There are some challenges in life that are our sole responsibility. Some races that have to be run, some obstacles to overcome. No one else can do what has to be done and the burden is solely ours.
But that doesn’t mean that no one cares or that our suffering and striving is not seen, admired and celebrated. Before the gun goes off, the cheerleaders in our lives are waiting at the finish line. The people who are so committed to us, who believe in us so much that they cannot help but shout from the top of their lungs that we got this.
It might be a parent who literally showed up to every game in high school, a best friend who went with you to every painful hearing during your divorce or the nurse who you never met before they became your coach and friend during a battle with cancer. We all run different races in this life, but cheerleaders are all the same. They believe in us so strongly that there is nowhere they’d rather be than jumping up and down, yelling at the ref or waiting to give us a huge hug whether we win or lose.
Showing Gratitude for Our Biggest Fans
In the long run, nothing shows gratitude for the cheerleaders in our lives like showing up for them when it is their turn to face the Goliath in their lives. We owe them that and it’s our job just to show up when they’re in need of diehard fans to let them know that winning or losing doesn’t define them.
The problem is that it may take years for their race to come around, for that moment where they think they’re standing alone until they look over and see you on the sideline wearing their number. Between now and then, finding a way to fill their tank with gratitude will also fill your heart with joy and encourage them to keep being the bright spot that they’re so gifted at being.
Thanking our cheerleaders is about taking the medal from around our necks and letting them try it on for a bit. It’s about making it our victory, not just yours. It’s about letting them know that there is no “I” in win, because you probably would have given up long ago if it weren’t for them.
If you’re in the middle of one of life’s battles right now, then all you need to do is use the next moment they cheer you as your opportunity to remind them that they’re an incredible friend. Perhaps even that they’re the only friend that showed up to watch you compete in the freezing rain of some of life’s toughest moments.
If you’re in between struggles, then you need to reach out to them right now, and say “thank you for being my cheerleader and being on my team!” Remind them that they showed up for you and tell them how much that meant and how it energized you to do what needed to be done.
It takes 30 seconds to shake your virtual pom-poms… to reach out by text, email or post-it note on their computer screen. Let them know today how thankful you are for them and their belief in you.