome!
You can do anything you set your mind to!
Reach for your dreams – whatever they may be!
I could go on and on about these types of phrases I see all over social media. To be honest, I used to be one of these types of encouragers – just spewing out words that might make people feel good for the moment, but in the end, these kinds of words have no substance. I know that is probably hard to swallow.
When you’re encouraging others to dream, but are not helping them find ways to grow their dream and to make it become a reality, then what are you really doing?
Sending others good thoughts and inspiring words are all well and good, but sometimes those are not needed in certain situations. When one is going through a tough time, they want someone to relate and empathize with them. Something we all forget about is that we do not have to be overly positive all of the time. Being happy and positive all of the time is not reality – so why are you telling others to always be happy and positive? Instead you could be sharing a past experience with them and give examples of how you’ve grown from it. Then encourage them how they’ll grow from this trying situation.
And sure, it’s nice to tell others they can do anything they essentially want to, but are we helping them cultivate goals to achieve? Are we really being helpful and encouraging, or are we possibly delaying someone’s growth? I know this is harsh to grasp, but we must be asking ourselves these things.
My point is, is that we need to make sure there is substance and truth behind our words of encouragement. Our words need to be more than just feel-good and temporary. Our words need to be influential and have the power to compel others to succeed.
Intentional investment in the terms of encouragement is when you’re genuinely wanting to pour into someone’s life and not just wanting to give them something to get by. You make sure that every word you use to encourage someone is purposeful and really does have depth.
Are you wanting to learn how to intentionally invest in someone, rather than giving empty encouragement? Here are some things to always remember:
We must be intentional when we’re uplifting others. We need to encourage with purpose and be very focused in what we’re wanting to speak into someone’s life.
If someone is struggling to see something, speak truth to them whether it’s good or bad. This is a tough one for people. When someone is going through a tough situation, it’s easy to tell them to keep holding on and that everything will be okay eventually. Not to be a downer, but that may not be the truth for the situation as it is currently going. So instead of just telling them to keep keeping on, show them where they may be able to fix the situation or point out how this is making them stronger. Give them tools and advice on how to go about whatever the circumstance may call for.
It’s okay to show tough love when it’s appropriate. There are so many different kinds of tough love, so it’s very important to use your discernment when showing some tough love. Sometimes we have to be that extra little spicy kick that someone needs to get going in the right direction. This can very easily tie in with accountability. Accountability isn’t always saying, “it’s okay” when it’s not okay.
So my challenge to you is to rethink the reasons why and how you’re encouraging others. It may be time to change up how you’ve been encouraging others to a more beneficial method, rather than just saying words to uplift people for the moment, which can sometimes seem superficial. If you want to invest into others, then truly invest into others.