I never leave a conversation with a client without mentioning the word support. It’s synonymous with the idea of change and the way that we grow and become better but is often an easily overlooked fundamental. I know I spoke a few months back about the idea of building support by way of strategically cultivating and growing friendships. Essentially taking control of your personal circle in order to optimize potential. Today, I’d like to take it a step further and touch on the support that lies outside of that circle that additionally has the ability to move you forward.
If asked, we all have a variety of dreams and goals we would like to achieve. My personal list is probably a mile long so I can attest that we don’t always get where we want to go due to a lack of creativity or idea cultivation but rather the support needed to execute our ideas once we’ve decided on what it is that we want. Whether its money, knowledge, or our personal or professional networks, support is necessary in a multitude of facets and without it you’re virtually going nowhere.
So just what does support mean to you?
By definition it is to bear all or part of the weight of: hold up
To hold up.
No matter how strong we see ourselves there is no way that we alone can hold up every single thing that goes on within our world. In work, in your personal life, your relationships, extra-curricular activities, side hustles, etc. I often use the office of the President of the United States as a reference. If you think about it even the most powerful person in the world needs support. Outside of the First Lady, his family and close friends the number of aides and general secretaries that surround him allowing him to be the best version of himself is staggering. So why then should you or I, the ordinary person, be any different. The thought that we can accomplish everything on our own is simply a myth and anyone who tells you otherwise in my opinion is only short changing their efforts.
With that information, what then does the support in your life look like? How visible is it? Does it solely come in the form of friends, or can it also be found in coworkers, mentors, family, strangers, significant others, etc. …? Truth be told support can be found in a variety of places. The key is being open to accepting it when it presents itself. When we isolate and navigate life within the idea that we can do it all on our own, our potential naturally decreases due to the fact that we spread ourselves too thin. Take the example of maybe planning a wedding. Sure it’s possible to handle all of the details on your own but including the support of a wedding planner not only alleviates many of the stressors that come along with this meaningful time but it more than likely increases the potential of you getting exactly what you want at the end of the day. If that example doesn’t ring true for you think about the school project you found yourself drowning in until you enlisted the help of a tutor or mentor, or the sport you were barely mediocre at until you sought out a coach or appropriate training plan, nutrition guidelines, etc…
Certainly you put in a magnitude of hard work and effort for that new position you just acquired or the dream job you just landed but fact of the matter is that you didn’t arrive to this success on your own. Let’s not forget the many conversations with friends, your life coach, and recruiters where you arrived to the conclusion of what your next steps would be. Or the gentle boosts of confidence from your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife as they reinforced how great you are, smart, responsible, caring, loving, honest, etc. ... Then there’s the raise from your last boss acknowledging your contribution to helping grow the company in ways they hadn’t imagined or the stunning review or letter of recommendation from a fellow colleague or constituent.
The point here is that there are a variety of subtle acts of support happening all around us, the key is to pick up on where it exists and leverage all of its power to reach your true potential. So the next time something good happens to you, don’t brush it off as “well I was just doing what I’m supposed to and this is the result, blah blah blah”. Yes that might very well be the case but that result could be the next necessary thing in your journey.
Therefore, my challenge to you this week is to tap into every piece of support you recognize throughout your day. Perhaps it’s the stranger on the street wishing you a good day, your mom or dad just calling to say I love you. One of your hundreds of followers leaving a positive comment on your social media feed, finding out your local kiddie gym offers free babysitting giving you that surprising but very much needed few hours of “me time” or a “date night”. Your boss acknowledging your efforts by way of a pat on the back or “good work” as they pass you in the hall.
Whatever it is, take the time to recognize the potential that exists within that space. Creating deeper awareness in an around your life. Reminding yourself that you’re never alone even on the darkest of days and times. Take the time to focus on that awareness and build upon it. What positive actions are you now in a better position to take because your confidence levels have been boosted? Because you have unexpected free time? Recognition of usable knowledge? Experience? A higher salary and more money in the bank? In what ways can you utilize this support to become more efficient in getting to where you want to go? Track your answers to these questions and begin to build plans of action around them starting small and eventually growing to larger efforts.
It’s astounding what a positive and supported outlook can do for not just you but everyone and thing around you so stop wasting time and get to finding the support you need.