One of the great lessons I’ve learnt in life is this.
We can’t do things alone. As humans we’re wired as social animals.
Support is important in your life – especially when you’re making change or doing things that are challenging you. Support through such times is critical. Someone to bounce thoughts and feelings off, as well as holding you to account to do what you said you’d do.
So when you’re choosing someone to support you, you need to consider them as an accountability partner. Someone who is there to lift you and push you, and occasionally cut you some slack – but not without just cause.
They’re there to ensure you accomplish your goals. They cheer you on, and nag you.
With this in mind you need to be selective when choosing a person to support you because this is an important role in your life.
How do you choose the right support?
You need to choose someone with characteristics, attitudes and behaviour patterns that reflect what you admire and would like to emulate.
For example you absolutely need to have someone that is positive to what you’re working to achieve. Stay away from friends and family that are negative or toxic, whether you’re looking to them for support or not.
Supporters need to be a positive influence on your daily routine and what you’re working to achieve.
Some simple examples of supporters to seek or stay away from are these. If your goal is to run a half-marathon and need to run 3 – 4 times a week, look for someone that has done this or something similar, and can appreciate the effort and pan you’ll go through in order to achieve this. Don’t select someone who is a couch potato and has never properly exercised, or at least has never pushed themselves to the extent you are, and are keen to support you by catching up for a chat and a beer as a friend. Your support needs to understand that you have to persevere, be consistent in your training regime, understand that if you stop your training it is so much harder to get going again, how you have to push through some pain, yes training is required on rainy days, to eat the right foods to provide energy… all these things. They also need to be someone to hear you, to motivate you when you’re down, to cut you some slack where necessary, understand the importance of rest and recovery.
You need to be held to account. This requires discipline by you. Your supporter is the ’tough love’ influence in your life. Sympathy and softness will not get you to achieve the important things you deserve in your life. It is by effort – and having a supporter that truly values you will push you hard.
Having someone say, ‘oh it isn’t such a big deal if you don’t do that’ is not good enough. Your excuses – while probably perfectly valid – do not cut it. Your supporter will challenge your excuses and not accept them at face-value.
It is a fine balance getting the right supporter who will show compassion and love at the right time, and be tough in your best interests, and be there for you when needed.
Let’s face it. This thing called life is hard. You need positive support just to get through it – let alone when you want to make a positive change to a better you. All your existing habits, fears and self-doubts, as well as all the people around you that want you just as you are require a lot of energy, will power and discipline to overcome. Don’t underestimate it.
Having a clear understanding of expectations at the start of your support relationship helps enormously. You need to clarify exactly what you expect of your supporter so things don’t get messy as you go. The last thing you want is one, or both of you getting burned out or totally frustrated with the other.
“If you do not change direction you will end up where you are heading” – Lao Tzu
Another good way to get support is to join a group. There are plenty of interest groups around. Reading groups, weight watchers, writers groups, running clubs, AA, networking. There are lots of options.
EKO acts as a supporter as well. If you’d like to know more please get in touch.
As usual I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Until next time. Go well and be Great.