Be everyone’s cheerleader.
I was a cheerleader in the traditional high school sense- pom poms, flips, and repetitive chants. I spent many days practicing and many evenings cheering at various high school sports events with cheesy smiles and poster board.
Looking back now I realize that I am still a cheerleader.
When someone tells me their idea, I’m not going to be the reason someone doesn’t follow through. I am not going to list all the reasons why I think their idea is crazy.
When our team is down and the other team has the ball, I am not on the sideline pointing out all the errors or faults in the game. Instead I am screaming “DEFENSE” “GET THAT BALL BACK”. After all, I’m not the Coach and I’m not the person in the bleachers that thinks I could do it better.
And when the basketball player is dribbling down the court in the direction of the basket about to score, I’m on the sidelines cheering for the slam dunk.
See when someone is down and heading in the wrong direction, I do not take it upon myself to be the Coach. I don’t know their game. What I can do is tell them to get on defense and understand that they are trying- grab life and get that ball back. After all, no one wants to lose the game intentionally. No one wants to suck. We all have dreams and aspirations- they may seem silly to others. Don’t dim their dream. If they want to be the next star in the NBA, why sit there and tell them all the reasons that isn’t going to happen. Don’t kill it for others. As long as they are on the court, they are making the effort to win.
Be someone’s cheerleader.
Be that person that tells them to keep running to the end-zone. Be that person that cheers when they get a touch down. Even though it wasn’t you that got the slam dunk, you can still be on their team. And when the player is making judgements that you don’t understand, ask yourself if you are their Coach or if you are their cheerleader.
Do you know their game well? Do you have authority to give tough love? Are you an expert in their life? We all need Coaches, but we also need cheerleaders. So if you are their cheerleader, make sure they have a Coach. Make sure they are on the court. Then support them and tell them the good you see. Don’t be the reason they feel bad about losing the game- help them get off the bench. Scream, “We are proud of you, say we are proud of you.” Chances are they are harder on themselves than you could ever be- don’t contribute to that negativity.
And when you are at the top of that pyramid-all eyes on you- remember it takes the strength of some pretty awesome people to lift you up there. When people below you are doing all the heavy lifting so you can be in the spotlight, be humble. Remember to pass the support on- be infectious with your spirit. Use the support you get and pay it forward. Acknowledge the people lifting you, because without them, your moves wouldn’t be seen.
Sending big smiles and spirit fingers,
*If you dove way too far into this analogy and are finding exceptions, criticisms and jokes— you’re probably that person that goes to high school football games voicing your opinion loudly from the comfort of your last row bleacher seat. We all know how you could play a better game in your day.