In general, I don’t like writing pieces where I’m trying to motivate people. I feel that writing down anything motivational automatically becomes something cheesy and cliché. It’s a struggle. A struggle, trying to motivate whilst staying motivated by knowing the obvious. But oh well. Sometimes you have to repeat the obvious because us humans are very forgetful. But this time things are a bit different. I want you to motivate someone you know and share a way that I don’t think people think/know a lot about.
When I was in high school, there were times when I really struggled with some of my classes. I wasn’t doing as well as in the past and was stuck in a vicious cycle. It was a cycle of self doubt and questioning my own competency. As a kid, I had never struggled like this before and the pressure of knowing that I wasn’t as good (that’s what I believed) really broke me down. But nothing in life lasts forever, not even this. I had something wonderful happen to me. I studied hard to turn things around, but I still remember what really made me do better. I had someone remind me that I’m actually very good at that subject. I wasn’t just told that I can do it, but that I could do it because I’ve always done it. It was refreshing. It all sounds incredibly simple but believe me, when someone reminds that you are still as good as you were, it does a different kind of magic. Looking back, I realised why that worked. I was never getting any positive feedback or reassurance. No one told me that I was good at something or praised me when I got something right. It seemed as if people had stopped looking at me and didn’t care about my progress and I was alone in all of it.
When I got to college, I had the same thing happen again. Not enough positive feedback or good people to remind me not to doubt my competence. But this changed one day and I knew it that this time, I had to tell people about it.
So this made think, why don’t we do this more often? This includes me too. As little kids, we had our teachers praise us for little things at every step of the way. This is a very strong way of motivating someone to do good and even better. When we grow up, this feedback decreases at a saddening rate. No one praises you when you do something right or reminds you of all the good that you’ve achieved. Growing up can’t change how we have learned as little kids. I believe it probably stays with us somehow.
This is not just a case of my high school dilemmas but can be applied into various walks of life. In workplace, team work, in your own home, with your own friends. There are so many instances where giving someone positive feedback and reassurance would have chased away the dark clouds in their life.
Apply this to yourself. Think how amazing it would feel to have someone remind you that you are doing great and how great you’ve always been. To me, that is far better than someone telling me that I can just do it. Someone telling me that I can do it because I’ve always done it is way more comforting.
I know you might feel intimidated to praise, but don’t be! Tell someone they are good. Reassure them. Make them feel valued. Give them their missing confidence. It’s not just going help them, but also change you for the better. And who knows, someone might do it to you too someday!
There, I’m so glad that I’ve said this.
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