Encouragement and positive feedback are very powerful.  I didn’t realize the truth in this until recently.

I dabbled with the idea of quitting my corporate job of 9 years for a couple of years, and really considered it for 8 months.  But it wasn’t until I hired someone that said “you can do it” that I believed I could do it.

I find that when you share and idea, opinion, dream – whatever, just something different.  Most people will: play devil’s advocate (which sounds an awful lot like disagreement), be interested and politely converse or reply with something related from their mind.  Not often do you hear “Great idea!  Have you thought about what you need to do make it happen?”  You know, really dig in and convey enthusiasm about your strengths, direction, goals.

As a parent I grapple with this.  I find myself nagging more often than not.  And when I do feel like I am engaged in their thoughts I don’t get the instant ‘thanks mom’ verification I expected.  Regardless, I am making a concerted effort to notice the ideas and dreams and make sure I don’t instantly respond with something thoughtless.

At some point, most people reach a level of confidence that they don’t need or even appreciate encouragement.  But I think every time you look outside your comfort zone there is a gap – bigger in some people than others – that needs a bridge to get to the other side.