One of the words which comes up in my induction brief is “Encouragement”. It seems to be in short supply in the training environment here, and so I see it as part of my job to readjust that balance. But what is it? My trusty Macquarie dictionary defines it like this:
1. To inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.
2. To stimulate by assistance, approval, etc”.
Thus in my context, these ponderings are part of that process, seeking to bring hope to the downhearted and light to those who feel lost in the darkness.
If you are feeling a bit low, here are five things you should know to be encouraged:
1. Know yourself! Spend some time pondering your strengths, and affirming what you have got, gifts and abilities that you can help other with. Focus on what you can do not what you can’t.
2. Know what you want out of life! Write down what your aims and goals are, your vision for the future and how what are doing now enables you to move forward towards them.
3. Know your fears! What is going to be the biggest obstacle in achieving those goals? Are they real or just imagined? Don’t allow fear of what might happen to stop you doing what you can do!
4. Know what you are saying to yourself! Self talk can make or break you – so give yourself some credit and remind yourself of all that is going well. Refuse to dwell on the negatives.
5. Know the order of things! The military is different to civilian life and someone yelling at you here does not signify the end of the world. Know how to access your chain of command and what is expected of you. They have a responsibility to mentor and train you, so seek them out and be teachable!
The military often seems very negative, but you have the ability to be positive anyway! Be encouraged!!!
“Never bend your head
Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the face”
Chaplain Ian S Whitley