A Little Encouragement Can Go A Long Way

Hannah - Bryant, Arkansas
Entered on March 20, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

A Little Encouragement Can Go A Long Way

I believe in the power of encouragement to make someone feel invincible.

To me, invincibility means having people to support you if you are doing something you love. Whether you are participating in track, dance, volleyball, soccer, basketball, or even cross-country, everyone needs encouragement.

Being on a team means that you have people that supply you with encouragement to do your best. You are not the only one trying to achieve a goal. Supporters may include teammates, friends, family members, or the neighborhood children that look up to you. I know my family will always be there to encourage me, no matter what I may be doing. It makes feel good when I see my fans rise to their feet when I finish the race.

My seventh grade year, I tried out for every sport in my school that girls could participate, trying to find the one that was right for me. I had less faith in myself as each tryout crept closer. The night before the cross-country tryout, my mom told me that I had to do the best I could and hopefully that would be enough. I knew I’d never make it if I didn’t try. I wouldn’t, couldn’t give up. Not thinking I would make the team, the following week I noticed my name was at the top of the list. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Nor ears when I heard it over the intercom.

A year later, I am on the cross-country, volleyball, basketball, and track teams, all because of my mom and her 2-hour speech. As I achieved each goal, I was not exactly sure why I wanted to be on all these teams. Did I want to be popular? Did I want people to think I was cool? Did I want to be a jock? What about a prep? None of these! I wanted people to believe in me. I wanted people to think or know I was as good as the next person. Did I want friends? No, I wanted real friends, no one trying to be something he/she was not. Why? I felt that I deserved to be real. The person people could admire. Even when I was dead last, I wanted people cheering for me. Honestly, I wanted to be the one and only me.

As my ninth grade year approaches, my mom keeps reminding me if I want to make the teams in which I tryout, I will have to do my best and have faith in myself. I can’t let anything bring me down.

I often think of that day sitting right next to my mom and having no clue about any of the sports that I was certain I would never make. Hearing my mom’s speech each year reminds me that everyone needs a little encouragement. It can go a long way.