Encourage means to support; or to inspire with courage and hope. Recently a person who attended my encouragement seminar said she found the stories I shared were “beyond inspiring” – that they gave her confidence to take actions she’d been putting off.

In the opening section of the book by David McNally, Even Eagles Need a Push, the story is told of a mother eagle nudging her offspring to the edge of the nest so they would fly. She pushes them one by one out of the nest…and they soared. It was the PUSH that made all the difference.

He writes of the PUSH, “Sometimes we need it. Sometimes we need to give it.” We can all picture the mother eagle and I think one of the most important visuals of that image is to imagine giving yourself that nudge to take flight.

We all need the encouragement of others at certain times in our lives. It is equally vital to learn to encourage ourselves. It is what can make all the difference in certain turning points of life.

To be encouraged means simply to “have courage.” Courage is the ability to conquer fear or despair; to face adversity with confidence. We can succeed even if we have to borrow the confidence others may have in us to take important action steps.

You can also turn discouraging times into motivational action. ‘Dis’ means to deprive of or throw away. Think back on times when you may have been “deprived of or thrown away” courage. What happened? You didn’t take the action you needed to, did you? If you think of discouragement with that meaning, it can empower you to take back your courage when you need it most.

Think in terms of “embracing encourAGEment” at every age. When you embrace anything, you encircle and include it. Most of us have more courage than we realize. Trust its existence and you’ll discover a whole new universe of productivity.

“Susan’s presentation on encouragement was just what I needed to hear. We all need encouragement to give us that extra push to follow our path. She offered some great tools and handouts that are helpful in my work and family life. I loved her stories and the inspiration!”

Lynn Koll, Business Owner