The Difference Between “Don’t Give Up!” and “Hang in There!”

April 17, 2012 Caroleeena Uncategorized

Encouragement literally means to give courage. When we are trying to encourage someone, we are much more effective if we use powerful, power-filled, encouraging language, if we speak about what we want to happen rather than what we don’t want to happen. Focusing on what we don’t want, or worse, fear. can create a self-fulfilling prophecy of exactly what we don’t want. For example, I used to play on a dart team with a guy would come up every time I was about to throw, shake my shoulders and say, “Don’t be nervous! Don’t be nervous!”. The combination of the shaking and the reminder that I was in a situation where I could feel nervous (not to mention the infusion of his obvious nervousness) always made me feel more nervous. It made me breathe short and shallow and tighten up so my shoulders weren’t loose and my moves were constricted. It made me feel off balance and inadequate and worried. I know now that I would have done much better if he had said, “Breathe deep, be calm and stick it! You can do it.” These words are much more empowering. These are the words of someone who has faith in you, someone who thinks you’re capable. These words give you courage.

I hear wonderful, well-meaning people telling new hoopers, “Don’t give up, don’t give up…” and I wish so much I could coach them a little bit. There is a huge difference between saying, “It’s only a matter of time. You will get it. Anything we persist in doing, we get better at. Even the best painter was an amateur at first. And there are lessons in every time the hoop drops too so choose to frame these drops as learning opportunities and observe them for their inherent lessons. You can do it. Hang in there. Keep trying and you will get it. You are getting better with every single turn of the hoop.”

These words are just as true, more true even, and they’re much more encouraging and empowering.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

One response to “The Difference Between “Don’t Give Up!” and “Hang in There!””

  • Oh Caroleeena! How did I miss this…I am thrilled to find your page. You have been an inspiration to me over the years..literally, from the very start of my Hoop journey. Your name is brought up frequently during my classes. My students refer to your tutorials on a regular basis, and they adore you for your authentic nature, and ability to break it down in simple terms~personally, your visuals have helped me more than anything else. Maybe we can catch up at Transformus this year!
    Much Hoop Love, FireFly~~~

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