Going through a tough time or just need to read something kind? Here are some words of encouragement for your day or week ahead.
1. This too shall pass.
This one’s a classic for a reason. Nothing lasts forever. Whatever you are going through now, it may be hard—really hard. It might be confusing, overwhelming, make you question some things and let go of others. And it does get better.
So hang on. Reach out. Breathe.
2. You can love and accept yourself exactly as you are.
Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up; it means being your own best advocate and friend, even if you change or evolve in the future. While that might sound a little silly or cheesy, it’s true!
Our culture rarely encourages this, so it can feel awkward, wrong, or shameful at first. But with practice, you can learn to be present with the person you are right now and give them (you) the unconditional love every human deserves. And that is amazing.
3. Humanity is more than what we see on the news. There are good people here.
In the words of Gandhi:
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
I notice that the more frequently I check the news app on my phone—or honestly, read Facebook comments—the harder it is to notice the good things in my day.
Having access to information 24/7 has its benefits, but it also allows puts some of the roughest sides of humanity right in front of our faces.
This is not every day, in-person reality. The internet and social media is not real life. There are kind, loving people in the world who give others a chance and don’t think in black-and-white. We must not forget to give them a chance.
4. We’re all in this together.
When we focus on our differences—whether that be ethnically, politically, or something else—it divides us. But we are all much more alike than we like to realize.
Common humanity can bring us together if we remember that everyone struggles. Everyone experiences shame and feelings of inadequacy. What if we shared our burdens by talking about them with those we trust?
The internet makes it pretty easy to portray a near-perfect life, but remember this: It’s not reality.
Even those with the beautiful family or impressive career have their demons and their low moments.Loving Words of Encouragement You Might Need Today Click To Tweet
Don’t be afraid to reach out. It’s pretty much a guarantee that whatever you are struggling with, someone else has dealt with it, or is currently dealing with it, too.
5. You can choose your purpose.
Weirdly enough, I actually like to remind myself that I’m not special. There can be a lot of freedom in that, I think.
I want to do my part while I’m here, but I can pick what that purpose is for my life—and so can you 🙂
Whether you define your purpose as being a doctor or being a good friend (or anything in between), that is okay. In fact, it’s amazing.
6. Remember to celebrate small, even tiny, successes.
I think a lot of us have trouble acknowledging the good or impressive things we’ve done. There’s a fear of never doing enough or getting comfortable and being left disappointed. But it’s the small, even miniscule, good things in life that can keep us going strong.
Before focusing on how far you have to go, remember how far you’ve come.
7. Celebrate good moments, too.
Celebrate a delicious breakfast. Celebrate praise at work. Celebrate a moment of stillness with someone you love. Practice small moments of recognition for what is good and what you’ve accomplished.
8. There is no perfect balance.
“Perfect” is a myth, so why are we all still striving for it? Because we are taught, inadvertently or not, to believe we can reach it someday.
But what if we recognized this off-the-bat and approached everything in life with the lens of imperfection—simply trying our best in the current situation? I think we could develop greater empathy and understanding for our fellow humans and ourselves.
None of us have our sh*t together. We’re just doing the best we can—and that’s perfect. So, let’s start there.
9. There is good in every day.
If you are at a low point while reading this, it might seem discouraging or even annoying. But I’m not saying you always need to “look on the bright side” or even always point out the good in a situation. We should be allowed to feel sorrow.
What I’m saying is that there is potential for love and joy in every day, even if every day is not good. And sometimes pointing out those good things can help remind us of that love and joy we so deserve.
10. You are capable of self-compassion.
Self-compassion is a topic I’ve been very passionate about this year. Probably because I struggle with it myself.
According to Kristin Neff, the author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, there are three parts:
- Common humanity
- And mindfulness
Compassion is about noticing and recognizing the suffering of others, having a heart for their pain, and offering kindness and understanding when a loved one fails or makes a mistake.
You know that they are imperfect and human, that they have good intentions and are a good person. You have compassion for their struggles and everything that makes them the complex person they are.
Self-compassion is turning all of this towards yourself when you’re going through difficult times. Instead of instantly going into rigid damage control mode after a mistake or tough period of life, you can recognize that “hey, this is hard for me right now.” And any changes you make are made out of love and understanding.
Try self-compassion. I can tell you it’s life-changing.
11. The shadow proves the sunshine.
This is actually a lyric from the band Switchfoot, a band I loved in my teen years 🙂 I still think these are great
12. Situational barriers are often disguised as laziness.
I love this Medium article by social psychologist Devon Price, “Laziness Does Not Exist.” It resonates with me, as someone who has felt lazy at many times in life despite feeling exhausted from trying.
Price talks about how it’s often barriers in our lives—like fear of failure or overwhelm—that present as laziness to the outside. The remedy is not in shaming ourselves into action but in looking at what is holding a person back. We can apply this to ourselves, too.
In Price’s words: “If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, it is because you are missing a part of their context.”
13. You’re doing the best you can. Be gentle with yourself.
No one else can see all of the life you’ve experienced, the struggles you’ve handled (or not handled), the thoughts you think, the emotions you feel, and all the beauty and trials that have led to who you are.
So, the only person who truly has the right to judge you is you. And judging yourself won’t get you very far—at least not in a mentally healthy way.
Life is complex and beautiful and terrible and often quite unfair. But hey, I see you. You’re doing the best you can. We all are. And that is okay.
What other words of encouragement would you add to the list?