Encouragement: we really can’t live without it. The problem is that many of us are professionals at finding ways to discourage ourselves with negative thinking patterns.
We can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. My hope is these words will feel like a warm embrace, offering some simple truths for how to encourage yourself starting today.
How to Encourage Yourself In Truth
Raise your hand if this has been a tough season for you.
It sure has been for me. I’ll be honest with you; I’ve wanted to quit on just about everything. I’ve been burnt out, frustrated, lonely, and at times, completely overwhelmed with sadness.
So many of us feel a bit stretched thin right now for different reasons. Spiritual warfare has been off-the-charts.
In these moments of life, receiving a word of encouragement from a friend or loved one is more precious than any other gift.
Sometimes though, you just have to know how to encourage yourself.
If you are finding yourself stuck in a rut of despair, I pray these words will be the encouragement you need to fight the good fight of faith.
Tune in to your thoughts
– Jon GordonNegative thoughts are the nails that build a prison of failure.
You talk to yourself…a lot. All day in fact. How aware are you of what you’re saying to yourself? Are you speaking to yourself the way you would your best friend?
In 2005, the National Science Foundation shared powerful research about how our minds work. It is estimated that the average person has around 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day.
According to their findings, around 80% of those thoughts are negative. 95% of those are repetitive thoughts we wrestle with frequently, creating cycles of dysfunction.
Confession: I spend an extraordinary amount of time stuck in my head. Sadly, what goes on in my mind isn’t always a joy party either! Far too often it’s a dance with fear instead.
I’ve learned that negative thoughts are like falling off a cliff.
One wrong thought, one lie, one vain imagination, and suddenly, we find ourselves quickly tumbling down the rabbit hole of defeat, entertaining entire horror movies in our minds.
Our thoughts lie to us all the time. Just because you think it doesn’t make it true. In fact, I argue that believing everything we think can lead to depression, discouragement, and a very unfulfilled life.
If what you’re thinking makes you feel discouraged, afraid, shameful, trapped, insecure, and incapable; those thoughts are garbage, and, should be tossed out as such.
It’s impossible to encourage ourselves while beating ourselves up, or only seeing the negative in our situations. Our minds can’t think 2 thoughts at the same time. We must choose wisely which thoughts we believe and entertain.
In “Telling Yourself the Truth,” William Backus writes, “If you believe something, you’ll act as though you believe it.”
What do you believe about you? Is that belief holding you back or helping you move forward?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.— Romans 12:2 (NLT)
- Telling Yourself the Truth: Find Your Way Out of Depression, Anxiety, Fear, Anger, and Other Common Problems by Applying the Principles of Misbelief Therapy
- Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind
We can’t believe everything we think and expect to have a fulfilled, happy, successful life.Tweet
Examine the quality of your relationships
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
Just like we have to be mindful of how we speak to and treat ourselves, we also need to choose our friends carefully. I love how 1 Corinthians 15:33 puts it: “Don’t be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits.”
In my post, Baby, You Were Born To Fly,” I shared these words, “Watching someone fly and soar in life isn’t fun when you feel chained to the ground. An unhealthy person will try many ways to steal your flight, your fight, and your song.”
It’s extremely difficult to remain encouraged when we hang around discouraging, negative, people. I have seen this at work in my own life.
Don’t be afraid to set strong boundaries with people in your life who like to tell you who you’re not, what you can’t do, or fuel your own negative self-talk.
When possible, end these types of relationships entirely. You are not anyone’s doormat, remember that.
Love yourself enough to nurture relationships that help you become better (even when their truth is hard to hear), and let go of what makes you bitter.
Tomorrow is a brand new day!
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Yesterday may not have gone according to plan. But, yesterday is already in the past and there’s nothing we can do to change or improve it. Even just 1 minute ago is the past.
Each day is a brand new chance. It’s a fresh, clean slate. One of the best ways to encourage yourself is to forgive yourself for what you can’t go back and do differently.
Chances are, you did the best you could in that moment with what you knew or what you had. There’s no use beating yourself up today simply because now you know better.
