How can you encourage somebody who likes you but is too afraid to admit it to himself to realize his feelings?

You are second-guessing the feelings of this other person and you have absolutely no idea what they are thinking about you. Instead, you are wishing this to be true. You can't make someone love you. There is a big difference between someone liking you (as a friend) and loving you romantically. Take it easy and let Mother Nature take her course.