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Becoming an Encourager

Hey guys! Welcome back to another episode of Kelly and the Encouragers Podcast! I’m really excited that you’re here with me today. I know that your time is valuable and I appreciate the fact that you’re spending some of your time with me!

What’s kind of funny is that this has probably been the sixth time I’ve started this podcast today. I don’t know why. I’ve been stumbling through my words and not being able to really summarize what I’m thinking. Quite honestly, I’ve thought about how funny it would be just to make a whole entire podcast episode of outtakes. You would not believe some of the stuff that happens behind the scenes. It is hilarious. So if you are interested in that, definitely let me know and I can do that for you.

But I wanted to talk to you about encouraging yourself today. You know, I’ve had a lot of questions about what it means to be an Encourager and how can you be an Encouragers and people really wanting more information on that. I’m really excited - I have a presentation coming up about teaching others how to become an Encourager and so I thought it might be fun to share that information with you guys as well. This is something I’ve shared before and even shared last podcast episode that I’m super passionate about. I want to be able to spread encouragement throughout the country.

If you listen to the news or you talk to people, at times it’s like there’s only negative things occurring and you really have to look for the positive in the world on those certain days. But what I know and what I hear on a daily basis is that there are amazing things happening in this world and I truly believe that encouraging others and encouraging yourself has the ability to change our world. So I want to be able to share some wisdom with you.

My voice is going but it’s so important for me to get this message out to you so if you notice that my voice sounds a little bit different today or you struggle to hear me, my apologies. I’ll do the best that I can. I am only human though.

So when I think about what it means to encourage yourself, I was really sitting there thinking about how I started this process and what were some things that were really crucial and monumental in my shift.

You know, I really believe that there was a part of me that was a natural encourager. I just think that at certain parts of my life, I was able to do that a little bit easier, a little bit better than I had been able to do with other parts and that’s based on what was going on in my own life, not the people surrounding me. Just my own life.

Someone the other day was talking about negative self-talk and this really hit me. Now, however you feel about politics, let’s just leave that off the table but I like to give credit where credit is due. I heard this story about Michelle Obama where she was saying, “Would you stand in the middle of the street and allow other people to speak to you the way that you speak to yourself?”

Would you let people do that?? I sure hope not! I know I wouldn't. That would be unbearable - to listen to the things that we think in our heads come from someone else. It would be downright abusive quite honestly a lot of times. And so I think that’s an important way to know. If you’re not going to let someone else speak that way to you, why are you speaking that way to yourself? It’s extremely problematic.

Negative self-talk has the ability to take a positive fun day down to really being in the dumps, having more anxiety, struggling to even get through your day, struggling to find anything to be grateful for, or anything to continue to move forward for. And that’s why it’s so important.

So, what do I recommend? I recommend that you check your facts. If you were thinking to yourself, let's say you were thinking, “I’m a horrible mother” or “I can never do anything right at work” or whatever that might be. Let's take the mother thinking she’s a horrible mother. First, let’s check the facts. Are your children fed to the best of your ability in this current moment? Okay! Then you’re a good mom. Are their needs met or are you working as hard as you can to meet their needs? Then you’re a good mom. Are you doing the best that you can with the knowledge and the skills that you have in this very moment? Then you’re a good mom! You are the exact mom that they need you to be even when you deal with differences or even when you don’t like your actions. But you have the ability to change those. So instead of thinking to yourself, “I’m a horrible mom” think “I’m doing the best that I can with the knowledge and skills I have in this moment. I’m the exact mom they need me to be. None of my differences or actions can change that.”

I really think that that’s half of our problem - that our negative thoughts get into our head and then we believe them. And then our actions change based on our thoughts.

You know, I had a friend that I was talking to the other day that mentioned that they look good from an angle. And they looked beautiful! And if you’re listening, you look beautiful! But we doubt ourselves and we notice the things that nobody else notices.

I do this myself sometimes. I’ll think, “Oh, my gosh, my hair isn’t this way” or whatever it is or “I’m wearing my glasses today” or anything. It’s not just physical appearance. It could even be like “Oh man, I messed up that time that I was going to meet somebody” or “I double booked myself.” Whatever it may be. We can be hard on ourselves but ask the people around you, take the five most important people in your life that are life giving and energy giving. We’re not talking about energy sucking people. We want energy giving people. Ask them. Ask them five ways that they would describe you. Five ways. And see what the response is.

I did this in my own life and I was blown away. It completely shifted the way that I viewed myself because I knew that they weren’t looking for the worst in me. I knew that they were seeing me with clear eyes and they could help me to see the positiveness that I had that I just wasn’t allowing myself to see.

You know, I think sometimes we’re taught that if we point out positive things about ourselves that we’re full of ourselves or we’re bragging and I don’t think that’s true. I think it’s okay to say, “I feel confident today and I feel like I can take on the world.” That’s an amazing feeling and should be celebrated. We should celebrate ourselves! Like today, I got five things done for my business. I wasn’t intending to work on things at all but it just worked out with the rainy day and you know when it’s rainy, people are usually tired so we just lounged around the house and stayed home and I was able to get a lot of work done and I was able to spend time with my son and my husband, even our dogs and it was really an amazing time. That wasn’t something I thought was going to get done so I should be proud of the fact that I got that stuff done! I should be talking myself up. Good job!! Even if you have to say to yourself, “Good job!! You rocked that out!! You absolutely rocked that out!! You should be so proud!”

