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Encourage Yourself!

woman-591576_1280Encouragement is a very powerful word. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is defined as ‘something that makes someone more determined, hopeful, or confident’. Notice that it is not only an act of someone encouraging others, but an act of something. In this day and time, encouragement is something that needs to come from within yourself. It is so simple to point fingers or blame others for your problems or lack of encouragement. However, in order to persevere at anything, you must learn to encourage yourself. Others may discourage you and try to speak negatively of you. There are billions of people in the world and chances are that not everyone will agree with you or support you. You need to know for yourself that you are someone that is headed for a bright future and destined for greatness.

       Encouragement is one of those words that doesn’t bring up the past, but gives us drive for the future. If you are not encouraged by others, you can always count on yourself for positivity and  inspiration. It is your life, so your encouragement will be one of many things to get you through.
       Going back to the definition of encouragement, the fact that ‘something’ can make you more determined is a huge part of living a positive life. That ‘something’ can be physical, like a letter written years ago by someone you love. It can also be mental, like endurance or reading spiritual quotes and reciting them over in your mind. Regardless of how you encourage yourself, it is something that needs to be done on a daily basis. The world will not always be a positive place, and the act of encouraging yourself will give you strength everyday.
       When I was younger I always believed in the power of dreams and wishes. You wish on a star, closing your eyes and hoping it comes true. As I got older, I still believe in the power of having a dream. However, I’ve replaced my wishful thinking with hard work and perseverance. The biggest factor in learning to encourage yourself is replacing your wishbone with a backbone. You need to stand strong, take criticism and carry on. Having a strong backbone will allow for you not to falter, despite adversity. This is why it’s so important to encourage yourself. Whether for small projects or a big endeavor, encouragement is something that will make your day feel a little less stressful. It gives you determination to carry on, and allows for you to ignore the naysayers.
       Often times, we will encourage others and forget about encouraging the one person that means the most to you; yourself. There is nothing wrong with self-encouragement and it should be done like an exercise, practiced everyday. Just say something positive to yourself, about anything that means alot to you. Encouragement will give you confidence, inspiration and faith for things to come.

About the Author

I am a writer, poet, coordinator, editor, print model, violinist, motivational speaker and published author. I published my first book when I was eight years old. I made my first television appearance on the world famous Apollo Theater, winning first place for the amateur category. I have spoken on CNN Person of the Day, Good Morning America, UPN, NBC and Nickelodeon. In 2002, I spoke at the McDonalds Gospelfest, an annual gospel music and talent festival. I recited a poem I wrote and won first place in the first ever Gospel Poetry Category contest. Along with being a speaker, I also enjoy writing poetry and books. As a writer, I've received the National Organization for Women (NOW) "Young Achiever's Award", the National Committee for the Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE) Award in Excellence, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) Award for Achievement, the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Award given by Zeta Phi Beta, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award. In 2005, my name was placed on the Wall of Tolerance in Montgomery, Alabama, in honor of Rosa Parks' National Campaign for Tolerance. In 2007, I won Seventeen Magazine and Avon Make Your Mark Contest, where they chose one young lady from the country changing the world through her work. In 2013, I was featured in Long Island Woman. As a model, I've appeared in hair and beauty ads, trade shows, NYFW and Africa Fashion Week (AFWNY) and look-books. As a published author, my work has been featured in Scholastic, Ebony Magazine, Newsday, NY Times, Long Island Herald and other publications. I've completed an editorial internship with Conde Nast (Glamour Magazine). Currently, I'm working on my next book due out soon, and I work in Editorial Relations.

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