Be Your Own Cheerleader
By: Peggy Willms
(4 min read)
I was watching an episode of Big Brother 25 this week. Yes, BB25…25 years that the reality TV show has been on the air. Reality TV isn’t for everyone, but it sure helps me “get away.” My love for watching other people’s behavior, helps me escape from my busy days. I know. It reminds me of the days when my mom and grandmother watched the “soaps” like Young and the Restless, Days of Our Lives, and General Hospital. Maybe they were jumping on the “Calgon Take Me Away” train, too.
This season kicked off with quite a diverse cast and a shocking event with one cast member, Luke Valentine, an illustrator from Coral Springs, FL, being removed for breaking their code of conduct by using a racial slur. There is Cirie Fields, a Survivor legend (another reality show) and her son Jared (the whole house isn’t aware of their connection yet), a DJ named Bowie Jane from Melbourne, Australia, Cameron, a stay-at-home-dad, a dude from the south name Red, Felicia Cannon the first contestant over the age of 60, and many more colorful peeps.
But it was a rambling conversation in one episode that made me stop in my tracks. I believe it was Hisam who delivered a bit of a teachy preachy speech. He said a few sentences with such emotion and animation I sat up a bit. I even grabbed the remote to roll it back and listen again.
You must be your own cheerleader. The world tells you you are nothing, that you will be nothing, you will create nothing, and you have nothing to contribute.
I kept the show on pause and hovered over those words a bit. At first, they made me sad; however, I thought why am I so hung up on his speech? Was it his delivery and emotion? I played it again and listened with “my eyes” then I thought about them again.
You must be your own cheerleader. The world tells you you are nothing, you will be nothing, you will create nothing, and you have nothing to contribute.
My sadness stirred from the fact he was right. HOW SAD. Why are we adults so damn angry that we are not praising and praising our children and helping them to feel good about themselves? Should we begin reading self-help books and start counseling at age seven? When do we become mean and learn to deflect and tear apart others? The weight of carrying anger and damning someone else is a heavy backpack to haul around, and it just gets heavier the older we get.
When we do not get support, adoration, or love from others, we are left to figure it out all alone. How in the hell are we supposed to do that when we have no role models and cannot mimic their healthy practices? And thus, begins the snowball effect of having to learn to be your own cheerleader. We spend decades chasing other adults to make us feel good about ourselves. We pay thousands of dollars to professionals trying to determine the source of our defeat, help us get on track, and learn how to learn that self-love isn’t selfish. If I hear that sentence one more time I am going to spit. We have become a society where we have to convince ourselves every day, all day that we are worthy of taking care of ourselves!
Our parents, teachers, bosses, partners, and social media bark demeaning words at us daily. Can we do anything correctly? Wouldn’t it be great to see a news program or commercial saying, “You rock, you brilliant soul. Now go out there and make it a great day?”
I was a cheerleader for six years. My role was to hype the players up and get the crowd behind them. My responsibility was to get someone excited and confident enough to shoot the ball toward the hoop and if it didn’t go in, to try again. I tried desperately to raise my children, and support family, friends, employees, and clients to go for it. Do their best. I got you.
I guess I am a Cheerleader Lifer…destined to use my megaphone and lift up others until I take my last breath. But Hisam’s comment really stuck and made me realize how exhausting it can be to be your own cheerleader and, quite frankly, how few of us are taught how to do so.
- Atta girl, wear purple pants, a yellow shirt, and green hair. You’re a confident little tyke.
- You got this, son. You studied for weeks for that test. No matter what, you get an ‘A’ for effort.
- It’s okay, Sam, you keep trying. You have a huge heart.
- What a gorgeous picture you drew. Who cares if you stay in the lines?
No wonder we had to learn to leave ourselves motivating sticky notes everywhere and stand in the mirror reciting positive chants to ourselves. It would be kind of nice to receive a few from others.
Don’t toss around insincere comments or over-praise others. We do need to learn how to become emotionally resilient and lift ourselves up. It isn’t someone else’s’ full responsibility to do so. I am simply saying that helping others comes in many ways, and sometimes it takes only a hug or a few words to change a person’s life.
You go be someone’s cheerleader today. As they say, what goes around comes around. Help others, and someone will help you.
Reach out to me if you need a pick-me-up. I am an email or phone call away.