Encouragement refers to "instilling courage". The point of encouraging someone is to motivate them to continue a specific desired behavior. We all need encouragement. We all need to be reminded that we can do something or should do something. Often times we lack confidence and we need a nudge or even a shove to do something. We need courage. Encouragement only exists when the receiver of the encouragement becomes more "courageous". We fail to encourage when we attempt to encourage in the manner that works for us but it doesn't work for the person we are encouraging. In order to be an effective "encourager", our focus must be on the person's needs and not our own desires. We need to know the person well enough to know what encourages them or gives them courage. We also must love them enough to take the time to encourage them and not merely tell them what they need to do.
Experience can be described as a skill or knowledge that is learned from previous behaviors and results. There is a huge difference between a person with four years of experience and a person with one year of experience, repeated four times. Although school or books or classes or wisdom from others may provide knowledge, we unfortunately tend to learn from our mistakes. However, it still takes intentional behavior to learn from those mistakes and it takes even more effort to grow from our successes. Being able to look back over weeks and months and years and see movement forward with new skills and knowledge acquired is something that should not be taken for granted Each day should contain experiences that build upon themselves to move us closer to our full potential by providing more tools for our toolbox. Time simply passing by does not make us better. The hope that "I am a year older so I am a year wiser or better" is mindset that leads to underachievement and disappointment. We must put in effort to learn and grow from each experience in order to truly gain new skills and knowledge that will move us toward our full potential.
True potential will never be reached unless risks are taken. The more risks that a person takes, the more chance for failure but also the more chance for success. The more risks that are taken, the more likely true potential will be realized.
Failure is a natural part of life and something that is essential for success to occur. Fearing to fail prevents us from risking enough to succeed. Failure should not be sought after but should not be avoided either. To avoid failure will only limit the opportunity to succeed and learn. We often look at failure as being a completely negative experience. We also view failure as being an uncommon experience. Unfortunately, social media doesn't help with this perception as most people only share or post the positive or successes in their lives to show off an "aspirational" view of themselves (the person they want to be) as compared to who they really are, a person who fails more than they succeed. And that is a fact for those who are successful, they will fail more than they succeed because they know that failure ultimately leads to success. Again, failure should not be sought after but failure should not be viewed as completely negative when it is a result from efforts to succeed. When we strive for success and end up with failure, we acquire the opportunity to be resilient and to cope with that failure and that is a characteristic that is invaluable. Successful people do not let failure deter them from continuing the pursuit of success.
Stress is defined as "any demand on the body (physical, mental, emotional)." When we workout, we stress the body. We cause it to go through a physical demand that allows it to get better (stronger, more endurance, flexible, etc). Training is designed to stress out the body. When we lift weights, we stress our muscles and that stress is good. Avoiding stress in workouts is cheating oneself and prevents improvement. Slowing down and finding comfort zones when working out will prevent stress and it will prevent improvement. When we undergo stress in our lives (often times an emotional or mental demand on the body) we tend to see it as a completely negative experience. We tend to see stress as being 100% "bad". Although mental and emotional stress is not fun and it can be detrimental, how we deal wish stress ultimately determines the positive or negative impact of that stress. Stress is in fact, neutral. Fire stresses out steal but it allows that steal to be bent and shaped into a sword for protection or a tool for building. Protection from future negative experiences and tools to help us through our life are both useful and without stress, we are less equipped. As we experience stress in the future, it is up to us to handle it appropriately and respond to it in a manner that doesn't automatically make us "stressed out".
Being a victim is a choice. It may not be our choice to have harm come to us at the hands of someone else but it is our choice in how we handle that violation. Being a victim after the negative experience is a state of mind. A victim is a person who allows others to negatively impact their lives. Just as a terrorist attack is more than the physical act or event but also the mental attack of fear of future events, being a victim can either be a negative event or we can allow it to be a mindset of fear and lack of control. It is bad enough when someone abuses or takes advantage of us but it is much worse when we allow that person's actions to dictate our joy and quality of life as we move forward. A victim is also a person who allows past mistakes to prevent themselves from moving on with life. A person can be both victimized by others and even by themselves. A victim allows others or their own experiences to imprison themselves. We have choice and free will. Someone may impose themselves on us but it is up to us to allow that imposition to either be a momentary violation or a long term foot on our neck. We can choose to be victims or we can choose to be conquers. We can make a conscious choice to not allow others to dictate our joy.
