I was a cheerleader in high school. I’ll be honest, the cute uniforms and movie-based stereotypes inspired my decision to try-out. But as time went on, I actually got a thrill out of cheering on my school’s teams and encouraging fans to do the same.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered how much I still enjoy rooting for other people. For instance, the last time I cried was due to an American Idol singing audition. I watch videos like these in my spare time because I get a kick out of seeing people meet and even exceed their life goals.
Usually, we (humans) do things that benefit us, so I began thinking: what is it about cheering people on, that I love so much? Why do I enjoy seeing other people win? I knew there had to be a reason, so I did some digging. By “digging”, I mean I took a minute (or two) to think about my patterns of rooting for others and what it does for me.
When I witness other people receiving more, I take it as a sign that there must be more for me too.
In previous posts, I’ve written about the importance of perspective – this ties in perfectly.
Consider a conversation I had with a friend. Let’s call her Sharon (not her actual name). Sharon was telling me about a new employee at her job. Apparently, most people in her office were upset that this newbie was coming in and making more money than people who had been in their position for almost 7 years longer. The fact that people responded with anger wasn’t what surprised me. What surprised me was this: some suggested that this new person be paid less rather than asking for more for themselves.
We get what we give.
What are you giving? Good vibes or icky ones? Don’t get me wrong. Jealousy is a normal, very human reaction – but it doesn’t feel very good. It feels a lot better to be inspired by victories than to be intimidated. Usually, feeling better about something is a sign that it actually is better for you. In other words, being happy for someone else boosts your own confidence and inspires to you to chase similar results.
Need some cheerleading practice? Try these simple actions below and observe the effects.
- Give someone a compliment – It’s so easy to notice a cute shirt, but not say anything to the person wearing it. Try expressing your positive energy!
- Help someone out – Is the new guy at work having a hard time finding the supply closet? How long would it take you to give some quick directions?
- Shout someone out – Did your colleague do an excellent job on a presentation? Send out a quick email recognizing her for her hard work! You never know how this simple deed could inspire others to recognize you in the future.