Growing up I had some friends who were cheerleaders for the sports teams at school. They could jump, somersault, cartwheel, flip and do all things cheerleader. I was more a tennis, badminton, ping pong person. The other part of cheerleading they did well was to vocally support the team they cheered for. According to Dictionary.com cheerleading “the enthusiastic and vocal support of someone or something.”
As day as I was washing dishes lost in thought, I realized the value of cheerleading. Yes cheerleading. Think about it. Cheerleaders who cheer and support a sports team do so regardless of the score. Think about the variety of cheers like “go team” “we can do it” “S-U-C-C-E-S-S that’s the way we spell success.” Cheerleaders also get the crowd involved in cheering on the team. They facilitate getting the energy of more people to support a team to do its best.
“One of the greatest gifts a person can give another is support.” Unknown
As I reflected upon my life I realized that along the way I have had a variety of individuals cheerleading me on. Being vocal with their words and taking action in the belief in me. Sometimes this was due to a personal struggle I was working through. Other times it was to show their support for a new challenge I was going after or a something cool that had come my way. Their words helped me. Their actions made a difference in my belief in myself.
The thing about cheerleading others is just like the cheerleaders who support sports teams, it occurs for all things positive and all things difficult to deal with. Cheerleaders cheer regardless of the weather conditions, that their team is losing, or that things are going well.
In 2018 the Messalonskee High School in Maine football season had one cheerleader. Her name is Katie Berthiaume. When there was no one else to join her what did the incredible Katie do? She cheered by herself. Katie said “I love the sport, I’ve always loved it and it’s my senior year. I didn’t want to give up on my school or myself, so I decided to keep on going.” Katie made a decision to do something she loved to do and to support her school as a cheer squad of one.
An article in Lifehack written by Kyle Robbins states “But helping others isn’t limited to these grand gestures or times of tribulation. Helping others can be done each and every day. And contrary to what you may have heard, helpings others doesn’t always have to be a selfless act. It’s important to understand that helping others can actually help you yourself. No matter what the motivation, getting out and helping others is the key.”
I have had moments where I did not celebrate the success and joys of others. My own insecurities and fears were gremlins in my spirit and soul that I let hold me back from being joyous for the positivity of another person. I never felt good about not celebrating the achievement of someone else. It felt dark and gloomy. Once I realized that regardless of what my inner gremlin voice was saying I would use the sunshine of celebration in my support of another person for all the good things coming their way the gremlin voice got quieter and quieter. In case you were not aware the main weakness of a gremlin is “exposure to direct sunlight.” (Imbd.com) The powerful hold that inner gremlin had on me lessened as I became more supportive for others. My internal sunshine for others squashed it. Even in times I was not feeling the joy I became the joy for someone else. Doing so it felt right and good. It is a powerful, freeing moment when you realize you can change the internal dialogue in your head. You have the power to defeat your gremlin.
When we cheerlead for others we share the belief in betterment for another human being. Even when the chips are down and life it hard we can give hope and encouragement to others. When we cheer for others we share the belief in betterment for ourselves.
Tracee Ellis Rose said “I cheer for people…I was raised to believe there’s enough sun for everybody.”
An article in verywell mind states social support is a factor that minimizes the effects on stress. “Not only does social support help people feel less stressed, but it can improve your health and decrease your mortality risk.” When we cheerlead and support one another it is good for our health. All of that support we give to others we need to give to ourselves too. Especially when the chips are down, especially when we feel unworthy, especially when we have accomplished something super cool.
When you cheer for someone else it’s good for them and it’s good for you. When you cheer for you it’s good for you and it’s good for others. Positivity, encouragement, and support can make you a happier person. Happier people make the world a happier place.
So get your cheer on. If you are a squad of one, like Katie Berthiaume go for it. When Katie was standing out there cheering away with all of her motivational cheers she was so compelling that the school’s band joined her. Applause has a “social contagion” so when you highlight others chances are others will join you. By celebrating your personal accomplishments it can inspire and motivate others to pursue some of their heart’s desires. What you do and who you are matters. Thank you for being you. Thank you for bringing your awesome to the world.
May your cheerleader be with you!