I’m feeling stuck. I feel stuck in my writing. I feel stuck in my life. I feel stuck in my ongoing goals. I feel stuck making changes.

Two things that are making me think this morning, Maura’s words project. I like the way she is approaching desired feelings. I like it but I’m not doing it yet.

And Ally Bean’s thoughts on encouragement. She doesn’t understand the discouragers in her life and wants to be a more authentic encourager.

My first response to reading Ally’s thoughts was very much my usual. I know about the discouragers. I grew up with those people who believed that discouragement was motivation. Try something new? Let’s say, try a new diet. Those discouragers told me I would fail. They made sure I knew that I had always failed and I would fail again. This was motivating, they said. Motivating because I would try harder to prove them wrong. Which didn’t happen. Do we see a pattern that carries on to today? Does it work?

So I started thinking about what I need as far as encouragement goes. It’s still easier to look at what I don’t need. I have had the false cheerleaders in my life as well as the – what should we call them? The negative motivators? I don’t know. The false cheerleaders are nearly as bad. But they are very, very hard to describe. I think you know them when you hear them, but since I also know that I cannot always trust my perceptions, it’s possible that they are truly trying to be encouraging. Perhaps we can think of them as the “everything is going to be fine” group. That’s not realistic, that’s a pat on the back. Not what I need either.

What do I need?

I think encouragement begins at home. I think I cannot continue to flail at myself with the discouragement masked as motivation. I can’t continue to tell myself that I’m going to fail as if that is going to make me try harder. I already know it won’t. I can’t continue to believe I will fail if I am going to get myself to try at all. On the other hand, I can’t pat myself on the back and say “there, there, everything is going to be okay.” That is how it feels when I try to change.

I think I either have to live with things the way they are, to totally accept them, or do something truly different.

Perhaps Maura’s word project – a change of perspective.

I am, however, going to continue to work on my ongoing goals. I think they do make a difference. Change is just much slower than I would like.


6 thoughts on “words”

  1. I grew up with those people who believed that discouragement was motivation.

    Is that how the discouragers think? I’ve always wondered. Huh.

    My parents were encouraging in a nuanced way. To wit, they said that I could accomplish many things, but that I must be selective & careful in the process. Talk about 2 different messages!

    [Today’s Five Minute Friday topic has been fascinating. So much thinking about something that prior to 8:00 a.m. this morning, I’d never reflected on. It’s been a good way to spend a snowy Friday at home.]


    1. Some discouragers think that way. I can’t say they all do, I reckon some are just really toxic.

      I’m looking forward to more of your 5 minute topics. Something to think about, a change of perspective – it’s all to the good. Sorry about the snow, though.


  2. My husband and younger daughter are both of the type that if you tell them they might not be able to accomplish something, they will work like crazy to prove you wrong. I’m more of a, “OK, you’re probably right” person. I think it depends on the person; people are motivated by different sorts of encouragement. For example, my older daughter is an encourager of others, but not of herself, which she NEEDS to be. My younger daughter gives me lots of tough love and I appreciate that at times. I guess what I’m saying, in a roundabout way, that it depends on the personality of the person and the situation. If someone who knows me feels like I’m being unrealistic or doing something stupid, I WANT him or her to discourage me!


    1. Good points, Margaret. I find it hard to believe that anyone responds well to the “you’ll always be a failure” message – but there are those who respond to a challenge. I think there’s a difference and it may be my family just didn’t get that difference. Encouraging myself is what I’m considering at the moment. I don’t do that well.

      Though I do want someone to point out when I’m doing something remarkably stupid. Just not to discourage something that might be unrealistic but potentially attainable.


  3. Zazzy – I think sometimes we have to teach loved ones (especially loved ones!) how to be encouraging. And the best way to do that is to know how to be encouraging to yourself. I think you’re on the right path!

    About my words – the “goal” with the words is to identify my core desired feelings. And then identify what makes me feel those feelings. For example, I want to feel strong – what will make me feel that way? And what do I mean by strong? Strong in character? Physically strong? The process is fun and uplifting (I so need this) so that I don’t feel I’m working to fix myself. Just make myself feel good. My guide for the process is The Desire Map – which can be found here: http://www.daniellelaporte.com


    1. Good point Maura! It’s challenging at the moment to figure out what I need as far as encouragement goes. I like Ally’s mantra, Be positive. Be specific. Be real. Right now, it’s easier to see what doesn’t work for me. I have moments of insight that I really ought to write down.

      Right now, my chief core desired feeling is peace. That’s a good start but I haven’t given it much thought yet. Just kind of skated around it.


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