“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston S. Churchill
Where does courage come from?
You’re not born with it. You develop it through experience and through encouragement. Every time you face a fear, you build confidence and courage.
No matter the outcome, it’s never as bad as your fear makes it out to be.
The root word in encourage is courage, the Latin word for heart. If you think about it, encouragement is something that we need to make that leap of faith. As Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”
For those of you who know me personally, you know that I have been a Stevie Nicks admirer since I was 12 years old. I love everything about her. She has an ethereal voice and is a brilliant songwriter. When I was younger, I would dream of the opportunity to meet her.
And since I am a believer that anything is possible, I did meet her for the first time in 1994 and several times since. For me, just once was a lifetime experience. But, I have been fortunate enough to have met her enough times to have had actual conversations with her that have inspired me beyond the lyrics of her music.
I will never forget one conversation I had with Stevie Nicks in 2001. She was in the midst of what the media called a “comeback tour.” We were at the Crescent Hotel in Dallas after her show. She told me a couple of years earlier that she was totally lost because she was facing the world for the first time as a completely sober person.
While most people would be content with their sobriety, she was terrified. She was out of her comfort zone and thought her creativity as a songwriter would be squelched because so many of her famous songs were created under an altered mindset.
She was living in Phoenix, Tom Petty was in town playing, and they had dinner. She told him that she wanted to make another record, but she needed songs for it. She asked Tom if he would write a song for her. He told her, “No, you write your own songs. You are a songwriter.”
Stevie said it was such a simple message, but one that took someone like Tom Petty to convey. She said she went home that night and wrote the title cut of a comeback album called “Trouble in Shangri-La” that had her selling out arenas again.
Words have incredible power. And while we may not have had an opportunity to sit down to dinner with Tom Petty, we all can carry our message and inspire others to act. Simply surround yourself with people who encourage you. Find a person you know who needs that extra nudge and provoke them to achieve their dreams.
Encouragement is reminding someone of their potential and motivating them to succeed. As an encourager, you know the other person’s capabilities. Your role is to impress upon them that they have tremendous gifts that, if utilized, can elicit prosperity, happiness and success. Behind every successful person is someone who once said to them, “You can do it. I believe in you.”
Encouragement without reassurance isn’t encouragement. When you encourage, you don’t just change people’s work habits. You modify the way they perceive their abilities. In doing so, you will convert their thoughts into actions that yield awareness and extraordinary growth.