"Personal Responsibility"? All responsibility is personal. It is easy to pass the blame or the responsibility on to others, but the reality is that we should function under the premise that we are responsible for anything and everything in our vicinity. We can not and should not rely on others to take the blame or pick up the slack for us or solve the problem. Most people are not only irresponsible but they lack the self-awareness to act appropriately so to assume that they will be responsible is asking too much and it is setting us up for disappointment and failure. We need to function as if we are responsible for anything that happens to us and on our behalf. Our performance in school or work or in sports? Our responsibility. Our reputation? Our responsibility. Our relationships? Our responsibility. Our ultimate success is up to us and not someone else’s responsibility. Others can help and assist us and many will, but we are the one in charge. There are times that events will take place that we have absolutely no responsibility in causing but that is where our responsibility begins. We are responsible to handle the situation correctly. We may get T-boned at an intersection because someone ran a red light. We may have been able to avoid the accident in the first place by assuming that others won't stop at every intersection and be prepared (my Dad used to say that our responsibility is to "not only drive our car but to drive the other person's car too". Even if we do all we can to avoid an accident, it still may occur and then it is our responsibility to respond appropriately after the accident. Stay calm, communicate and help the other person. Good advice in any situation. Stay calm, communicate and help the other person. If we all function under the premise that it is our responsibility, rather than someone else, we will accomplish a lot more and have a lot less stagnation in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
Defined as "The ability to respond quickly to an adverse situation." When something goes wrong, do you? Or, when you face an adverse situation do you figure out a way to not allow that situation to become even worse. If you make a mistake, do you allow it to turn into a second or third mistake or do you stop, take a deep breath and figure out how to turn the mistake to your advantage? The speed at which you control emotions and stop a negative thought, behavior or feeling from becoming worse, the more mentally tough you are. Life is full of bad experiences and tough situations. Failure occurs more often than success. We lose more often than win. We tend to fall short of expectations more often than exceed them. Allowing these negative events to rule our life is what keeps us from reaching our potential. The ability to cope with our emotions and find a path out of our current dilemma is the difference between being mentally tough and being a victim. Resilience requires mental toughness and resilience, like mental toughness, is a skill that must be learned and practiced.
Defined as "a perceived threat." Anxiety and stress are not the same thing. Using them interchangeable and as synonyms will not help solve the problem. Furthermore, anxiety and nervousness are not the same thing. Anxiety is an emotion. We have anxiety over things we perceive to be threatening. We are anxious because we assume the outcome, which we don't know, will be harmful in some way. We are anxious about heights, because we don't know if we will fall or if we do fall, what the result will be. We are anxious about speaking in public, because we are unsure how we will be received by the audience. We are anxious in sports because we are unsure of the outcome and if it will disappoint us or others. To avoid being anxious we must identify the threat and understand that the perception is not reality. We have a choice to be anxious or not. We can choose to allow emotions to drive our perceptions or we can allow rational thought to help us control our emotions and see the threat as it really is, only a perception. Our family and friends and God won't leave us for fumbling our speech or losing a game. If our family or friends do react negatively, maybe it is time to find new friends and we must always realize that God loves us unconditionally, and our family probably does too.
Temptation can be defined as "the opportunity to do what is right". Often times, when we are tempted, we feel that we have failed already. We feel as if we are already a bad person to have allowed ourselves to be tempted. Temptation is not a "sin" and is not a mistake (although we often put ourselves into situations that allow us to be more easily tempted). Temptation is like a yellow light when we are approaching an intersection. We can either push on the accelerator and run the inevitable red light and risk being t-boned. Or, we can tap the brakes and slow down and wait a few minutes for the next green light. The choice is up to us. No one is making us run the red light. And the more times that we tap the brakes, the easier it is to tap them the next time. However, the more times that we hit the accelerator, the harder it is to make the alternative decision in the future. When tempted, we need to tapthe brakes instead of hitting the accelerator.