Very few people can survive the tests of life without getting encouragement on a consistent basis. Unfortunately‚ the reality is that most people go throughout life without getting the encouragement they really need. If you feel like you’re not getting the encouragement you need‚ you’re not alone. This post is an attempt to help us understand why receiving encouragement is not as simple as we would like it to be.
1. It takes emotionally mature individuals to release encouragement into the lives of other individuals:
To develop awareness of others and their emotional state of being doesn’t automatically come to us in life. Only those who have gone through a certain emotional maturation process are able to navigate the complexities of life with a deep awareness of others‚ their needs and the proper way to relate to people and their needs. In addition‚ most of us‚ even if we have this skill developed and we understand others and their needs‚ only have a certain capacity to make ourselves available emotionally to others. So if you’re not getting the encouragement you need‚ it May be because you are in an environment made up of people who haven’t matured enough emotionally to be aware of your need. This isn’t your fault and‚ in many ways‚ it isn’t theirs either; it’s just that certain professional or even social environments are dominated by low levels of people who understand emotional awareness and engagement.
2. The environments in which you spend your time are filled with people who lack the understanding and stability to create a culture of encouragement:
Environments have a lot to do with someone’s ability to encourage and be encouraged. If someone is consistently exposed to an environment of rejection‚ harsh words‚ and contempt‚ then their ability to give and receive encouragement will be severely damaged. On the flip side‚ those who are consistently in environments where the latter is the culture‚ the result will be much different. Therefore‚ it’s up to you to decide to either change an environment (if you in a stable position to do so)‚ or change environments all together. This environment might be represented by a company‚ a church‚ or any other enterprise involving groups of people who claim to have shared interests and values and who try to accomplish goals together. If you feel like the environment you’re exposed to is lacking understanding of how to encourage people (with you being one of those people)‚ you’re not in a position to affect change. If those who are in those positions refuse to do anything about it‚ it might be best for you to look for a worthy alternative.
3. Superficial hype is not encouragement.
Since more and more people have started to understand that environments are a direct result of the choices people make‚ fewer and fewer people tolerate toxic environments of discouragement and contempt. Some people in management who have never developed themselves personally May try to create an artificial environment of hype as a way of shortcutting true encouragement. But hype is not true encouragement and any person who is worth their salt will figure this out sooner or later. Fake and hypocritical encouragement is no encouragement at all. This is why you get this icky feeling in your stomach when somebody approaches you in the office‚ pats you on the back and gives you some shallow cliché about how “you’re doing fantastic!”‚ when in reality they don’t know anything about you.
4. You can’t receive true encouragement from just anybody.
This brings us to the reality that you can’t receive encouragement from just anybody. Whether you realize it or not‚ you and I need to know that the person who is giving us encouragement is someone who actually knows us to an extent that is deeper than surface level. This person must understand where you’re coming from‚ what you are dealing with‚ and appreciate your efforts and who you are. True encouragement comes from people we feel truly care about us. These people who truly care are those who take the time to learn more about you‚ to learn your name‚ and to familiarize themselves with your context and peculiar challenges.
So the reality is this: you and I can receive true encouragement only from a very small number of people in our lives – those who actually know who we are‚ what we’re about‚ what we’re dealing with and how we handle our challenges. The sooner your recognize who these people are and position them to be the true encouragers in your life‚ the sooner you will begin to relate to them the in right ways and seize the encouragement they give you.
Author info: George Bakalov is the host and moderator of www.opensourcechristian.com For more information on his background and work‚ click here.