Encourage yourself by saying, “I can’t go back and change anything, but I do have control over what I do and feel now. Today, I choose joy. Today, I believe that I am worthy of love, success, and all other good things. My past mistakes and poor choices do not define who I am now. I’m moving on from the brokenness and am embracing the wisdom I’ve gained from my yesterdays. Today, I will use that wisdom to be better and do better. “
Turn off and tune out the noise
Distractions are everywhere. Everyone has an opinion they’re convinced you need to hear!
If we’re not careful, our minds become so full of these opinions, and false, fear-based thoughts, that there’s no room for anything good and true.
I encourage you today – take some time to disconnect from all of these voices and distractions. Reconnect with yourself and the still small voice of God on the inside of you.
- Go for a quiet walk in nature
- Read an inspirational book full of helpful advice
- Write down in your gratitude journal all the things you’re thankful for
- Go be an encouragement to someone else. I promise, you’ll be amazed at how much more encouraged you’ll feel, even when nothing has changed yet!
- Rest. Sometimes our motivation and self-encouragement has sunk to all time lows because we are exhausted; emotionally, mentally, and physically. Be kind to yourself and take a break!
- Laugh. A lot.
- Change your routine slightly and do something that fills you with joy
- Sit and just breathe. Meditate and pray. Pour your heart out to Him. Take the time to ask God for a word that will encourage your heart. I promise, He will give it to you!
- Read encouraging Scriptures and pray those promises over your life
When we choose to turn down the chaotic noise of this world, the voice of Truth and peace can speak louder than the voice of our discouragement.
“Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe, the voice of Truth.” – Casting Crowns
How do you encourage yourself?
So much could be said on this topic that it’s impossible to cover it all in one post. I do hope to open up a candid conversation.
- Do you struggle to believe in yourself?
- What is your favorite way to encourage yourself when you’re down?
- What advice would you give someone who feels discouraged today?
Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Reach out if you need to. Just don’t give up. God and I believe in you.
Until next time…
All My Love,
Hello Holly! I love this so much! I need all the encouragement I can get tbh. Lately, I have been having a rollercoaster of emotions. I have never been the type of person to give up. I am a strong girl and I know it. At 19, I have been through a lot and I don’t take the fact that I scaled through every hurdle as a joke. I tried to take my own life at age 8 or 9. Now anything that would have made an 8 or 9 year old child try to commit suicide must be terrible right? Yes that’s me. I have scaled through a lot in life but lately, I haven’t been in the best mood I won’t lie. I’m not anxious or depressed, my mental health just seems to be in a really terrible place and I absolutely hate to feel this way. I have cried the past couple of days and I still seem to not be in a better place. But I am not discouraged. I believe in myself and I feel like life doesn’t come without challenges. I am strong, good enough, I won’t pay attention to unnecessary things. I believe in me. I love the tips you shared in this post tbh. Going for a walk clears my mind and I love journaling so much. It helps a lot as well. I am not discouraged and I will never be. Thank you for sharing. I read your blog and I love it so much. Thank you Holly!!
Dearest Ruth, it is so wonderful to hear from you! ❤️ How are you? Thank you for your very sweet words.
First and foremost, I am deeply sorry for what you have been through in your life. I trust, with my whole heart, that God will take everything you’ve been through and use it for His glory and your good!
I am so very grateful that you didn’t take your life, because your life and your voice are very much needed. I believe great things are ahead for you as you co-create with God’s heart for you.
I believe in you too, and am grateful to hear that you know your worth. There will always be voices of opposition and we must know the Truth when we hear it. Otherwise, we’ll be believing a lie and living in it before we can even blink!
Sweet friend, I pray that you are feeling better? I pray that the Lord would wrap His arms of comfort around you, bring peace to any troubles in your heart and mind, and remind you that the best is yet to come! God & I love you, Ruth. 🤗
This is such a wonderful post Holly! You’re right; sometimes we just need to encourage ourselves, and we definitely have to guard our minds – always. Thanks for sharing some great tips to help us both throw out the “garbage” of unhelpful thoughts and fill our minds with things that will encourage us. I’ve featured this post on my Friends Friday post this Friday. Sending lots of love and hugs your way!
