Imagine we had our own personal cheerleader squad following us around and doing an enthusiastic dance each time we did something more technical than breathing. Sounds a little daft, but humor me. Within each of us is our very own cheerleading squad.
Not enough of us do cartwheels and backflips to celebrate ourselves. And it’s not just a physical inability standing in our way. From a young age, we are taught to be humble and modest. But this has bled into a tendency to downplay our successes and flatline our highs and lows.
Let’s not wait for others to validate our life. I will show you how to be your own cheerleader and divulge some useful tips you can implement today.
What does it mean to be a cheerleader?
When you think of cheerleaders, what comes to mind? For me, it’s a group of people (usually scantily-clad women, but I don’t have time to unpick this one just now) spreading positivity, happiness, and enthusiasm for a sports team. Their energy is exuberant and contagious.
I’ll tell you what cheerleading is not. It’s not bragging.
Cheerleaders celebrate when their team scores a goal or plays well. They don’t boo or hiss if goals are missed or play is poor. Cheerleading is about highlighting successes and moving through negatives without denting enthusiasm or withdrawing love and support.
Take away the acrobats and dancing; even just the simple act of cheering can positively impact the performance of sports teams or athletes who play in front of spectators.
Sounds pretty good, really, doesn’t it? Imagine we could do all this for ourselves.
Why is it so important to be your own cheerleader?
Having people cheer for you must feel amazing. Sadly, very few of us experience the effects of a cheerleading squad. But that’s okay; we can learn to be our own cheerleaders.
This means being sure to celebrate every time we accomplish a goal. I’ll tell you a secret: I sometimes do a little happy dance around my kitchen if I receive good news about an article I’ve written or see an athlete I coach has achieved something amazing in their training. This is my version of cheerleading. If I were a dog, I’d be wiggling and wagging my tail.
When we are our own cheerleaders, we don’t rely on other people to validate our actions; we validate ourselves. We mark our accomplishments and recognize when we deserve a little celebration.
Let’s be honest: if we wait for others to validate us, we may be waiting a long time, and even then, our spirits may become dashed and all sense of exuberance squandered by a lack of forthcoming praise or rejoicing.
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5 ways to be your own cheerleader
So let’s not wait anymore; let’s be our own cheerleaders and encourage ourselves to greater success through our own self-love and support.
Here are our top 5 tips for being your own cheerleader.
1. Back yourself
When we back ourselves, we believe in ourselves. This doesn’t mean we believe ourselves to be perfect; it simply means we have faith and belief that we have the right skills and mindset to accomplish our hopes and dreams and conquer our goals.
Backing ourselves and cheerleading ourselves go hand in hand.
Because if we don’t have the confidence, self-esteem, and clout to back ourselves and stand up and be counted with our own self-belief, we sure as hell aren’t going to have the gumption to celebrate any of our achievements. Instead, we will stay small and shriveled for fear of making a big deal out of something.
Back yourself; you are a big deal. By all means, be quietly confident, but if you do amazing things, cheer for yourself in a not-so-quiet way.
2. Celebrate your wins
We don’t need to wait for other people to celebrate our wins. Celebrate away, rejoice in your success in any way you see fit.
A good example is a typical interview with a sportsperson following a win in their sport of choice. We usually hear them back themselves by saying something about knowing they had the ability and believing in themselves. They then talk about what they did right to accomplish the win and openly show how thrilled they are.
Society has a bad habit of prescribing what we are allowed to celebrate, and if you listen to Hallmark, this is restricted to births, engagements, weddings, and birthdays.
Well, said that I encourage you to celebrate all sorts of things. Being accepted into the university of your choice, passing your driving test, marking a month fully sober, or welcoming a new pet into your house.
If there is something that you have worked hard to make happen, then celebrate it. This will help motivate you to keep working hard to pursue your goals because nothing worth having ever came easy.
3. Eradicate comparison
Think of the stereotypical cheerleaders. They focus on the team they are supporting, and that is it. They don’t look at other teams and make comparisons. They are not distracted by something else, even if it is shinier or better.
The point is, don’t be distracted by others. Eyes on the prize, keep being yourself, and allow others to be themselves. It doesn’t matter if someone beats you to a promotion or wins a tenure bid. You can still celebrate all that you achieved in getting to a shortlist in the first place.
Remember, compassion is never found in comparison.
And once we have our comparison under control, we feel more inclined to celebrate our own achievements, even if we didn’t quite get the results we had hoped for.
4. Keep a gratitude journal
Here’s the thing: You don’t need to wait until you have found a cure for cancer or solved world hunger to cheerlead yourself. It’s important to recognize all the small little wins along the way.
You can notice your small wins in several ways.
Take five minutes to reflect at the end of each day. During this time, you can consider what went right during the day and what you did that merits recognition, a little “whoop whoop,” and a personal pat on the back. Don’t be shy.
To get into the swing of this cheerleading habit and celebrate yourself, why not keep a gratitude journal and write your reflections down? You could write down three things you did well each day.
And be kind to yourself; remember, sometimes just getting out of bed and facing the day is a win!
5. Be your own best friend
What if we could treat ourselves the way we would treat our best friend? Because the truth is, we never speak to our friends in the callous way we speak to ourselves.
I’m a huge advocate for being our own best friend. After a couple of challenging years where I lost some friends I was once inseparable from, I realized the importance of honoring myself and recognizing my needs as valid.
The lost friends didn’t cheerlead me; they actively discouraged me from cheerleading myself. But now I have weeded my friendship flowerbed, I am privileged to have some wonderfully supportive and loving friends in my life. They are nurturing and nourishing and help me be the best possible version of myself. They have taught me how I deserve to be treated.
Good friends raise us up, celebrate our wins, and commiserate our losses. They do not berate us or put us down. They are full of optimism and hope. They believe in us.
Be your best friend; if you want to learn how to do this, read our article here.
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We could wait a long time if we rely on other people to be our cheerleaders. When we learn to cheerlead ourselves, we boost our self-esteem and build our self-worth and confidence. We build a positive feedback loop for ourselves.
Remember our five tips for how to be your own cheerleader.
- Back yourself.
- Celebrate your wins.
- Eradicate comparison.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Be your own best friend.
What are your favorite ways to be your own cheerleader? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!