I have a brilliant pal named Beth, also known as Mod Betty, who writes a tremendous blog, does an awesome video series, and even hosts vintage-inspired events. I’ve watched her grow her retro empire from the very first post. It’s been a labor of love, she’s never given up on it, and the love for what she does shows and has contributed to her success.
She once told me something that has stuck with me all these years later. Often if she’s doing something intimidating, before she starts the task or walks into the room where the intimidating thing will take place, she pictures all the encouraging people in her life behind her, at her back to protect her, support her, and guide her through the door.
That image has always stayed with me, the thought of having all the people who believe in me as a figurative entourage to back me up. Sometimes I will even bring a bracelet that she and another friend gave me with Mary Tyler Moore charms (because I’m going to make it after all).
The support, confidence, and encouragement of our friends, family, coworkers, and even clients are more powerful that we often give credit. Sometimes their belief in you is what can finally make you believe in yourself.
Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Use their success to push you. Learn from it and learn from them. Get to know them and their challenges and how they overcome them.
Keep a personal brag book. When someone gives you a pat on the back in an email, save it. If someone gives you kudos in person, document it. If you receive a note from a customer, file it. Return to these things on days you need a reminder how awesome you are when you don’t feel it.
Don’t let the turkeys get you down. I had a shirt that said this in the 90s, and I wish I still had it. If someone is going through something and is feeling down, obviously you should support them. However, there are people — coworkers, acquaintances, family members, parents of your kids’ friends — who are just so negative they want to bring people down with them and there is no changing them. Steer clear of these people. Block your ears and la la la all the way away from them. This includes the vultures on the Internet. They are worse than turkeys.
Take a look at your relationships, both personally and professionally and how they make you feel. Sometimes it requires a look in the mirror too, but you’ll see a difference if you surround yourself with kind, positive, inspirational people. You’ll see a double difference if you are one of those types of people yourself.