Different Words


in Happiness,Personal Growth

If your best friend just announced the end of her marriage, if your brother just lost his job, if your child just learned she didn’t get the part in the school play, you would offer kind and gentle words of encouragement, wouldn’t you?

Words like:

You are beautiful, kind and courageous. New hopes and dreams are just around the corner. Trust me.

You are brilliant, talented and capable. An even better job is waiting for you. Trust me.

You are gifted, artistic and creative. The right part will find you. Trust me.

But what happens when you summon the courage to share an idea, a dream, a calling? When you put words to that tender thing you hold in your heart?

Words like:

I want to study pastry arts in France.

I dream of taking six months off and writing a book.

I feel called to serve the homeless.

More often than not, the words we hear in response do not offer the encouragement we long for – the encouragement to step into ourselves, seize the opportunity, and brave the risks. Instead, we are offered words to temper our expectations.

Words like:

That would be nice, if you won the lottery.

That would be nice, but it’s not realistic.

That would be nice, but that’s not really you, is it?

Words that chip away at dreams. Words that dampen our confidence in ourselves. Words that make us wonder if we can trust our intuition.

So today, I offer you different words. Kind and gentle words of encouragement.

For the idea.

For the dream.

For the calling.

You are daring, brilliant, talented, capable and courageous. You CAN do it. Trust yourself.

Offer these words today to someone you care about. Someone you know who is nurturing an idea, harboring a dream, or exploring a possibility. Encourage them.

It makes all the difference.


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Currie Silver October 24, 2011 at

What a sweet and delicious post. I have been looking and listening for words to encourage myself as I navigate a new direction and way of showing up in my Life and the World.

A lot of the “noise in my head” is anything but encouraging, and I have been doing significant finger-wagging in my own face. NOT a pretty thing nor an easy admission, out loud, and in public, but there it is.

So what a delight that you would write and post this at practically the very moment I had come up for air, looking for a “safe place” or harbour to gather my wits.

Thank you for a beginning of different words.

Your writing glistens and inspires.


Andrea Olson October 24, 2011 at

It’s startling to realize that we, ourselves, are often the ones saying the least encouraging words. You are a brilliant, beautiful artist. You CAN do it. Trust yourself. Thanks, Currie!


Sandi Amorim October 24, 2011 at

Seems like you’re speaking directly to me lately ;-)

This post reminds me of my first coach who said, “If you treated your friends the way you treat yourself, you’d have no friends.” Stunning in its truth, 15 years ago and still today.

Thank you for YOUR words Andrea. They soothe my weary soul so much better. xoS
Sandi Amorim recently posted..The Ultimate Approach to Self-Care


Andrea Olson October 24, 2011 at

Sandi … I”m glad these words found you today. You are a lovely, insightful writer with engaging energy. You CAN do it. Trust yourself.


Lorrie Jones October 24, 2011 at

I love this post and it took me only moments to know these words need to be said to me – by me. I have something large, important and sincere to offer the world – and I don’t know what it is – yet. I feel it..I can almost taste it. And I have let myself be held back (down?) by words I have “let in”: either from my own mind or the minds of others. I feel validated by your post, Andrea, and I will reopen the channels of all possibility. I am reading Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer and I am learning a great deal. If my life doesn’t speak from my heart and my soul (as opposed to someone else’s), I will burn out. So from this place of understandable fatigue and discouragement, I will breathe deeply and continue to ask myself: “what brings you alive?” Thank you for finding me in the midst…


Andrea Olson October 24, 2011 at

How wonderful that these words found you today, Lorrie. You are an amazing spirit with much wisdom to share. You CAN do it. Trust yourself.


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