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Monday, 10 March 2014

'A Week of Encouragement - Day 1'

Hello everyone and welcome to a new 'Week of..' series. This week is all about encouragement, of oneself, of other people, from other people. And I hope that by the end of the week we have managed to encourage eachother in some way.

The official dictionary definition is 'words or actions that give someone confidence or hope'. We use words of encouragement all the time, from taking the dog out for a walk in the morning 'Fetch the stick - Good Boy!' (pat on the dog's head) to yelling 'Go on my son' at the TV when 'encouraging' your team to score a goal. I've done that myself, during the 2012 Olympics, like they could hear me screaming 'You can do it' at whichever GB athelete was competing at the time! I was watching the Winter Paralymics earlier today and one of the downhill skiers was shouting at herself as she hurtled down the icy slope. 'Listen to her encouraging herself' remarked the commentator. All good stuff, all positive. But what about negative encouragement?

How many of us have said 'If you don't behave Santa won't come', or 'You can't climb that, you're too small'. I only caught myself saying the Santa type thing to my daughter once and then immediately realised what I had said and tried never make such a remark again. But I have heard this type of thing in the workplace too -  'You are never going to get that report done by 5 o'clock' and 'You're never going to let so and so get that finished before you are you?' Making someone feel guilty to get them to do what you want is off limits as far as I am concerned. But everyday you will hear this type of thing from parents, grandparents, employers - much of it said in jest, much of it causing silent pain. 

However we all need encouragement, its how we gain confidence to carry on but its only good if it is genuine. It doesn't do anyone any favours to tell them their work, project, art etc is wonderful when quite plainly it isn't. That's how we get so many untalented people appearing on talent shows - no-one said they couldn't sing/act/dance.

My artwork today is of two cards I made for a magazine article on resist about 4, maybe even five or more years ago. 


Looking at them I wonder how they got publish, but believe it or not at the time they were considered innovative stuff and the feedback I received encouraged me to feel better about both myself and my artwork. Seeing it again now it looks very dated and very basic, but I can still remember the feelings of positivity and self worth. It's a good feeling and that's just how it should be. It is very easy to give negative encouragement almost by accident, but we must think before we speak or act. After all, how do we really want our words to be remembered in the future by the recipient?

Tomorrow I shall be looking at other peoples' artwork that definitely deserves a positive word or two.



9 comments:

Doreen said...

Great words of wisdom today Lesley, and yes we all, young and old need words of encouragement.Love your cards especially the rose one.xxx

Paula (PEP) said...

Guilt is not a good incentive - it adds a heavy burden & robs one of joy. I'm gaining much from these posts.
Thank you.
Paula (PEP)

Dianne Gutchlag said...

One of the good things about encouragement is the support it gives you to carry on when you might otherwise give up. Sometimes we can be our own harshest critics but having someone else give you encouragement helps you to look at your work through other eyes and find it's merit.
Thanks for another thoughtful post. It is good to take the time to think seriously about inspiration and encouragement rather than just letting them dominate our emotions.
Cheers, Dianne

Linda Simpson said...

Another fabulous read Lesley, I love encouraging new crafters and bloggers as I know how daunting it can be when you first start. Beautiful cards too.
Hugs
Linda xxx

Sarah said...

Such wise words Lesley. I can well remember that at the first Graphicus Retreat how frightened I was of attempting to express any creativity and how YOU encouraged me - and discovered the bits I was half good at too! You made a huge difference to both my enjoyment of that weekend and my 'creative journey' thereafter and I can't thank you enough. After all, we all need bolstering now and again, don't we? Sarah x

Sheila Jacob said...

Hi Lesley, just found your Blog and I was obviously meant to as I'm feeling very unhappy with my crafting/artwork at the moment yet I am receiving encouragement from members of Chocolate Baroque who comment on my mediocre cards and also from my darling OH so I must feed on this and remember that to create is the most important thing, not whether our stuff is good or bad or better than anyone else's.

Guilt is corrosive and disabling and I do constant battle with it!!

I'm off to read your words of inspiration now!

Sheila xx

Sheila Jacob said...

Hi Lesley, just found your Blog and I was obviously meant to as I'm feeling very unhappy with my crafting/artwork at the moment yet I am receiving encouragement from members of Chocolate Baroque who comment on my mediocre cards and also from my darling OH so I must feed on this and remember that to create is the most important thing, not whether our stuff is good or bad or better than anyone else's.

Guilt is corrosive and disabling and I do constant battle with it!!

I'm off to read your words of inspiration now!

Sheila xx

Paper Engineer said...

Sheila I am so pleased if my humble words have helped. You may also like to read this post entitled I is for http://thepaperengineer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/i-is-for.html

Your work is far from mediocre and as you will see from my post it's the committee in our head that does all the damage. Keep making art Sheila I know you will win the battle

Lesley

Sheila Jacob said...

Thank you Lesley, I'm going to check out that blog link now, your words have already helped tremendously.

Sheila xx