November is a month of gratitude and giving thanks. Even though Thanksgiving is just one day (the 28th of November), the entire month has the air of appreciation and gratefulness for the blessings we receive in the form of the events in our life and the people that we meet along the way.
What is our support system? It’s anything and everything that can not only sustain your existence but what’s even more important enable your growth and development. It’s a network that you can call on for mutual assistance and support when needed.
We think of our support system when the times are tough. When we face challenges and need help getting past them. These are the moments when we don’t want to feel that we are alone or have no abilities to progress. Usually we find a trusted friend, a life partner or search for family members who assisted us in the past. We dig deep inside to remind ourselves again of that vital internal foundation of empowering beliefs, past successes and achievements. All this to stay safe and remember that “Everything is going to be ok”.
When is our support system to be used?
The answer is ALWAYS! We tend to think of our support system only at times of challenge. We look for friends and people we trust when we are facing problems. We expect our internal resilience and stamina to show up just like that. Is it realistic though to expect all of the support to be at our service only in time of trouble?
Build it with a purpose
November is the time to say “Thank you”. Maybe it is also the right time of year to stop and think of our support system and how we can build it with a real purpose in mind. That way, our “Thank you” will immediately become much more meaningful and specific. How can we make this happen?
- Consider and choose the right people – When building your support system reflect on your own needs and understand what people have to offer. Surround yourself with people who are like-minded and can be there for you in variety of different situations. If you consider specific qualities in other people it helps reduce unrealistic expectations. This way we can appreciate colleagues, partners, friends or family members for who they really are and not for who we want them to be. Remember, one person will not provide all the support that you need. Learn to acknowledge the most valuable personality traits in those you include in your support system.
- Ask for help and be proactive – Do you think you can easily ask for help?Think again. Is that actually true for you and there is an evidence of that in your past actions. Many of us think that we do it all the time but in reality we try to maintain the “I got it!” or “It’ll be grand” image all the time. This is neither fair nor realistic for us. First ask specifically for help that you need from those who you trust most. Reach out and be in touch frequently to show how much their support means to you. Be proactive and nurture relationships that you value. Those around you will feel much more important and appreciated. Work on it every day.
- Achieve Specific Objectives – Let people in. Opening up to people can help you bring relationship to a brand new level of trust and honesty. Your colleagues, partners, friends or family members can serve to remind you who you really are and what you really aim for in life, when every day challenges get on top of you. They will listen and offer advice knowing your personal priorities. Sometimes thay will offer their truth and honesty to wake us up to reality. Let people get to know the real you and they will help keep you on the right track to achieve your specific objectives.
- It works both ways – It is important to show those who we trust that we are there – always, not only at times of need.Acknowledge the fact that you can also be a part of someone else’s support system and you recognise the mutual nature of this connection. Others can also reach out to us for help, support and advice. Being part of someone’s system means readiness. It involves sometimes challenging conversations and uncomfortable silence but the truth, even if hard to take, is the best foundation of any valuable relationship. Bring the best qualities you have to offer and have their best interest in your heart.
This year when you say “Thank you for being in my support system!” make it real. Refer to real events and the true features of someone’s character. Recall facts and show appreciation with specific events in mind. Make it count. Make it really purposeful and meaningful.
What are your ideas for an effective support system? How did you build yours? What advice would you give those who want to create a purposeful structure around them?
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