One of the skills we ought to have been taught at school is how to be our own cheerleaders. Finding a way to tell yourself ‘you’re great’ every morning is a lot more difficult than it sounds, finding ways to get yourself to do something new or ‘scary’ actually feels even harder. You never know exactly how to go about it, what to say, if you are supposed to give yourself a pat on the back when you’re done or not.
At school, you knew that you did something right if your teacher praised you in front of your classmates or gave you a gold star. You kept telling yourself that you should keep doing things right so that the praise and stars would continue. Whenever you would figure out a difficult equation in math or managed to form the shape of a dragon with your pasta art, you would run to that teacher and wait for her to say ‘Well done. I’m proud of you’. Then came the times where you thought that you did the best you possibly could but your teacher failed to notice so that instantly meant that actually, your best wasn’t best enough.
As we grew up, we carried this ‘need for praise’ to our own romantic relationships.
As soon as you fall in love, you feel like you have everything you need to conquer the world. No matter how down you might feel one day, that colorful bubble you are in –of the person in love – creeps up like a high-school cheerleader, waving its pompons in your face and actually making you feel better.
One on hand, sure it’s sweet, to feel inspired and confident when you are in love. To have someone to go home to and share your ideas and dreams, to tell them about what you want to do next, and their encouragement just inspires you to go even further. Holding their hand every time you try something new, taking a risk right beside them. It’s nice because no matter what you do you’ll always have someone to tell you that ‘you’re great’ whether you fail or not.
Then on the other hand, what happens when you stop being in love? See, as lovely as the idea of being inspired by someone sounds, the reality is that – love creates this go-to crutch which at some time may actually snap.
This isn’t another go at the ‘nothing lasts forever’ movement, but it’s more for the ‘learn to be your own cheerleader’ phenomenon.
There’s nothing wrong with having someone that believes in your dreams and actually cares whether or not you do your best to achieve them. Someone who understands that something seeming little you did today is actually a big deal for you, and they are more than happy to go out celebrating but you need to be able to tell yourself that it’s still a big deal when you’re on your own and actually go and get yourself that drink anyway.
A crutch itself is only something temporary, meant to give you the support you need until you are ready enough to do something on your own. Using the crutch longer than you have to, usually ends up with either a part of you not healing properly or you not knowing how to do something without using that crutch.
From our teachers to our parents and then to our relationships we never really know how to be our own cheerleaders. How to tell ourselves that what we did was actually really hard and that it took a lot to finally be able to do it and that we should feel proud of ourselves whether there is someone there to share it with us or not.
Take the inspiration that being in love gives you and run with it, but make sure you still keep it well after that feeling is gone. Learn to motivate and feel proud of yourself if that person is still with you or not.
Because you ARE awesome, and you shouldn’t forget that.