The power of encouragement can shift your confidence completely.

Life Lesson #1: The Power of Encouragement

As a little girl, I remember my daddy teaching me to drive. I was only 8 years old, and I was terrified. But lessons he taught me on those small dirt roads in the Texas Panhandle still remain with me today. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize just how much of an influence they were until after he was gone. I would like to have been able to thank him. In some small way, this series of Life Lessons is my way of doing that.

Life Lesson: The Power of #Encouragement can shift your confidence quickly from doubt to belief. #trust Click To Tweet

We had a four-door sedan with one of those hood ornaments in the center of the hood, and as a little girl sitting behind the wheel for the first time it felt like the size of that car had just grown and swallowed me up. Actually, it wasn’t the first time I had been behind the wheel. There had been many times Daddy had let me sit on his lap and steer while he worked the pedals. But this was my first time to sit behind that wheel alone, and I didn’t feel the same confidence without him behind the wheel with me. Turn the key and put your foot on the accelerator gently. Sitting beside me in the passenger seat, exuding a calm confidence that I was ready for this, he said gently. But never having had my foot on a gas pedal before I wasn’t sure what gently meant. Tapping the pedal, nothing happened. Pushing down a tiny bit more… still nothing. Feeling a need to prove I could do this, I pushed harder. Too hard. The engine revved so loudly it escalated my already jumbled nerves completely outside of my body and into the uncertainty that perhaps Daddy was completely mistaken and I was not ready at all to learn to drive a car.

Your confidence can be shifted completely when someone you love and admire believes in you. #encouragement #hope Click To Tweet

That’s good. Next time not quite so hard. Good? Did he say good? Yes. With a good-natured laugh he had said I did good…even though there was room for improvement. His calm voice and reassuring tone brought my nerves back into my body and caused me to consider that if he thought I could do it, maybe I could. So in that moment, completely unaware of what was happening, a conviction began to form in my little girl heart that would shape the way I value relationships but would take decades to actually reach a place of awareness in my mind. In that moment I went from doubt to belief so quickly that I embraced, although unaware, the conviction that….

If my confidence can be shifted so completely by someone I love and admire believing in me, then I want to be that someone for others so that they can shift their confidence, too.

This conviction has been the source of much joy in my life. I love walking alongside others and seeing them shift from doubt to belief, and succeed. But there was an unhealthy side to it, as well. I didn’t consider who the “others” I wanted to support would be. “Others” to me was synonymous with “everyone.” That set me up for failure, and it will you, too. We cannot affect genuine change for others unless they genuinely want change for themselves. I have come to realize a great truth…

I set myself up for success or failure based on who I am coming alongside. Right alignment is required.

I set myself up for #success or failure based on who I am coming alongside. Right alignment is required. #trust Click To Tweet

Within the bedrock of my values is the belief my daddy instilled in me during that first driving lesson years ago, but the wisdom that comes with experience has refined it…

If my confidence can be shifted so completely by someone I love and admire believing in me, then I want to be that someone who helps others (who genuinely want change) to shift their confidence, too.

I want to help others who genuinely want change shift their confidence. #encouragement #success Click To Tweet

May our love and encouragement be toward those who will receive…and then may we unreservedly pour out to and into them with much joy.

Brenda Harkins mines the gold in people to help them clearly see their talent, identify their purpose and unleash potential to navigate their unique success. Brenda is a Life and Leadership Coach in her own organization, as well as with The John Maxwell Team and CoreClarity. She is a Public Speaker, Author, Mediator, Entrepreneur, and President of The Harkins Group, Inc. You can connect with Brenda at or find out more at