Need Some Encouragement?

"And you ask, ‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” –Erin Hanson

Happy National Day of Encouragement! Sometimes life gets tough, and you need a little reminder of the power within you. What better of a time than today to share with you a list of the most influential reads, listens, and watches that have lifted my spirit and will hopefully do the same for yours, too.

  1. “Confidence, I’d learned then, sometimes needs to be called from within. I’ve repeated the same words to myself so many times now, through many climbs. Am I good enough? Yes I am.”

    Michelle Obama for President, right? As a child growing up in a modest apartment in Chicago to a Harvard educated lawyer, mother of two, First Lady of the United States, and now author, Michelle Obama does it all. Her story of never letting anyone or anything come in the way of her dreams reminds us that even our wildest hopes are achievable.

  2. “Boss up and change your life/You can have it all, no sacrifice”

    The ultimate girl boss, Lizzo, has taken over the music industry with her uplifting pop jams. If your way to encouragement is singing into a hairbrush and dancing like no one is watching, Lizzo is your girl. Need to get pumped up? Lizzo. Walking to class? Lizzo. Procrastinating? Lizzo. Just don’t blame me if this song is stuck in your head 24/7.

  3. “It’s in the click of my heels,/The bend of my hair,/the palm of my hand,/The need for my care./’Cause I’m a woman/Phenomenally./Phenomenal woman,/That’s me.”

    Maya Angelou was one of the most influential poets of her day, best known for her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and poem, “Still I Rise.” “Phenomenal Woman” is one of my (and Oprah’s) favorite poems because it’s the ultimate girl power poem before the term “Girl Power” existed. Angelou’s unrequited self-love and determination remind us of how special we are and that we, too, are all phenomenal women.

  4. “Your being here matters, it matters because every single contribution that you have to make the world has been waiting to experience from you, and your phenomenal existence here matters, and you must know that you're being, you’re the very fact that you are here.”

    Found on any podcast streaming service, Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations’ episode, “Oprah Winfrey: Your Own Truth,” records her live speech at UCLA where she begins with Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” and ends with the steps to find your power. She answers the questions we all wonder about, such as who we are meant to be, how to achieve our goals, how to recover from failure, and how to step into our truth. For anyone who needs a little Oprah wisdom, it’s more than worth a listen. 

  5. “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes short again and again…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

    I came across this documentary on Netflix when I decided to switch up my normal Monday night Bachelor in Paradise ritual because I wanted to feel ~smart~. I can’t guarantee you that your IQ will go up a point after watching this, but I can tell you that you will laugh, reflect, and challenge yourself to be courageous. Brené Brown, researcher professor at the University of Houston, finds the perfect mix of being realistic yet inspiring when you need a little encouragement. So, I’ll give you the first starting point…go watch this documentary.