There are two forms of encouragement. They are both good, but One is better than the other.
One type is general – it is the cheerleader that roots for the team and rallies the crowd. It says no matter what is happening keep going, don’t lose hope, stay focused. Lots of people can be cheerleaders. You don’t need to know a lot about the context to be a cheerleader for someone. Just pick the person and add enthusiasm.
The other type is specific – it is rooted in values and can be corrective. It says for you in this moment I think you’re on the right path. Only people who are close to you can offer this kind of encouragement. They need to know you and the context of the situation. They may need an understanding of your vision for the future, how you see the world, and your role in it. This kind of encouragement is often solicited and rarely offered – you have to ask for it.
Both are good – we live in a world that is generally destructive, especially of dreams. Any kind of encouragement is good to counter act the destruction that is so pervasive.
But one is better – if you have the kind of trusted relationships that can be corrective while also being encouraging count yourself blessed. If that doesn’t exist for you, seek it out. It’s not the easy, cushy, road of being told “you’re great” all the time. It’s the more honest road of friends holding up a mirror to you and sharing what they see – the good the bad and ugly – celebrating the good and encouraging you through the bad and the ugly. The fruits of this are immeasurable.