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Time To Open Letter One

The Root of Encouragement is ‘Courage’

Hey there, I’m Sarah. I’m a student at Lancaster University and currently on a (furloughed) Digital PR and Marketing internship. Writing has always been a big part of my life, starting with fictional stories and poems I wrote in primary school, to my current internship where I write articles for our website and now contributing to this amazing platform. 

Behind the surface, I’m just a hard-working girl who puts passion into everything I do. Some interesting facts about me: Money heist is my favourite series EVER, I’ve sat my first year at university twice (failed the first time- oops) and lastly, I’ve worked in about 10 different jobs in my 23 years! This ranged from waitressing and retail work, to a business placement at Debenhams and some modelling. It’s fair to say I have lived many lives at work! I’m a laid back and friendly girl, so if you want to talk/network, catch me on Instagram at: sarah_fab27

Now on to the topic at hand…

Encouragement: the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.

“You can do it”, “you’ll get through this”, “you’re beautiful”, “you inspire me”. Some of the hope-giving words, given to me by friends and family around me who have empowered me to get through my lowest moments. Encouragement is needed in such a time as this, when this global pandemic has left us oftentimes feeling uncertain and anxiety ridden. Encouragement, I feel, should not be only given in those tough times, but should be a way of life towards those we are blessed to have in our lives. 

However, it’s important to remember encouragement is defined as an ‘action’ and is not just some empty words on a blog. My hope is that I, and others who read this, can start practicing the simple act of encouragement. Doing so, can only serve to make our relationships blossom and empower those around us. So what are some of the practical ways we can encourage those around us?

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1.Use your words

Speak positivity into those around you. Tell people how well they have performed at something, faced their fears, overcome obstacles and succeeded at even the smallest things. If there’s something you like about them whether its their smile, personality or even the way they help others-tell them! 

We are often our own worst critics- if someone points out our positives, it allows us to notice the good qualities that we may not recognise in ourselves. The words we use towards others are extremely powerful and can inspire them to feel confident and beautiful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people felt like this?

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2. Offer a helping hand

If someone close to you is facing a challenge or starting something new in their life, it may feel daunting for them. Just asking them if they need help, can be just what they need to feel reassured and motivated to take on whatever they’re facing. When I was frantically searching (there was a time limit) for a job early this year, a friend of mine helped me by finding roles for me and putting them on a spreadsheet so I could tick off each one I applied to. While I hope you’re all lovely enough to do this for a friend, even the simple things count, as long as you’re showing them you care. 

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3.Lay off the criticism 

During this time where we are constantly around our family or partners, the things that didn’t use to get on our nerves…well…now they do! This can take us into a frame of mind that is critical and negative. And it’s okay that you feel like this. 

Nevertheless, if you’ve recognised this, its important to make conscious steps to get into a more positive mindset. Start by noticing and acknowledging positive behaviour. For instance, if your sibling asked you if you wanted anything from a store, thank them and try and focus on these feelings of gratitude. In no time, focusing on the positive can only serve to multiply the amount of positivity in your mind and therefore your life. As the saying goes: ‘What a man thinks, he becomes.’

Finally, I hope this has inspired someone out there. This week, I dare you 👀 to encourage the people around you. Love and encourage them just as you would like someone to do for you, remembering that all we may need to meet our goals is a little ‘courage’.

*Sidenote-it took a little ‘prod’ of encouragement to write this blog, as I was stuck in a rut from being at home for so long!*


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