My friend and I have this running joke every time there’s an emoji/iOS update to our iPhones. We look to see if there’s a cheerleader emoji, and so far, Apple has failed us. They even added a curling emoji with the last update! I blame a Canadian developer for this. 😏
This all started as we were cheering each other on with different events this past year. We’re cheerleaders for each other, and just wanted an emoji that we could send with no words. (So millennial of us! HA!) We have completely different circles of friends, ministries, communities, churches, and jobs. Yet we find that we grab a coffee for an hour and spend it cheering each other on!
I’ve tried to be intentional about cheering others on, and maybe I’m just paying it forward from being cheered on myself! 2017 was such a busy year, and one of the things that helped me press on was words of encouragement! Not just the flippant conversations of “oh you did such a great job”, but a “here’s why you mean so much to me” or “here’s a specific example of how I’ve seen you use your talents and skills well”.
I think it’s easy to let one of two things happen (not that these are our only options, it’s just what I see in myself):
- We allow our pride/ego/jealousy over someone else’s win or success take over.
- We don’t allow people to speak that into our lives.
In the first instance, we allow our pride, ego, or jealousy to deter our ability to cheer others on because of self-consciousness, self-evaluation, or self-absorption. When we move our focus from inward (self) to outward (others), our ability to cheer others on becomes easier. “When we are seated in Christ, we know that we are with God and everything He has is ours. Therefore, we celebrate the lavish love that Jesus pours out on others. It does not take away from the lavish love we experience of Jesus ourselves.” Quoted from the study “Seated With Christ” by Heather Holleman, this hit me right where I needed it. It almost was a compartmentalizing of seeing others lives separate from mine. To understand that my life is not any better or worse than the next person’s. I’m neither superior nor inferior.
How often do we take the time to either physically write a note or just simply allow someone to cheer you on? I’m the WORST at allowing others to speak encouragement/praise in my life. I like to downplay it or dismiss it. Doing that not only robs me of the encouragement, but I also steal the joy of allowing that person to do that in my life. I hosted a Friendsgiving dinner this past fall, and I intentionally wrote a little note to each attendee about why I was thankful for them. It ranged in depth, mainly due to the type of friendship we had. I don’t mention it to toot my own horn, it’s more to share that I’m trying to put what I’m talking about into real action! It did my heart some real good, and I hope that they were encouraged by the words I shared! I know that it at least encouraged them to turn and do the same, as evidenced by them all writing on my place setting tag! It really was so nice, and brought tears to my eyes as I saw friends return the sentiment!
Who can you cheer on today? Maybe you just need to cheer yourself on by not shaming yourself in comparison that leads to jealousy. Negative self-talk can be so dangerous! The comparison game is dangerous too, so maybe it’s deleting an app or shutting down an account. Who has tried to cheer you on, and you shut them down? Accept it, and maybe tuck it away for those tough days ahead that we all know come in life! Who do you see that may be in the margins, and just needs a little bit of lifting up? OR maybe they aren’t in the margins and you think they’re doing fine – they may still need a bit of a nudge to keep going!