If you’ve ever watched or played sports, then you know how important the fans and spectators are. They set the ambiance, fill the arena with spirit, and create the energy of the space in which the athletes actually compete.
Sure, they aren’t actually the ones out on the field, or the ones who spent countless days and hours refining their skills, but can you imagine the difference for a football player to play in an empty stadium versus one teaming with clamoring fans? Or how different the experience is for an athlete playing in their home stadium hearing people cheering for them versus playing in an opponent’s stadium, and listening to people cheering for the other team?
Much in the same way, the people you surround yourself with may not be living your life, but they can certainly set the tone for it. You put in the hard work, but the people in your “stadium” can make a huge difference in your attitude, and, ultimately, in your outcomes. Wouldn’t you want to stack your own stadium with true fans instead of people who are there just because they were free and felt like going out?
We so often forget, or discount, the importance of having our own cheering squads standing beside us as we go through life, and wind up surrounding ourselves with people who might not be pushing us to go the extra mile or may not even be invested in our journey at all.
How many times have you noticed that there’s always that one friend who’s so wrapped up in their own life that your achievements and losses go by nearly unnoticed? Then there are always those who manage to find their way to you in times of celebration, but are nowhere to be found when things take a turn. And then there are all the other family members and friends in our lives who are around but don’t understand our journey at all, and don’t care to either, much less help us move forward on it.
None of this makes any of these people “bad people” or people we shouldn’t keep around, but maybe it means that they aren’t the people you should be listening to so closely that they start to become the voice in your head. More importantly, they probably shouldn’t be the people you turn to in determining whether you’re going to quit or take a step forward. In other words, they have a place in your stadium too, but it probably shouldn’t be in the first or second row.
Instead, put some time into assembling a solid fan section for your life: the people who help you go further than you could alone. They won’t tell you you’re right all the time… in fact, they more than likely will tell you you’re wrong when others couldn’t be bothered to. You can’t expect them to fix your problems, and they can’t put in any effort for you. They will, however, never let you quit, never let you settle, and will remind you of your gifts in success or failure.
The best part is that you don’t even need to go out and find twenty people like that, because when things are bleak, even one vocal true fan cheering for you is better than half a stadium full of people who are ready to leave the match when things go south!