On our last post, “How and Why You Should Encourage Yourself: 7 Reasons Why ” I talked about some reasons why. Because in anything you do, knowing your reason why is an important step. Now, as promised, I want to share with you some important tips for HOW to encourage yourself.
If you missed that first post, I hope you click on the link above and read it along with this one. I honestly believe your marriage and your own well-being is too important to allow discouragement to go unchallenged. If you want your marriage to survive the crisis. Or, if you want your relationship unstuck. Knowing how to encourage yourself is crucial.
So, here are my tips for How to encourage yourself
Find out what God says about you.
When you need encouragement, the first place to start is knowing what God thinks about you. That’s what King David did in the Bible. He knew how to encourage himself by remembering God’s covenant with Isreal. And when Jesus faced temptations and trials I believe He knew how to encourage Himself as well.
These two men in the Bible along with many others knew a very important truth that helped them know how to encourage themselves. They knew “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Now that verse was written after David and after Jesus. But the truth of it always existed and always will. Even for you and I.
But you have to do more than quote a Bible verse. You need to know this in your heart. So, spend time building your relationship with the Father. When you pray, don’t just pray about the trial you’re in. Talk to Him with a desire to know Him better than ever before. Spend time with Him with no other purpose than to know Him and to learn how He loves you, how He adores you, and how He believes in you.
When you read the Bible or your devotions, read as an extension of your quest to know Him. Don’t read from a sense of duty. But read as if you are investigating and digging for the truth. Read as an exploration to discover treasures you’ve never seen before. And read the Bible as a road map that always points you toward Jesus. Because you are a child of God through Jesus, which has nothing to do with what you have done right or what you have done wrong.
You need to know, your Father in Heaven loves you so much. All He has ever wanted from you is to have a relationship with you. He’s not mad at you and He never will be. And He will never be disappointed in you.
Deal with your pain.
It is hard to be encouraged when you’re in emotional pain. Your pain may be from the trial you’re in right now. Or, it may stem from something deeper from your past. Whatever the case may be you have to confront it. Don’t try to numb it so you can ignore it. And don’t run away from it.
A lot of your pain may be healed by building your relationship with God as I mentioned already. But, your pain may also require some professional help from someone who supports your walk with God and has the proper training. Because sometimes the emotional pain gets locked in by attaching itself to things you have tried to bury. And when that happens it takes someone with the right training to know how to dig those things up, unlock the pain, and facilitate the healing that God wants to give you.
In the very first steps you take to deal with your pain you will start to feel encouraged. It may get scary at times. But keep doing it. Keep pushing through the tough issues. Because every step you take toward healing will be a step that encourages you to take another.
Speak to Yourself
As I mentioned before, my first impression of encouraging yourself came from a children’s book called “The Little Engine That Could.” The little engine spoke the words “I think I can. I think I can” to himself so he could climb that steep hill. As simplistic as that story may seem. There is a powerful truth in there.
Because the words you hear that come out of your own mouth or the ones you hear inside your own thoughts are the words that make the biggest difference. Your best friend, spouse, parents, children, or even God can all be telling you how great of a person you are. But if you are saying the opposite, you will believe your own voice over everyone else’s.
So catch the words that come out of your mouth. Pay attention to the way you think about yourself. Look in the mirror and remind yourself that you were wonderfully made and created to be the unique person you are. Tell yourself that your Heavenly Father, who created all things, never created any junk!!! You are a child of the King, and He has chosen to have His Spirit live on the inside of you. That’s the kind of thing you have to keep telling yourself.
Change your focus
One major cause for discouragement is having too much focus on what you have lost or what you are not getting. Taking your focus off yourself and the expectations you’re putting on someone else will do a great deal for setting yourself free.
So when you embrace love the way God has instructed us to “love one another” you become more centered on others around you. Focusing on how you treat others and how you can help someone else will in return help you feel better about yourself. Although, being others-centered does not mean you neglect yourself and deprive yourself of your basic needs.
Spend time doing what you enjoy.
One of your basic needs is to enjoy life. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” The problem is when you expect other people, besides the Lord, to bring joy into your life you forget how to enjoy life all by yourself. So the more you give yourself what your true-self needs the better you’ll feel about yourself and your outlook on life.
When I say give yourself what your true-self needs, I’m talking about getting back to or finding the things you can do that make you feel alive. For me, it is taking walks through my neighborhood, or even better, through the woods and along a river bank while talking to God. For you it may mean getting outdoors, doing crafts, some other hobby, taking a class, or reading good books. Whatever it is, if you’re not hurting someone else, then just do it. Encourage yourself by enjoying life.
Remembering your wins and going for more.
When you’re going through a major trial it’s easy to turn on yourself and think you’re just a loser and a failure. And you may have had enough bad experiences in life that seem to support that feeling. But I seriously doubt that you have never had any victories in life. So go back and remind yourself of those victories.
Now I’m not talking about taking your victories and putting them in one column and your losses in another column and see how they measure out. All I’m saying is remember your victories so that you remind yourself of your positive experiences.
Then start looking for those things you know you can succeed at. Keep it simple and build up from there. You don’t have to have huge victories. But you do need to see yourself as someone who has what it takes.
In basketball, if a long-range shooter is having an off night and can’t get the shots to go down. The player will look for opportunities to make easy shots. Because he knows he needs to see the ball go through the hoop to regain his confidence. He knows how to encourage himself.
You still need encouragers.
Finally, learning how to encourage yourself is one thing. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. My final tip for you is to find the right people to surround yourself with. You can be in charge of your own encouragement by making sure those around you are encouraging you. You don’t have to be subject to naysayers. You get to choose the voices you let speak into your life.
Here in this ministry, Janet and I consider this to be one of the pillars of our purpose. We are here to encourage. We are to help you build the marriage and life you were meant to have. So be encouraged, God has placed people in your life to help you on this journey.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net