Life Lesson 3: Be Your Own Best Cheerleader

Yesterday: Your Happiness is YOUR Happiness
Today: Be Your Own Best Cheerleader
You have to advocate for yourself because this world is full of shitheads who will take advantage of you. No one can afford to be helpless. You have to learn how to be a (polite) pain in the ass to get what you want.
I don't remember where I first heard this idea of being your own best cheerleader, maybe it was Oprah who taught it to me, but it took me awhile to get it.

I mean I got it right away. No one will cheer for you, laud your successes, highlight your greatness, as well as you do. Not even your mama, and for many of us, that's saying something. You're the one who really knows how hard you work, how smart you are, how fast you can go. Just you. You're the only one with you all the time, every day. Others may see potential where you don't, but you're the only person who can really get yourself to your potential.

It's often said that for women, this particular life advice can be hard to learn. We are often conditioned to let others take the spotlight. In fact, in the interview for the job I now have, when asked what one of my weaknesses is, I admitted that I often will allow others to take credit for my work in the interest of getting a job done or making the team look good. I've been blessed to now work with people who often remind me to take credit for my work; however in the past, I've worked with people who were more than happy to take credit for my ideas and thoughts.

Even now, I watch people I know and love copy the things that I say and do, and pass them off as their own original thought. I don't usually say anything because why? What's the point? The point is, we live in a world where people always want to know your value. Even in personal situations, people want to know why they should keep you around and if you are talking about you, who else can you trust to do it?

Yeah, I know, you don't wanna be that kid. The self-important, self-aggrandizing kid everyone hates. That's not what this life lesson is about. There's a difference between making people think you can do something you can't and making sure people know that that great thing that happened just now was because of you. It's important to remind people of your worth because it only serves to remind yourself. Ultimately, getting recognition for being great is 1 part being great and 2 parts talking about said greatness. It's uncomfortable, it's awkward, for some it's annoying as hell but it's NECESSARY when you want something. Closed mouths don't get fed, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and all those other adages we know and say but have a hard time putting into practice.

At church, our pastor often says "you are valuable, your dreams are valuable, your mind is valuable, your body is valuable." We make jokes about that line from The Help where Aibileen tells the little girl in her care "you is kind, you is smart, you is important" but these are the things that are important to remember about ourselves and most of us don't have an Aibileen in our lives to tell us that every day and make us repeat it so we have to be our own Aibileens, our own cheerleaders.

Tomorrow: People Love You, Then They Don't.

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