When we are stressed, in trouble, experiencing loss, or just feeling bad, we typically turn to our support systems, for comfort, encouragement, and solace. For most, for many it proves to be invaluable in their healing process, or just make a bad day – a lot brighter.
For others that isn’t always the case and when your support system fails – what is there left for you to do, but rebuild a support system, stronger and better.
We’ve all read the infamous quote; “At some point you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart, but not in your life.”
Support relationships are reciprocal. There needs to be both give and take. We all know people who are “takers” – always turning to others for support, but never willing or able to provide support for others. These imbalanced relationships can drain your own ability to be supportive, and provide little in return.
So how do you begin to build your Entourage ~
- Adhere to the Golden Rule of building a support system. Everyone you invite into your life should make you better. Surround yourself with people who celebrate your successes, pay close attention to those who do not clap – when you win! We all have them in our world – if we were honest, tragically some are even family. The people who fill your world should support your quest and applaud your greatness even in your defeats.
- Stock your support system with unconditional love. You need people who will be with you, no matter what. Without reservation or qualification – celebrating as if it were their own accomplishment. Truthfully, they may not always condone your missteps, your choices, or your behavior but they remain loyal and supportive. The mere presence of these people in your life builds self-confidence because you will always know that someone will support you no matter what you try. Their contribution in your life, just makes it better.
- Our tough love supporters … these are the people who will tell you what you need to hear, even if you don’t want to hear it!!! No matter how much the truth hurts. The tough love members of your entourage are tough but fair. The encouragement may not always come neatly packaged, or presented nicely but it is the mutual respect that exist among you where you are able to trust and accept their offer of love and support.
- Remove the “haters” and the competitors from your group! STAT … Haters are the polar opposite to those who bring unconditional love to your life. Rather than reveling in your success, haters revel in your misfortune, if they were not so dangerous, they would be pitiable people. They are miserable people who have already decided that they do not have the talent, drive or intellect to be successful. Sadly, haters have decided that their best hope for happiness is to sabotage your attempt to be great rather than stage an attempt of their own. They want as many people as possible to share in their misery. Haters are the biggest threat to your self-confidence and should be avoided at all costs. There is an old saying that states that you should “keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I believe nothing could be further from the truth. Your enemies, which may include competitors seeking exactly the same prize as you, should not be in your support system except under the rarest of circumstances. Part of the benefit of having a strong support system is the ability to expose one’s weaknesses to that supportive group of people without fear of negative consequences. As much as I believe in fellowship, cooperation and the basic goodness of mankind, I believe it would be very difficult to find the individual who, when privy to the weaknesses of the direct competition, would not use these weaknesses to his own benefit.
- Remove enablers from your support system. Enablers are those people that tell you want you want to hear, but following their advice always seems to push you farther from your goal. Enablers are the ones that talk you into going out to party the night before a big test. They suggest that you go to the casino when you can’t afford to lose any more money. They get you to have that extra piece of cake when you are on a diet. In short, they are always talking you into putting yourself in harm’s way. In some ways, enablers are the hardest of the negative influencers to spot because their behavior sometimes looks like unconditional love. You must be extra vigilant to ensure that enablers don’t drag you into something that you know you should be avoiding.
- Be your own Best Friend and learn to trust your own truth. Anyone who wants someone else to do well will start by putting him in the best position to succeed. Great leaders work to create an environment of those that follow what is conducive to success. Similarly, being your own best friend means positioning yourself for success as you accept the challenge of greatness. Know yourself like you wrote the manual. Use the knowledge to perform under the best circumstances possible. Find ways to use negative people as motivation, not a reason to fail.
“If someone has offended you, insulted you, or disappointed you ~ Let it Go. If you are remembering all of the ways you have been hurt or forgotten ~ Let it Go. Ask yourself, what good does it do to hold on to all of this?” – Iyanla