Aw Terri, you have no idea what your message meant to me! In fact, that Friday (the 17th) was my birthday so it was an extra special birthday gift from you! I have great respect for you and your blog, so when you shared my post, it really touched my heart. Thank you, Terri!
Amen to having to guard our minds always. There is so much deception, especially among our own thoughts! I don’t know about you, but I’m the Queen of believing my own negative self-talk. It’s one of the many reasons I enjoy helping others overcome their own struggles. When we know what it’s like to be in their shoes, it’s easy to feel compassion. I know you can relate, and I suspect it’s very much why you blog about the topics you do.
For some reason, I’m unable to access your site today. It’s saying “404 Not Found.” I’m not sure if your server is just down or if some change has crashed your site. Either way, I’m praying that you can get back up & running soon. I’ll be by as soon as it’s live again!
Sending so much love and many hugs your way as well, friend. Thank you for being so very special and for being a real encouragement to so many, including me. ❤️ You are appreciated!
Happy belated birthday sweet friend! I hope you had a wonderful day. My site is temporarily down because I’m moving to Blue Host. If I don’t end up pulling my hair out trying to figure this all out, hopefully it’ll be back online in the next few days. My website address will still be reclaiming hope.com once I get everything moved over.
Sending lots of love and hugs back to you my dear friend! You are such an encouragement to me and to so many others! Blessings to you!
Another incredible post, Holly! You’re right about those negative thoughts and the cliff edge, and how we can end up beating ourselves up so much and feeling utterly awful.
“Each day is a brand new chance. It’s a fresh, clean slate. One of the best ways to encourage yourself is to forgive yourself for what you can’t go back and do differently.” – that’s an excellent one to try to remember, always. We can learn from the past, whether it’s 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago, but we can’t change it. Accepting that isn’t always easy but it’s important. We can only ever do our best, and that’s good enough.
Sending lots of love your way, Holly – Have a relaxing weekend! xxxx
Hey Caz! Your description of “utterly awful” is exactly right! It’s amazing how quickly our thoughts can spiral out of control.
And I agree with you wholeheartedly — accepting our past without guilt or shame can be challenging. There are so many things I wish I could go back and do differently, but know that I can’t. So many choices that knowing what I know now… I wouldn’t have made. And I’m guilty of ruminating on those and playing the “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” game. All it accomplishes is making me feel bad about the here and now. I think we all do this and it’s one of the most self-defeating behaviors we could possibly do!
Sending so much love to you, my friend. Thank you, as always, for all you do to show love & support everywhere you go. ❤️
Such great advice. Thank you Holly!
Aw, thank you sweet Michele. It’s wonderful to hear from you! ❤️
Thanks for sharing these tips, ma’am. 🤗
The last tip is apt! – we need to learn to separate discouraging thoughts and words from ourselves. And choose God’s words for us. 🙌
Amen, my friend! God’s words will always breathe life into us, and as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things.” How often do we allow our own negative self-talk to control us instead of taking control over it?
Sending so much love to you, sis. Thank you for stopping in & sharing your thoughts. You are ALWAYS welcome here. I pray you and your loved ones are well. ❤️
Hmm. Thanks for sharing this verse. 📌
Aww, gladly received. 😊
Hugs right back, ma’am. 🤗
Glad to. You are welcome.
Amen. Thank you ma’am. Wishing you and your family same. 🙏
Thank you for sharing another gem with us, Holly! This past year I’ve read so many books about the awareness of our thoughts and their power and influence on our physical and mental well being and health. It’s been a remarkable journey of self-discovery and awareness. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Blessings across the miles. 🙂
Aw Natalie, it always makes me smile to see your beautiful face show up in my comments! Thank you for your incredibly kind words.
I agree wholeheartedly with you about being more aware of our thoughts, and how they’re impacting our moods and health, as being a remarkable journey. It is one fraught with challenges, but to realize we have control over our minds — not the other way around, it’s a powerful understanding.
