The Power Of Encouragement 

 May 28, 2020

By  Paul Coghlan

​“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

 - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Instill Courage: 

Encouragement is the action of instilling courage into someone through the provision of support, confidence and hope. It comes from the Latin ‘en’ to put into and ‘cor’ heart.

Life is not always easy. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes it feels like everything is falling apart. Being diagnosed with a serious illness is shocking and traumatic but having the right people around you can make a huge difference.

You will face many overwhelming situations and events with this illness and it is crucial that you trust those supporting you through your illness. This includes your doctor, medical team, consultant, family and friends. Being able to ask open and honest questions and have them answered in a positive manner will provide you with a clear vision of what direction you need to take and that it is possible to get there. These people will have an important role in instilling courage and hope in you when you feel something cannot be achieved.

The Benefits of Encouragement:  

Encouragement helps provide energy and this will help you to accomplish your objectives. Words of encouragement work like an energy pill. They instill the strength needed to overcome obstacles that lie between you and your objectives. Believing in yourself is one thing but being encouraged to believing through adversity is a significant other.

Being encouraged to keep positive is a determining factor particularly when your body may be in shock. Encouragement makes it more likely that you will succeed and each success brings more happiness and increased hope and belief.  It reminds us to stay optimistic and focused on a positive outcome.

Your Cheerleaders:

Having people around you that listen and react in a way that helps push you forward and have a progressive vision is so important. These people will continuously fill you with positive thoughts and words of encouragement, belief and support.

These are the people that will help you to stay on track when you are faltering and at your weakest. These are the people that are standing on the sideline cheering on your every step.  These are the people that will pick you up when you stumble and fall. Remember that until you feel weak, you cannot fully know or appreciate your strength


Be Your Own Best Friend:

Be aware of your internal chatter. Talk to yourself as you would to a dear friend. Aim for progress and not perfection. Lower your expectations. Remember that your life is very different now and you need to believe in yourself. Be gentle and kind with yourself and acknowledge every little step forward as progress. Celebrate every small achievement. Use positive affirmations. Your struggle is your strength. Use it wisely!

‘Sometimes when you’re in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but actually you have been planted’

- Christine Caine


Paul Coghlan

Paul Coghlan is a native of Westport, Co Mayo. He shares the experience of his shock medical diagnosis in 2018. Faced with an appalling prognosis, Paul unearthed character and determination he never knew existed. Paul has always been a keen sports man and credits a great deal of his recovery both mental and physical to his love of sport.

He has spoken to sports groups, youth organisations and businesses both in Ireland and abroad. His personality and humour allow him to speak openly and passionately about the lessons he has learnt through his adversity, making him a compelling, memorable and above all inspirational speaker.

Paul Coghlan

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  1. Thank you! Your module on encouragement is really great and very open to perspective to people who face cancer. I look forward to following your journey and your future content

  2. Thank you for your response, Im here to help people through their journey. Sharing insights from what i faced might just be the tool to help a patient or a family member. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me privately on hello@paulcoghlan.ie

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