6 ways to be encouraged
Everyone loves encouragement. How nice it is when someone sees you do something and seeks to cheer you on or affirm what you have done. Much of what a leader does, however, is behind-the-scenes work, which no one really sees, all the while enjoying the fruit of your labor. Because of this, a leader must become diligent in using these six Rs to encourage themselves.
Paul says 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” When this culture hasn't yet developed in your organization, you need to encourage yourself.
A leader is responsible for their own encouragement, before expecting it from others.
1. Remember your calling
You lead people because of a higher purpose and that higher purpose is worth your time and energy. You will discover a great source of inspiration when you remind yourself of that higher purpose.
It may be the call of God on your life or a cause that has taken hold of you, which you have given yourself to. Forgetting this is all too often easy so pause to remember your calling as it is a wonderful source of encouragement.
2. Reflect on your impact
It's easy to forget or lose sight of the impact you have already had, even if you've been in the role a short time. Take a moment to write down the initiatives you have started, the new people now involved because of what you've done, the results you have achieved, the difference you've made if only for one person, what you are proud of as a result of your work.
You have made an impact, so reflect on it and encourage yourself.
3. Revise your goals
To encourage is to speak courage into someone. This happens, as you both look back on what you have done but also as you look forward. What do you hope to achieve? What goals have you set for yourself? What is your vision for the future? When you can see what needs to happen and what you can contribute, you will be encouraged.
4. Realize your value
You are valuable. It doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks of you or knows about you. You are valuable to those you serve, by the simple fact that you have chosen to serve them by leading them. It can be easy to forget your value, leaving you unsure and discouraged.
Learn how to realize your value and establish your identity in who God has made you to be. He has asked you to serve him, which is a powerful source of encouragement.
5. Refresh your purpose
Why do you do what you do? The answer to this question is the fuel in a leader's tank and necessary if you are to lead with courage and engage with enthusiasm.
Knocks, bumps, discouragements, criticism and obstacles can be difficult, but when your purpose is refreshed, your depleted resources can be restored.
6. Restore your joy
Joy leaks over time, but it is also the long-term fuel that enables us to do what we love doing. Joy is a gift, given to us by God, which is not determined by the circumstances we're in, but by who God has made us to be and what relationship we have with him.
Taking time to nurture the joy you once had, which may have leaked from your current situation, will lead you to fuller replenishment.
It takes time for a leader to learn how to encourage themselves but the ability to do so will always be an invaluable leadership attribute.
Everyone needs to learn how to encourage themselves. It can be hard but remembering these six Rs will enable you to thrive instead of just surviving. How do you encourage yourself when you're down?
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Rev. Ralph Mayhew has been leading people for more than 20 years. He is a lead pastor, author and seminary lecturer in practical theology and ministry and has a Masters in Christian Leadership. At the beginning of 2017, after 14 years of ordained ministry, he planted Burleigh Village Church; a local church encouraging people to think Jesus. He has written several books among them The Anonymous Leader: An Unambitious Pursuit of Influence and How To Create The Organizational Culture You Want. He posts regularly at www.ralphmayhew.com.
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