When a person is successful in ways that are important to him, it's easy to feel encouraged to continue to think, speak, and act in positive patterns. The challenge that we all face, some more and some less, is to be able to bounce back after experiencing failure, loss, or disappointment.

The more resilient someone is, the greater his ability to bounce back. People who grew up with constant realistic encouragement will be more resilient. People who unrealistically thought that they would always be invincible and successful are set up for strong disappointment when things don't go the way they wished. But facing disappointment is a natural part of life. Everyone has to face disappointment at some time. We all need to develop the mental toughness to get up again after a fall.

Being hopeful and optimistic are inner resources that are priceless. The more you have developed these valuable qualities, the more opportunities you will find to help others feel better and flourish after suffering disappointment.

Your encouragement is especially needed after a major setback. Positive words that create feelings of hope and optimism about a better future can bring life to someone who is down.

When you begin with sincere words of empathy and compassion, a person who is suffering emotionally is more likely to experience what you say to him as coming from a heart that understands and sincerely cares. Feeling understood makes it more likely that afterwards your words of encouragement will actually be helpful.