Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Cheering Squad

I have a cheering squad. We are a  group of seven women who meet on the phone every other week for an hour. We brag about our stuff. We talk about what we want to create next. We coach each other. We acknowledge each other. Often there is laughter, sometimes tears. We hold a safe space for our desires to manifest.

This week we met in person, a rare treat since we don't all live in NYC. But one of our out of town members happened to be visiting so there was reason. We had lunch as an appetizer before we did our thing.

Sometimes I get nervous anticipating my turn. You see I am ready for my BIG brag. You know the one where I have my book deal signed, sealed and delivered. But I don't have that brag  yet. And  all my others seem to pale in comparison. At least in my mind.

I had all sorts of knots twisting and turning in my stomach as I listened to the others go before me. There were BIG brags going down. My friend Karen's new game is out. One of our other members was just named VP of a major broadcast network. My brags, the ones I had planned on sharing seemed to be getting smaller and smaller until they shriveled up and disappeared into the ether. If I could have run out of the room I might have.

But that is not how being a member of a cheering squad works. It's about showing up and pushing past. It's about acknowledging not just the others on the squad but yourself. I knew if I could just  manage to remember one tiny one, the others would follow.

So I stayed. I took my turn. I remembered the article that was just published in ForbesWoman. I remembered that a powerful woman's group like 85Broads tweets how much they love my posts and opinions and cites me as an expert in career and professional advice. I remembered the offers I have received to guest blog on other women's sites like Endless Beauty.

I got to see the smiles from my cheering squad, not just hear them. I saw me through their acknowledging eyes instead of my critical ones. I heard their offers of support. I felt their love. And I remembered what I had forgotten.

We need to take a moment and brag. We cannot overlook the little stuff on the way to the big stuff. It all matters.  Each accomplishment, each signpost, is a step closer. We need to give cheer and we need to allow ourselves to receive it. We are not here to do this alone. We need our cheering squad.

Do you have a cheering squad?
Do you acknowledge yourself for your little steps?
Or do you wait for the big ones before you give yourself credit?


Lavanya Sunkara said...

Hey Joanne,
Thanks so much, I really needed to read this today. My first article in a real mag comes out tomorrow (in Resident) and instead of being excited about it, I am scared that it might not be good enough and that people might not like it. ha! Can you believe this? I need to give myself a pat on the back. :)

Ps- I really liked your Forbes article and shared it with my friends. Good job!

Unknown said...

Yes you do need to give yourself a huge pat on the back! Not to mention FB and Tweeting this success!
Great stuff! Can't wait to read it!