“We see things not as they are, but as we are.” -The Talmud
Maybe there’s no such thing as enemy. Maybe no one’s vying for your demise so much as their own ascension. Maybe the idea of having opposition is your desperate explanation for why you face conflict you don’t understand. Maybe your self-consciousness is behind why you feel judged by others.
Maybe becoming your biggest fan will destroy whatever you perceived was against you.
Maybe becoming your biggest fan is the answer. If not, it’s still a good practice. Why? Because being your biggest fan comes with built-in benefits. First, you get to sound off praise and applause on cue! And you never have to worry about fair-weather fans. Second, you are more inclined to live life to the fullest and seek your constant development and improvement. Making life more rewarding. Third, once you’re a bona fide fan, you’ll start experiencing life swinging in your favor. How you see yourself is how others will see you. Exude confidence and conviction, and you’ll attract a support system you never knew you had. Be present and sincere in your interactions, and others will flock to your attention. Hone a disposition of kindness and gratitude, and you’ll hear others include those very same qualities when they speak of your character. Project peace and love onto others, and you’ll get the same treatment in return.
It starts with you.
The Anatomy of a Fan
Fans are great. Nothing but big balls of energy and love. Fans don’t just get geared up for the big game, they pull out the face paint and jerseys for your every appearance. Fans don’t just cheer when you’re winning, they sing even when you’re down. Fans aren’t just boastful and loud, they’re actually helpful and encouraging.
Fans offer constructive critique with the sole intention of loving you and seeing you grow. In their humblest opinion, their advice might be what you need to hear. Gotta appreciate that.
Fans don’t just show up. They’re born from desire and dedication. They take the time to get to know you and trust you. They know your history and love you anyway. They find inspiration in your life and are just grateful to witness it on the sidelines.
Who knew, by simply being who you are and doing what you’re passionate about, you could attract so many to blindly follow your every move without a moment’s hesitation?
No such fan exists, you say?
Maybe the reality is you’re that fan. Maybe you’re capable of being that to yourself. Maybe, just maybe, it’s only possible to be your own fan because anything to the contrary is a figment of your imagination, something you invented out of fear and confusion. Maybe you don’t have to wait for anything before you embody all the things you admire in your favorite person. Maybe you could turn that admiration back onto yourself.
Maybe you don’t need fans or followers. Maybe you’ve depended on social media followers because you’ve neglected the most important one. You.
No one is going to look after you better than you look after yourself. No one will fully understand your happiness and sadness triggers like you do. No one knows for sure what makes you smile biggest until you first know it for yourself. No one will devote her whole life to cheer you on and effectively keep you motivated as you will for yourself.
You live with you. You’re the only one who’s bound to the vow to partner with you for the long haul. So you might as well get along with you, right? You might as well start constructing your fan base from right inside your own head.
Become Your Own Fan
You’re already looking out for your best interest in both safety and happiness, so why not make it official? Why not take the permanent seat as your own biggest fan? What once felt empty doesn’t have to be. Be patient with yourself as you become your biggest fan. It starts with recognizing that you’re worth having a fan at all.
Maybe you need a nudge to get you going? Here’s how to become your biggest fan.
1. Read something inspiring everyday.
Make it the first thing you do. Even for five minutes, take the time out to bolster your spirit and fuse the connection of your mind to your soul. Grab a daily devotional or read a chapter a day from an inspirational book. It will lift your mood and set a positive outlook for your day. If you watch the news with your cup of coffee, try this during that time instead and see what it does for you. You might like mornings again.
And keep yourself honest by keeping it to yourself. So often, without reprieve, we’re immersed in the opinions of others, from the media to your favorite gal pals all throwing their two cents into your relationships. But what about your opinions? What about your thoughts on the topic? Have you checked in with how you're feeling about your latest preoccupation? Have you sat with yourself to jot down what you’re grateful for? Or what made you laugh today at work? Journaling releases our rawest, purest observations, and opens us up to receive insight and new perspective. It’s your chance to get clear where things before looked muddled.
3. Give compliments away for free.
First of all, why keep them to yourself? Compliments don’t cost you a thing, so you don't need anything as recompense when you hand them out. Offering a friendly word doesn’t make you any less of a person. And keeping it inside doesn’t make you more of one. Secondly, if you knew someone was one compliment away from having her day turned around for the better, would you jump to their aid? Oftentimes that’s all it takes. Thirdly, recognizing and appreciating the beauty and goodness found in others reflects the beauty and goodness you already see in yourself. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You are the essence of the compliments you bestow. Complimenting out loud what you appreciate in others opens your eyes to see more to be grateful for because you confirm what's innately real. An added perk? Those compliments will eventually be returned.
4. Don’t wait for compliments.
Compliment yourself. You know what you want to hear. But sometimes you would rather hear it from someone else as reassurance, right? Who told you that lie? Who told you you need to wait to hear a compliment from an outsider before you start to believe it for yourself? The moment you start agreeing that your opinion of yourself matters most, you will see that you don’t need anyone else to corroborate what you already know to be true. You will stop using the lack of validation as an excuse to be fearful and apprehensive. The humble are still sure of their divine nature. As with any habit, it builds on purposeful action. You can see yourself as the ‘ideal you’ whenever you deliberately set the intention.
5. Don’t wait for anyone to save you.
No one ever will. No one can save you. Only you can save yourself. And by save, I mean strengthen, foster, nurture, grow, fortify. No one can build you up or tear you down unless you allow them that power. No one can make you happy unless you choose to embrace the bits of happiness they pull out of you. No one can do anything for or to you that you don’t want them to until you first decide you want it. And even then, the task falls on your shoulders to see it through to recognition.
All this goes to say that it’s your responsibility to edify your self and actualize your life.
Start by becoming your biggest, most steadfast, loyal, propitious fan. List all the reasons why you warrant having a cheerleader and don’t stop until you’re wholly convinced. How you present yourself to the world is solely dependent on what you believe yourself to be. What you believe yourself to be is contingent on what you consistently tell yourself you are.
If you’re going to tell a story about yourself, at least make it a good one.
Photo by Yvette Bowlin
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