Once upon a time.
Chapel Hill a land far far away.
There were myriad benefits to owning the studio, but one of the biggest was Ren Man & I could go in at the *crack* of dawn and lift together.
Not only did these sessions create muscle—the strengthened our marital bonds, too.
They also provided me with a life-insight which has served me tremendously the past 18 (!) years.
But Im getting ahead of myself.
Ren Man and I would lift together & I served as his spotter *and* cheerleader.
Two more! Come on. You have two more reps in you!!! Id screamlet him know.
And, 90% of the time, he’d eek out those reps impressing even himself with his strength.
When Ren Man and I lifted together we quickly found I needed a spotter—-not a cheerleader.
Two more! He’d encourage when I went to rack the weights. I’d stop anyway.
Ten more pounds! He’d suggest as I lay down to bench press. Id ignore him & lift the weight I’d planned.
It was during those interactions I realized how different our language of encouragement is.
When cheered on I tend to stop sooner than I otherwise might (hence the play on a MISFIT moniker for this blog)
Ren Man? When cheered on/encouraged he was motivated to do more than he thought he could.
Around this time I also started helping a friend whose goal was to lose 100 pounds.
Each day we’d chat I’d ask about her workouts & eating plan.
I soon noticed our daily calls tapered to once a week and then far more sporadic than that.
When I asked why she explained my “nagging” made her feel pressured and like a failure if she didnt measure up.
Cue life-insight moment part two.
Both of these scenarios helped me realize how vastly different all of our Languages of Encouragement are.
I do not respond well to “cheering-on” as I feel I know my limitations better than someone else.
I do respond well to “checking ins” with regards to my goals as I hear it as the fact the other person they CARES.
It was in then I realized I needed to ask all the people in my life (loved ones to clients) to define for me their Language of Encouragement.
I now knew if I didnt stop to ask what words *they* needed to feel encouraged/supported I’d fall back upon using *my* language. Actions and words which may not resonate with them.
(looks up from her travels down memory lane to see if anyone is still here)
I know Ive given you more info about me than you’d ever hoped to hear—but the realization above changed my life for the better.
I now know precisely what I need from others to feel supported and encouraged (and yes. 18 years later Im still a misfit).
I now know, when someone asks me for help, I need to ask what their Language of Encouragement is before I can assist.
Have you made the time to define your Language of Encouragement? Have you shared this language with others in your life?
If youve never considered this concept before: what actions/words result in your feeling supported? What well meaning words can cause you to feel discouraged?