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.