Why You Need an Encouragement Folder

There are legions of people who love to point out what you’re doing wrong.

Life is hard. Critics abound.

That’s why you need a folder or display board to gather encouraging material.

During my career as a teacher, I kept an “encouragement folder” at my desk.

Teaching is, for the most part, a thankless profession. The majority of the communication you receive is riddled with complaints. I could summarize many of the emails I received over the years with “You suck. You are failing my child.” So whenever a parent or student took the time to express appreciation, I cherished it.

These notes helped me feel like giving up my career in the corporate world was worth it. On difficult days I took a few minutes to read through this folder. It was enough to keep me going when the real world came crashing in.

This is equally as important whether you work in an office or at home. Keep a folder with emails of praise from your boss. Or thanks from your colleagues. Display a note from your child that says “I love you, Mom.” That way, on days little Johnny throws a demon-possessed tantrum you can remember: you’re doing a great job.

Recently I put together a new take on the encouragement folder. Our family relocated several months ago. Being in a new city can be very lonely. I realized I needed encouragement during this transition, and thought of the box where I keep special cards or notes that friends and loved ones have written me over the years. They weren’t doing me a lot of good collecting dust in that box. So I got them out.

I put this encouragement board up in the laundry room, which happens to be the place I spend most of my time!

I have a similar board in my closet that I see first thing in the morning. These serve as good reminders that my life is blessed with incredible relationships. Each new path, new adventure, or new journey I’ve taken has brought me to amazing new people. And especially in difficult times, it’s important to remember their encouragement.

Go put together your own folder. It will help you be your best, even on the most discouraging days.

 
 
  • Andrea

    I love that you put this up in your closet. It’s like waking up to a cheering section every morning. And the laundry room is a brilliant place for something like this. Thanks for the really great ideas Tracy!

    • Tracy

      We could all use a cheering section!

  • Heidi

    Brilliant! Words that edify and heal are too rare in our world. Thanks for the reminded to savor them- and to send them.

    • Tracy

      Rare indeed. Great point on remembering to send them, also. Something I failed to mention here!

  • http://www.vanhoozer.blogs.com Mike Van Hoozer

    Great reminder for all of us! And, btw, you are doing a great job with this blog!

    • Tracy

      Thank you, Mike!

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    What an excellent idea. As a busy mom, ministry leader, and aspiring author reminders of the times I’ve gotten it right, and people are better because of the effort, is invaluable.

    • Tracy

      I agree. It’s too easy to let the negative drag us down. I find it essential to put the positive in the foreground in order to survive most days!

  • http://www.15minutewriter.com Sharon Gibson

    What a wonderful idea to post your encouragement. I keep a journal where I write down the good things that happen to me and the encouraging things people say. I also had a low time where I read cards and letters people had written me and it strengthened and encouraged me as you shared. I had not thought about a bulletin board though and I think that’s a great idea. Thanks for sharing. Words have so much power to inspire and motivate us. Keep up the good writing!

    • Tracy

      Thanks, Sharon. I like your idea of keeping a journal. I think I’ll try that. What a great way to capture things that people say that you don’t have in writing.

      I appreciate your motivating words!

  • http://www.sonyaleethompson.com Sonya Lee Thompson

    Great ideas, Tracy! I would add scriptures of encouragement from God to my boards, too.

    • Tracy

      Great addition, Sonya. I have a white board (near my encouragement board) where I change out inspirational quotes or verses that I like as well. They definitely help me through the day.

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  • http://www.economicliferecovery.com/ Nicholas Brack

    Great post Tracy.  I picked it out of the archive because of the title.  Who doesn’t need encouragement?

    Cheers.
    -a fellow Goinswriter!

    • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

      Cheers, Nicholas! I look forward to checking out your writing. Thanks for stopping by my blog.