Five Words That People in Your Life Need to Hear

After having our first son, Carter, I hit a low point.

To be honest, most of the first six weeks after having my child seemed like one big low point. From the terrifying emergency cesarean-section delivery, to a trip back to the emergency room two days after finally being discharged, to fighting infections and the complete nightmare that nursing turned out to be for us, it was all a really difficult blur.

But there was one night that I remember vividly for some reason.

It was 3 a.m. and I was in the nursery rocking my screaming son in the glider. When my husband heard crying on the monitor and realized it was not one, but two voices crying out, he jumped up to see what was wrong. He ran into the nursery and found me sobbing along with my son, crying a deep and desperate cry of defeat with the last bit of energy I had. When he could see that no one was hurt but I was at the end of everything I had, he stood in the doorway, looked at me with both a sweetness and sternness in his voice, and said just five words.

You’re doing a good job.

I cried harder because I wanted so bad for that to be true as he said them again and again—with the same certainty.

You’re doing a good job.

You’re doing a good job.

That was a truth I so desperately wanted to believe—especially when becoming a new parent seems to send you grasping for straws of confidence anywhere you can find them. And as he looked into my eyes and said those words, I allowed myself to believe him. I felt my body relax into that truth.

His words weren’t profound or particularly sweet. If anything, they were simply practical. But those words were the exact thing, maybe the only thing, that I needed to hear in that moment.

And the moments didn’t end there. Weeks later, we found out that my dog had lost 18 pounds from refusing to eat and had life-threatening liver damage. Every day, I tried to get him to eat anything (dry dog food, stinky canned food, peanut butter, deli meat, hot dogs and treats), and he was refusing all of it. With every refused meal or spit-out pill, I felt like I was failing him.

After my 47th failed attempt to get him to take his medicine—medicine that was our only hope to save his life—I was at the end of my rope. I grabbed the kitchen counter to steady myself from the frustration and unbearable sadness, and Matt wrapped his arms around me and said those words again.

You’re doing a good job.

And again, they were water to my soul. I needed them.

Later, when I was on the radio show live with Dave at the EntreLeadership Summit, I realized that I’m not the only one that needs to hear those words. As we were talking about the struggle of being a parent and running a business, I reminded the audience and listeners to not be sorry for the struggle. When your kids struggle with you, they develop the resilience and persistence and character that they need to succeed in this world.

And then I looked at the audience members and said those words with the same sincerity as my husband, “You’re doing a good job.

In a room of 700 people, I swear you could hear an audible sigh of relief. The entire room relaxed.

Because whether it’s a low point or just a hard week of defeat, most people carry around the heavy and exhausting belief every day that they aren’t enough.

You’re doing a good job, friend.

You’re doing a good job.

Those words aren’t fancy or catchy or clever, and you probably won’t find them on any Hallmark card.

But they may just be some of the most life-giving words you can say to someone today.

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Want more from Christy? Check out her Business Boutique podcast! Every other week, she delivers inspiring and thought-provoking messages on time management, overcoming fear, goal setting and more.