I’m sure there has been a moment in your life when you have been on a precipice of a big decision, when your feet have nervously edged towards jumping off into the unknown. I hope that at least on some of those occasions you have had someone gently nudging you forward, instead of stalling your leap with too many pieces of practical advice and demands of guarantees. There is a time and place for that ‘voice of reason’ for sure, but when our heart has made a decision, and our head is trying to follow, what we really need is a voice of encouragement to give us wings.
If you ever, even once, have had the pleasure of being at the receiving end of some galvanising inspiration and completely unconditional encouragement, you know how freeing that is. How it fills you with bubbly optimism, which feels like rocket fuel running through your veins, and launches you towards making that big idea happen. If you know that feeling, I invite you to pass it on. Be that voice of encouragement. There is plenty of practical, keep-your-feet-on-the-ground kind of advice in the world, it’s good to balance that with a little sprinkling of magic. Make it your mission to push people with big ideas into flight. Below are some of the ways you can do just that.
Lead the way
We may be used to thinking that a leadership role is something that is awarded to us at the end of a long ladder, as that’s how it might work in a traditional corporate setting. But when we’re talking about artists, entrepreneurs and innovators, leadership is really something you have to embrace yourself, a role you have to be comfortable stepping into without anyone handing it to you. You have to accept the fact that you will influence others, and that you will inspire those that come after you, and you have to take your role as a leader seriously.
Live by example
When you’re building a business, or embarking on a new grand adventure, you must surround yourself with passionate people. The bigger the people around you dream, the more you’re conditioned to think it’s the norm to try to turn your dreams into reality. If you live your own life in a way that shows others anything really is possible, or in the least worthy of giving a bloody good go, that’s one of the biggest encouragement you can contribute to the world.
Embrace your fears
We all have them, those moments of doubt, moments when we feel like we’re not up to the task. One of the biggest lessons we can learn, and then pass on to others, is that the only way with fear is through. Everything worthwhile stands on the other side of fear. You must hurl yourself towards the fear and encourage everyone else battling with it to do the same.
Believe in magic
To be a true voice of encouragement in a predominantly cynical world, you must believe in fairy dust. You have to show that trusting your gut, often at the expense of logic, takes you on a far greater adventure that colouring inside the lines does. A leap of faith is exactly that, trusting that where your heart pulls you is worth pursuing, believing that stepping over that ledge will pay off without solid proof or evidence.
Taking the leap is just the first step, what keeps a dream afloat is a lot of hard work. In order to have the motivation to put in the work that most big ideas demand, encouragement is like gold dust. To be shown by example that hard work pays off is one of the most valuable gifts a dreamer can receive and learn from. If you’re already building your own dream or working on your big idea, I hope you’ll join the ranks of the encouragers, the world needs your voice, and you have a lot more power than you think!