What does it mean to be a cheerleader?
Does it mean offering support? Does it mean speaking words of encouragement? Does it mean extending compassion? In many ways, being your own cheerleader entails all of these things and more. But cheering yourself on when you feel like you’re struggling can be tricky. Like any new skill, it takes time and practice to learn how to self-correct destructive thoughts, but there are lots of ways to start.
Don’t Force It
Turning your inner critic into an inner cheerleader doesn’t happen overnight. It’s okay if you still find yourself feeling down even after you try your cheerleading tactics. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to let yourself feel what you are feeling. Remember that throughout your cheerleading practice, there is no such thing as success or failure. After all, embracing your inner cheerleader is simply about shifting focus and bringing attention to and appreciation for the positive elements in our life.
Here are a few things to try to start approaching yourself authentically with more love, compassion, and appreciation.
Talk about yourself positively, and let others do so too. Instead of discounting or disregarding a compliment, take a breath, accept it in your heart and head, and simply say, “Thank you.”
Set your focus on appreciation. By asking yourself to appreciate something you may not be thrilled about can help you identify the silver lining and the positive aspects of that situation. Try writing a letter to yourself about how much you appreciate yourself, or simply journal about the things in life that you appreciate.
Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Then, think about how you can celebrate the things you’ve done well. These ideas of success and failure don’t have to define us, and with some mindfulness, we can begin to grow with both.
Ask for help when you need it. Request company when you want. Take space when you need to. Advocating for yourself is a form of self-care, and part of being your own cheerleader is supporting yourself. This includes treating yourself the way you treat others.
Embracing your inner cheerleader can help boost mental health when you face adversity in life, and although it takes some practice, it can quickly become a positive part of your mentality and a helpful tool for your mental health toolbox.
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