Encourage Yourself

I have a confession to make. I haven’t been on my personal development ish like I should. I definitely can feel the difference in my outlook and thoughts. Lately, I’ve been losing focus on the big picture and only focusing on the day-to-day instead. I need to get that P.O.P.ed (positively optimistic and powerful) momentum going again.

Has anyone heard the song “Encourage Yourself” by Donald Lawrence? I know everybody that ever occasionally listens to Gospel has. It’s about using God’s Word to encourage yourself. When I was younger, whenever I was feeling down or going through something difficult, I would find somebody to call to encourage me. Whether it was having my older cousin pray for me or venting to a friend, I looked outward for that encouragement. Yet, many of us know that as you get older, your circle gets smaller and smaller. And there are certain things that you may not even wish to discuss with others because quite simply, you’re not a little girl or teenager anymore and you now have “grown folk business” of your own. Plus, as you enter certain stages of your life, you realize that you can’t run to other people for advice or encouragement because they may not understand or may not know the best way to encourage you.

This topic of encouraging yourself motivated me to write this post and share a few things that may help you all encourage yourself when you’re going through something whether it’s big or small. Below are 3 things that I find useful when I need to encourage myself.

1) Think of 3-5 things that I’m grateful for.

Yeah, it sounds hokey, but it really works for me. When I find myself complaining that I don’t have this or that, I stop and think about all of the blessings that I do have. I think about having shelter and food, a healthy child, and a partner to share life with. The thing about stopping to count your blessings is that you often can’t stop at just 3-5 things. The list is never-ending.

2) Read something encouraging

If you’re a Christian or Muslim, you may find encouragement from the Bible or Quran. Anyone may find encouragement from reading a personal development article or book. Anything that helps you focus on where you want to go instead of where you are could help. I like to frequent blackenterprise.com or read books from my Pinterest board appropriately titled, “Boss Books.” Even a biography that shows someone else’s “failures” and “successes” could help. I’ve had Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson on my to-read list for awhile.

3) Listen to a positive podcast

I only recently got into podcasts within the last 6 months or so. It was actually my husband who suggested it to pick my mood up while driving to and from work. I tried out a few, but I struck gold when I stumbled on Black Entrepreneur Blueprint! This podcast has encouraged me more than words can describe. This podcast and a cup of coffee gave me momentum to make it through the work day. It features interviews from prominent black entrepreneaurs. All of the interviews were informative and encouraging, but I especially enjoyed listening to black women discuss their journeys into entrepreneurship. I needed this at a time when I felt like I had no purpose and I was only a tiny cog in a big, spinning wheel. I believe this was a major force in my determination to return home to care for my daughter, get my financial house in order, and start my own business. For anyone that knows the rat race isn’t for them, give this podcast a listen!

And a special bonus…

4) Laugh! IMG_1618

Everybody says laughter is the best medicine (I don’t know if they considered medical marijuana in the mix) and I have to agree. Sometimes everybody needs to stop taking themselves so seriously and have a good laugh. I like to lurk on Twitter for some good laughs when I need a little pick-me-up since I love a silly meme, gif, or vine every now and then. Plus, it just seems like the world’s best everyday comedians are on Twitter. Here’s one of my favorite vines. You’re welcome.

How do you all keep yourself encouraged when you feel more pooped than p.o.p.ed? Share in the comments or on Facebook.

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