How Cheering for Other People Actually Helps You

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.

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

5 Practical Ways to Build Confidence

We all know confidence is important, but how many of us were taught how to get there?

Trigger Warning: the first sentence of this post is a blanket statement.

We all know confidence is important, but how many of us were taught how to get there? In my post, “What are you made of?” I talked about how our level of confidence affects the way we respond to life. Now, let’s discover how to actually build that confidence.

Maybe many of us really are confident. However, I’d be willing to bet that some of us are faking it until we make it. Look – this is a judgement free zone – we all fake it sometimes (ha).

I don’t think pretending to be confident is bad at all. There’s actually evidence that shows that just sounding more confident can improve how others perceive you – makes sense.

But if the goal is to actually be confident, some work has to be done. Here are 5 Practical Ways to Build Confidence:

1. Help someone else.

Volunteer. There’s nothing like experiencing how much you have to offer others. Sharing your gifts is a great way to acknowledge your unique strengths and abilities.

2. Don’t be afraid to say, “party of one.”

Spending time with yourself is a sure way to develop confidence, because you realize how great your company is! The first time I took myself on a date was during my freshman year of college. I saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I absolutely enjoyed the way I talked to the screen, gave unsolicited advice to Katniss, and jumped dramatically during all the intense scenes. If I was with someone else, I’m not sure I would have noticed these quirky and super wonderful things about myself.

When you take some time to enjoy your presence, you begin to develop your interests and find out more about the activities you enjoy.

3. Establish a self-care routine.

The key word here is routine. Regularly meeting your own needs is a great way to make sure your confidence is in-tack. Self-care looks different for everyone, and it’s important to find what’s best for you. If you’re new to this, here are some activities that work well for me:

  • Going for a run
  • Practicing yoga
  • Writing in my journal
  • Lighting candles
  • Dancing to my favorite tunes…solo.

4. Make a mistake, and learn from it.

Perfectionism is tough. Unattainable expectations take a toll on self-esteem. Mistakes are signs of growth. I like the phrase, fail forward.

Reconstructing how you view failure can boost your confidence. Did you see Will Smith’s video on failure? He talked about how the most successful people fail a lot, take the lessons, and consider them added wisdom. Think about the last mistake you made. How are you better now because of it?

5. Say Yes!

It’s an easy word on paper, but putting it into action can be a beast! If we pay attention, we’ll notice how many opportunities come by and how many we pass up because of our fears. Saying yes, even when your comfort zone screams in agony, is the one of the best things you can do to boost your confidence.

What’s your confidence level? What are some things you do to keep it sky high?

What are you made of…?

“Confidence and a made-up mind are the stuff kings and queens are made of.”

(Vanzant, 2018).

I studied Psychology in undergrad, and I learned a lot about perspective. I remember being amazed to learn how two people could experience the exact same event, but interpret it in completely different ways. Usually, how someone interprets something is directly connected to what that person is made of.

Here’s a scenario: Let’s say Confident Cathy and Insecure Isaac walk into a crowded classroom and see people smiling at them.

  • Confident Cathy’s Experience: “Oh, people are smiling at me. They must want me to join their table.”
  • Insecure Isaac’s Experience: “Here we go again. I knew I shouldn’t have worn this shirt. They’re laughing at me.”

Cathy and Isaac witnessed the same smiles, but had completely different experiences of them. Do you sound more like Cathy or Isaac?

The truth is, we don’t know which interpretation was accurate. In fact, it doesn’t matter what the smiles actually meant. We can’t control the actions or intentions of others. We can only control our response.

We respond based on what’s inside us. What would it take to make sure confidence resides in you today?

Not sure? Try the power pose! I’ve tried it before my presentation and interviews, and it actually works. For more on the power pose, click here.

The Beauty of Needing Nothing

Let’s face it. Being needy has a bad rep, rightfully so. Take a second and think about the qualities of a needy person. Are they fun to be around? Chances are, they aren’t. And if we’re being honest here, we’ve all suffered from the “needy syndrome” at least once or twice in our lives. And that’s ok.

We’re here to learn and improve. Admitting we have a problem is the first step, right? So let’s admit it. Say it with me: I am capable of being needy. GREAT JOB!

Now that we’ve admitted this less than desirable characteristic, we can do something about it.

Neediness is about fear.

The more fearful we are, the more we cling to other people, things, and ideas that leave us stuck. And brace yourself for another hard truth: our fear is usually about our insecurity. As much as some of us like to pretend, we aren’t totally secure with ourselves. Think about it. Who are we without that awesome job, impressive degree(s), speedy car, or hot partner?

The purpose of losing in life is to remind us that our identity is not in what we have or the things we lose. I mean if we can lose something, we must not be that thing – right?

Yes, You Need Food and Water

The concept of “needing nothing” can come off as quite odd. Of course we need some things – we need food, water, and shelter.

Consider Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to Maslow, the American Psychologist, all humans have basic needs. In short, the most basic of needs are food, water, warmth, and rest. We also have needs for safety, love, and esteem.

This isn’t about attempting to live without food and water, although some people do, which is a post for another time. What’s important is distinguishing our wants from our needs and ultimately understanding that our true identities are not found outside of ourselves. Most importantly, the more content we are with our realities, the more we attract.

Worry comes when we begin thinking about the past or the future.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting more for ourselves and our families. But becoming consumed with what we don’t have (our “needs”), produces worry and fear. And worry and fear do not lead to the awesome results we long for.

We’re human, and it’s normal to feel stressed when we go through tough times. The good news is that we don’t have to be confined to a normal life experience! We can change our perspective. In this moment, we have all we need.

Now take a second and imagine what it would feel like to be totally secure and content with who you are — right now, in this moment. Feels good? That, my friend, is the beauty of needing nothing.

Agree or Disagree? I’d love to hear from you!