In English, "to encourage" seems to have at least two uses:
to suggest that someone should do something (e.g. "He encouraged me to find a new guitar teacher.")
to give confidence or hope to someone (e.g. "In a rough time of life, he was always there to encourage me when I was feeling down." or "It's really encouraging to see how you've grown over the past year.")
How can these senses be translated to Spanish? As far as I know, there are at least three words in Spanish: alentar, animar, and fomentar. What is the difference between them?
Also, what about the noun form (encouragement) or the adjective form (encouraging)?