There is a leadership book by Kouzes and Posner, entitled “Encouraging the Heart” and in it, the authors talk about how small, simple acts of kindness and appreciation can go a long way in enabling people to feel motivated at work. It’s a subject matter after my own heart, and I often speak to leaders and executives about this very thing.
As women and moms, we often forget about encouraging our own hearts. It’s the easiest job in the world to feel motivated and encouraged when everything seems to be going your way…but what about those days when you’re tired beyond belief? When you’re juggling not one plate, not two, but 102? When you feel life is more of a battle than an adventure?
That’s why I decided to create my own “Encouraging my Heart” book. Here’s a picture of mine attached – on the front it says, “You are a woman of vision…creative, courageous, amazing and beautiful!” And inside I’ve glued fabulous emails from people who have encouraged me with their feedback (hey – one of YOURS might even be in there, if you’ve emailed me!) cards; post-it notes; I’ve scribbled down texts I’ve received from friends and clients which have buoyed me up; there are pictures or words ripped out of magazines; articles I’ve had published; positive comments people have made to me…anything which has given me a boost or a lift goes in there.
Then, on the days I feel less than energized – less than that woman of vision, who is creative, courageous, amazing and yes, beautiful – I take out the book and have a flick through it to remind myself of the great stuff that’s going on in my life. Of the people, clients and friends I’ve helped and who in turn, have helped me.
Being “up” all the time isn’t manageable, even for someone like me, who is naturally more energized and positive. That’s not failure – it’s called being human! However, there are times when I think we can all spend a little too long wallowing; feeling we’re not making a difference; that we’re not doing as great as we could be. That’s the time to pull out your Encouraging your Heart journal and give yourself a quick fix of your unique amazing-ness! Even having a little one you can fit in a bag and keep with you at all times can make a real difference to flick through when you have a moment. It really doesn’t take up much time and while we can often be our own fiercest critic, we can also be our strongest cheerleader, too.
Thank you for encouraging MY heart with all the feedback and emails I receive from you and see what you can do TODAY to encourage your own.