Last week I was speaking to one of my sisters about her house move when I had a realisation that I did something that I really don’t like. When she was talking about potential homes that she could buy I realised that instead of being excited for her I reasoned with her with something that I have called a ‘leveller’. It’s when you can’t really allow someone else to do well or hope for them to do well without levelling things up. For some reason in our culture we like to bring people back down to earth or bring in a slight negative.
Why do we feel the need to level things or people? Why can’t we naturally be happy for someone without bringing the negatives to the table? If a friend does well we are happy for them. Why then do we feel the need to diminish in some way what’s going on in their lives? Let me give you an example. A good friends child gets a free place in a private school for doing so well academically. This is a massive achievement and your friend is so proud and shares it with you. You congratulate her but you just have to slip in a comment like “make sure she does not become spoilt” or “I hear private schools have big drug problems”. You may not even say it out loud but you think it. This is what I mean by leveller comments. It’s when you feel the need to bring things back down to a level place rather than being able to celebrate the achievement. We may not like to admit it but maybe we let jealousy creep in. This in turn brings arrows of negativity so that we feel better about not having what others do? Or maybe we have just been brought up in such a way that makes it normal to be negative about everything? We may not even notice that we do it as it’s just part of our daily conversation. Either way I believe that if we are aware of doing it we can change. Next time someone tells you their good news begin to analyse how you think and talk and you may just find that you are a leveller yourself.
Encouragement can go a long way in people’s lives. For some people it needs to be an active choice to be an encourager. When you become someone who encourages it affects you too because your mind is thinking on things that are positive which can only do you good. When you start to encourage others it spills out into your own life. Think about who you surround yourself with because it is said that you become like the 5 people you are most close to in life. Are these people who you want to be like? Do they level everything you do or do they spur you on to do greater and bigger things in life? Flip the coin around and ask yourself are you someone that others want to be like? If not then like me why not take a good look at the way we act and think and change our behaviour. I am going to start by really looking at the way I react to others when they get good news and also look at how much I complain about things in my life.
What I’m not saying is that we should live in fantasy lands and allow our friends to go off and do things that will hurt them but I think it’s important to dream with friends and champion them on in this all ready hard world we live in. Maybe you do it to situations in you own life? When something great happens in your life big or small do you still find things to complain about? I can often find myself excited one minute then thinking about what will go wrong the next. We can so often cap ourself from what we can achieve in life because we don’t dare believe that someone like little old me could possibly do something amazing. Whats the opposite of a leveller? because thats who I want to be! I want to be that friend that celebrates success and then excites them to dream for things that are even bigger. When good things come my way I want to celebrate them without bringing in the ‘ what if it all goes wrong’ thinking. Being a mum opens my eyes to the responsibility I have to be a dreamer and not a leveller. I want to teach my kids to be peoples greatest encourager but I can only lead by example. The one thing I definitely know I am doing right in motherhood is encouraging my girls at every moment I can. I can already see the fruit of this as they are my biggest encourager even at such a young age . I hear my eldest say things like “Mum your a good driver that looked like a tricky bit on the road” as she could see me stressing or “Mum you look so beautiful today” I can’t tell you how much that fills me to bursting.
Today why not try out being that encouraging person and see the results of what a small change in you life can have on those around you.