There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your efforts and your abilities. It’s different being proud of them and throwing them in other people’s faces. Our skills and our gifts, our abilities, those are things we have in order to make our lives better and the lives of other people around us. To be ashamed of that, to put that to the side, to downplay that, is extremely damaging.

Guys, it’s not only for ourselves. Our family, it’s damaging to the world. The world literally needs you. It literally needs the gifts and abilities that you have. Shrinking yourself down, putting yourself down, it does not help you and it does not help you family. It does not help the world. And I am not someone, I say this often and I don’t want to be cheesy but these are things I literally believe. I absolutely believe that you have the ability to change the world. I believe that I have the ability to change the world. I believe that it can be one small interaction that does so.

I gotta be honest guys, whenever I say that, every single time i tell somebody that, I get chills. I almost said literally again. How many times is that, five? (laughing) Seriously, I get chills because I realize the impact that we can have and I want you to see the impact that you can have and even more so than that, I want you to spread that knowledge to other people. We can impact the world in amazing ways.

So now, I’ll get off my soapbox about that. I just think it’s so impactful and it’s important to talk about.

Here’s the other thing I think gets in the way of us encouraging ourselves. We often think someone else is talking about me. If I start a podcast, someone is going to talk badly about me and wonder who I think I am. What do I think I can do with that? If you reach a new venture, you start a new business, that business is going to fail. These are things we think that people are thinking about us.

Here’s the really funny part though. Most of the time, people aren’t saying those things. We’re in our own heads imagining what they’re saying and I have so many people who say to me, “But I know, that’s what they’re thinking.”

But do you? Do you know what they’re saying? Have they said that to you? And if not, you’re assuming and you’re making decisions based on assumptions that probably aren’t even accurate. And quite honestly, if someone is saying things like that that are rude to you, that put you down - you may want to consider the source. Is this somebody who is helpful? Is this somebody who has your best interests at heart? Or is this just someone scared by the actions that you’re taking in your life and because of that, because they’re not taking those same actions, they put you down. If that’s the case, what does their opinion matter anyway? It’s not like we’re perfect. We don’t have to have everyone like us by any means and quite honestly, there’s a lot of times people won’t like you and people won’t like me.

I can honestly think of several people I’ve met throughout life where I’ve just felt like there’s some type of weird connection there. There’s something that we just don’t mesh well. But that’s okay. That just means that I’m no the person for them and they’re not the person for me. But that doesn’t mean that either of us are bad people. We just don’t mesh well.

So, besides the fact that they’re probably not thinking of you, even if they are thinking of you, their opinion is none of your business. You’ve probably heard that. There are so many people that say that. But their opinion is truly none of your business.

I know one time, this was probably honestly four years ago. I walked around the corner at work and I heard someone talking about me. I continued on. I went in there. What else was I supposed to do? I just did my work and I thought to myself, “Okay, I’m hurt that someone was talking about me. I’m hurt that I caught them talking about me. I wish I didn’t know that information. But, is it really any of my business anyway? If I hadn’t walked around that corner at that exact moment, I never would have known that. Do I need to know that? Is that helpful for me? No. Well, then it’s none of my stinkin’ business. It’s not going to be life giving to me. SO why even have that information in my life?

The freedom that truly comes from not really caring about other people's opinions. Now, I will say that it is important to just be aware that sometimes we need to have somebody that can really help us reflect on our interactions. When that weight lifts off of you of other people's expectations of you and other people's opinions of you, it is monumental in your growth in life in general. Let alone searching and reaching for whatever passions that you want to find or that you have.

I think for the most part the majority of us have something in our heart that we want to do. I don’t believe it always has to do with work but I do believe it is something that, in a way, we want to help the world. Now, that may be true for you, it may not be. And if that’s not true for you, that’s okay, too. Please know that you don’t have to have something that you reach for, strive for, anything like that. It’s perfectly okay to be content with the life you have. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But sometimes I do think that we have dreams or we have hopes, desires and it’s helpful to be able to embrace those without worrying what anyone else thinks of it. You are the only one living your life. You’re the only one that has to deal with not going for something or with letting a road block stop you, whatever that may be. You are the one impacted. Yes, your family might be impacted as well but you are primarily impacted by that so who cares what anyone else thinks about it.

If they’re not for you, if they don't want to go the places that you go, if they don’t want to align with you, it’s okay. It’s okay to let them go out of your life. Not that you have to shut people out. You get to decide that. You decide how you want to handle that. But you don’t have to hold people close to you that are constantly saying negative things towards you.

There are so many ways I could go with this and I’m not going to get into it. If it were a therapy session which it is definitely not, but i it was we would talk a lot about that. I don’t think that right now I want to go into that. I do, however, want to share something with you that I saw from Brendon Burchard. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him or not but probably three or four months ago he posted this on Instagram and I absolutely loved it. It says, “Who does she think she is? It appears that she is someone living her life unconcerned with who you think she is.”

I love that so much for so many different reasons. When you have that freedom to continue on in your life without caring what other people think of you and being able to let go of that weight, the weight of the discouragement and you’re able to encourage yourself through the process, it’s seriously life giving and life changing.

I know we didn’t get too much into this. There’s so much more that I’m so excited and looking forward to sharing with you but I think that’s all I’m going to talk about for today's episode. \

I really want you to think about that. I want you to think about your negative talk, how you can change that and when you say something to yourself, would you be okay with someone else saying that to you and if not, how can you change that? If you’re letting someone else's opinions of you hold you back, how can you change that?

You are the only one that can do the work. But, in the meantime, I’m here with you, encouraging you along the way. Until next time!

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