I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying some reads that inspire, motivate, and help you. A great book that gets us growing and thinking the right way is a true blessing.
Speaking of blessings, you are. Thank you sweet Natalie for your friendship & support! ❤️ I appreciate you!
Love this refreshing and encouraging message Holly. You have such a gift and I love the beautiful way in which you share your thoughts. I can’t understand why sometimes you feel you want to give up blogging and on the other hand, I can understand why. The devil is a liar!
Please continue to bring your brand of love and insight to the internet and the blogging community.
In times gone by, when I was discouraged I would watch comedy episodes that soon had me forgetting all the negatives thoughts and also chased those negative vibes away. Truly the Bible is right when it says laughter is a good medicine.
I love, love that quote by Fulton Oursler. Never heard that one before. I pray the Holy Spirit brings that one back to my remembrance next time I engage in a negative self-crucifying session.
Bless you for bringing this beautiful message.
Oh Carol! You’re going to make me cry. Wow, I don’t have words to express how grateful I am for what you said. I almost didn’t publish this post because I didn’t feel it was worthy to be published, in all honesty. I have a very loud nagging voice that always says, “This isn’t good at all,” and “You’re not helping anybody.” You’re right, though, the devil is a liar, and has zero truth in him. I know where those thoughts come from, but they feel so real and convincing. (as I’m sure you know!). Reading comments like yours leaves me speechless, and so thankful for a friend like you.
Amen! I wholeheartedly agree with you (and the Bible) that laughter is a good medicine. I haven’t been doing that nearly enough these past months, so I just might take you up on that prescription! 😁
Isn’t that Fulton Oursler quote amazing? I hadn’t heard it either, but it says so much with only a few words. I too pray that Holy Spirit will bring it to your remembrance (and mine) when we are tempted to tear ourselves down with those lies and false accusations.
Sweet friend, I am so very thankful for you. Remember, you are ALWAYS welcome to write for Wholeness Haven any time you’d like to. Your last post on wholeness was such an incredible blessing and many lives were touched through it. I continue to share it each chance I get.
So much love, heartfelt hugs, and many blessings to you across the miles, dearest Carol.
As always, a wonderful post filled with great information! I love the ideas for blocking out distractions. This is an area I struggle with most and is why I started the procrastination challenge. Distractions are so real with work, family, sports, reading, and so much more. Keep up the great writing. I always love seeing when you write posts!
Hey Shell! ❤️ You know I love hearing your thoughts, always. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Much needed (and appreciated!).
I know exactly what you mean about distractions, and I LOVE that you created the procrastination challenge. I’ve been looking forward to coming over and catching up on all your amazing posts. You’re right – we have so many things each day that require our attention. Knowing what to prioritize, and when, can be tricky. For me, I have to remember that my goals, and myself, are worthy of time invested. I always feel guilty when I’m working on something for me instead of taking care of “XYZ.” I don’t know if you can relate, but that’s a tough one for me.
Sending so much love your way. As you know, I’m excited for all the amazing things up ahead for you. It’ll be fun to watch you grow, expand, and fly! 😊
Totally can relate to the feeling guilty about taking time for myself versus doing things for others first. As I get older, I am starting to lose that feeling more and more as I realize if I am not taken care of, the other things aren’t completed as well as they could be. But it’s still a struggle.
The challenge has been tough — I don’t know how people blog daily without a team. There is so much work that goes into it.
Sending you much love and always love talking with here or otherwise! It’s great watching one another grow in God and life!
What an amazing list. A+ on every single item.
Going for walks never ceases to clear my mind and result in motivation. And gratitude might be the best reframing technique there is . That list is a great blueprint for life!
Aw, another amazing comment from you. Thank you! I agree with you about walks. They are nothing short of magic for reinvigorating our burnt out minds and bodies. It seems odd that we’d get more energy and motivation from actually spending energy, but it works!
And amen about gratitude as well. It’s a hard learned lesson sometimes but how we think matters! God bless you for coming by and sharing your thoughts. ❤️
You bet, Holly. God bless you for posting these articles!