Today is National Day of Encouragement so here are some top tips to encourage your loved on in whatever it is they want to achieve.
Be encouraging but don't be unrealistic- It's important to support your partner in their goals, however there is room for constructive criticism if they are trying to do too much too fast or without adequate planning. It's vital not to crush your partner's dreams, but help them to see other avenues if their idea simply can't move forward as it is.
Give them the space to do it- Part of being encouraging is giving them the time they need to complete whatever it is they have their heart set on. If you do this, they will know that you want them to succeed simply by leaving them to their 'me time'.
Listen- They may be at the beginning of their creative process or they may have it well underway- whatever point they are at- listen to their worries, their triumphs and their concepts. It's vital that they have you to bounce ideas off, to share their successes and to vent their concerns to. It shows you value how important it is to them.
Show them unconditional love- If their idea is a success or if it's failure, make sure they know that you love them whatever the outcome. Show them you love them- not only when they achieve but also when they have a setback too.
Work together on the goal- Reaching the goal may be mostly up to them with a little help from you along the way but starting the process will be a joint effort. If your partner wants to go back into education, needs a new car or wants to start up a new hobby- talk about finances and how you can raise the money together and how long it will take. Discuss how you are going to manage your time effectively if you have children or other commitments. This will show them that you are willing to make changes and sometimes sacrifices to help them get there.
Ask for outside help- If neither of you have the knowledge or you don't feel comfortable making a decision- seek out help from a trusted source- if they agree to it. This could be someone in the family, a friend or work colleague. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you aren't the best person for the task- but you are able to find someone who is for your significant other.
Communicate- It's helpful to show an interest in where your partner is up to- so if they are willing- ask them to tell you about their progress- what they still have to do and what their plans are. Remember, you're not checking up on them but simply showing an interest in how they're doing. Knowing this can sometimes help you plan better for the future.
Be prepared for venting- Their will come a time when something doesn't go to plan, they will get some bad news or they don't have the time to complete something. When this happens- allow a safe space for them to get it off their chest. There are bound to be ups and downs along the way so be a sounding board when things aren't going their way.
Don't interfere- It is their goal- not yours- so let them approach you if they need you. If you are in a social situation and someone asks about their goals- let them do the talking and join in if they invite you- don't speak on their behalf. Also, don't check in on them every five minutes to see how they're getting on- you could be interrupting their creative process.
Make things easier for them at home- If they're working and studying- doing little things around the house can help. So, if they usually do a particular job in your home- why not take over for a while so they can focus on the task at hand? Another thing to avoid is showing negativity towards the time they're spending on their goal- this will only make them feel guilty and unsupported. Keep in mind that it's not forever and think of the bigger picture.
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