I’m one of those people who enjoys going to the gym. For me it’s never been about losing weight or fitting into a certain size. Nope, my goal has always been to become stronger and healthier and increase my endurance. I’ve been trying to do wide-grip pull ups for a long time now (they’re harder than you think!). Recently I surprised myself and was able to do three (sloppy) ones on my own. While this is a step in the right direction, I’m really not satisfied-I want to do at least ten (and eventually more)!
I learned a little tip from a trainer a long time ago that if someone stands behind me and places their hand lightly under one of my feet I can whip out ten or more with no problem. Just knowing that I’m getting assistance from someone gives me the oomph to give it my all and push myself harder. Each assisted pullup I do is making me stronger so that when it’s time to do them on my own it will be a piece of cake (I hope).
My gym has all kinds of motivating quotes hanging on the walls. Quotes like: “No excuses,” “Try and Fail, But Don’t Fail to Try,” Hustle For That Muscle,” “When Life Knocks You Down, Do a Squat,” and “No Pain, No Gain. Shut Up and Train!” While I love them all, my all-time favorite one reads: “Lifting Others Up is Great Strength Training.”
You and I are smack dab in the center of a hustling and bustling (go-go-go…rush-rush-rush) modern-day world that’s got its fair share of selfishness, self-obsessiveness, and negativity. When we compare ourselves to others, have a spirit of jealousy, and jockey for position we often forget that there’s enough room for everyone to succeed.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that human interactions and face-to-face relationships suffer when we have an “it’s all about me” mentality.
I know that you probably don’t need to be told that lifting others up is a good thing but, if you’re like me, every once in a while you get caught up in your own world of juggling plates and you forget. Let this blog be a reminder to both of us. If we want to change our relationships, our community, and eventually our planet it’s important that we start to focus on lifting others up. The world will be stronger and we will be stronger-it’s a win-win situation!
Lifting Others Up Feels Good and It’s Good For Us
Think back to a time when someone encouraged you. I bet it gave you a little spring in your step and brightened your day.
Now consider a time when you encouraged someone else. Didn’t it feel good to lighten someone’s load?
Not only does encouragement feel good to get, but it feels good to give too! Lifting others up makes us stronger as a human. When we step outside of our self-centeredness and think of someone else and elevate them above our wants and needs it’s empowering!
The Do’s and Don’ts of Lifting Others Up
Encouragement isn’t about saying blanket statements like:
- “Way to go!”
- “You got this!”
- “Great job!”
- “Well done!”
- “Hurray for you!”
While words like these aren’t a complete no-no (I’ve said them myself many times), they’re broad and general. Do you want to lift others up and make them feel real good inside? Then try expanding your encouragement and tell the person the “why” of their situation. Try saying genuine and heartfelt things like:
- “Way to go! I knew you had it in you. In fact, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen you succeed. Remember the time when you ______ it’s not surprising you did it again.”
- “You got this! You’re one of the strongest women/men I know. Have I told you lately that I believe in you? Your situation may be tough, but you are tougher!”
- “Great job! I’m not surprised one bit that you did it! You never cease to amaze me. You are one tough cookie!”
- “Well done! I hope you know that you inspire me to be a better person and I think others feel the same way!”
- “Hurray for you! You are an overcomer and I’m so stinkin’ proud of you! Thank you for setting a great example for people like me!”
Remember that encouragement isn’t only something you do after someone is finished with a task or over a struggle. It’s equally important to tell someone that you believe in them before they even start!
- I know you’re scared. That’s normal. But, you know what? I’ve seen you do scary things before and you’ve come out a stronger person for it. I believe in you and can’t wait to see what happens when all this is said and done!”
- “I know this is a rough time for you and you think it may never end. It will. I promise. I’ve been through something very similar and I’ll share my experience anytime you’d like to hear it. Regardless, I know you will get through this because you will always have friends like me cheering you on.”
- “I want you to give yourself some grace. You’re perfectly imperfect like the rest of us. I’m not going to let you be hard on yourself because you don’t deserve that kind of pressure.”
- “I know this semester is your hardest yet. You’ve proven time and time again that with your hard work and ‘never give up’ attitude that you will succeed. I am so proud of you and I believe in you even if you don’t.”
15 Practical (and Simple!) Ways to Lift Others Up
Asking ourselves “What do others say to or do for me when I’m down and need encouragement?” can help if we’re at a loss as to how to encourage someone.
Here are some simple things I’ve personally done for others or someone has done for me:
- Tell someone you love them and tell them why you love them. Give examples of what makes them lovable.
- Be a good neighbor. If you’re baking cookies, bake a few extra and bring them some. Have a garden full of produce? Share some. Are your landscape flowers extra pretty this year? Grab a vase and put it on a doorstep.
- Leave a text or make a phone call to a stressed-out friend telling them specific ways you’d love to help them make their life easier.
- Out and about shopping? Grab a few gift cards and send them to friends with a note when you know they need a pick-me-up.
- Tell persons A, B, and C how great you think person D is when they are listening. Elevating a friend in front of others is fun!
- Give a sincere compliment. Make it from the heart. Tell them why you’re giving a compliment. (Not just “That dress looks good on you!” Instead, tell them why that dress looks good on them.”That dress brings out the blue in your eyes.”)
- When you’re talking to someone let the focus be on them, not you. In other words…don’t steal the show!
- Know someone that is in a season of struggle? Send them a heartfelt (you can make it short) note anonymously every few days for a few weeks or until the struggle is over.
- Listen to a young person without patronizing them. Value their ideas and opinions. Make them feel important.
- Find someone who makes your life easier (janitors, people who bring the grocery carts in, your pastor/priest/rabbi, the person who cleans your house, etc.) and tell them how much you appreciate them.
- Leave a post-it note for your spouse and/or kids with words of gratitude and love in fun places like vehicles, the bathroom mirror, the sock drawer, in a bookbag, etc.
- Be an ear for someone who needs someone to listen to them. Assure them that what they say will stay between you both (don’t gossip) and mean it.
- Let a young stressed-out mom or dad know that you see their efforts and then compliment them on the way they’re parenting.
- Smile. So easy peasy! Smiles can be infectious and make someone’s day.
- Let someone know that you pray for them regularly (and mean it).
Create a Domino Effect
The Bible states: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5) As a believer, the fact that God sets the ultimate example is what drives me to do the same. It’s simple: God sets an example for me and I want to set an example for others.
By choosing to live a life of kindness, good character, and high integrity we encourage others to model our example. Encouragement can start a domino effect. Aim to be the first domino.Encouragement can start a domino effect. Aim to be the first domino. Click To Tweet
Tell me about some of the ways you’ve been encouraged in the past. What are some examples of ways you lift others up? Send me a quick note with your answers. I’m a work-in-progress and always willing to learn. 💗
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