Why I say ‘rooting for you’ & 3 ways to root for yourself

It occurred to me recently that I’ve never really explained why I sign off on all of my emails (and Facebook replies and, frankly, many in-person conversations) with “rooting for you.”

Truth is, there’s something inherent to my DNA about this idea. I love to know what you’re shooting for so I can cheer you on. And it truly doesn’t matter if you’re a close friend, a paying client, or a total stranger—I care.

I’ll remember what you tell me, too. Be ready for me to ask about it down the road. (I’m sure this penchant for encouraging and checking in with others is what led me to my current gig.)

And so it also occurred to me as we enter that time of year when people start looking to the new year and reevaluating life that you might need something more than “rooting for you.” Perhaps you’re nervously embarking on a new adventure in your life, or you feel stymied by your circumstances and are looking for an extra boost.

Here are three perception-shifting thoughts.

You can make it past your last highest achievement.

What steps have you already taken toward your goals? Believe that you can one-up yourself by taking the next necessary step.

I recently picked up Rachel Hollis’ Girl, Wash Your Face, and was struck by her marathon analogy. Hollis writes that she has, more than once, signed up for a half marathon and then proceeded to “forget” about it. She changed her ways by setting small goals, starting with one mile a few times a week. Then, two didn’t seem so hard—and so on.

Rebound quicker by being kind to yourself.

There is sound research around this idea. (Check out this article and this study.) When we practice self-compassion, we make it easier to try again. Instead of telling ourselves it’s only OK if we succeed, if we make room to fail (or fall, as I like to call it), we are more inclined to give it—whatever it is—a shot.

I do this in my own life by letting myself feel the disappointment of failure without allowing it to overtake me. I recently felt this keenly when something I worked hard on didn’t pan out as I’d hoped. I was balanced in my response, feeling disappointed while also celebrating lessons learned and the opportunity to move forward.

When in doubt, get behind others.

The accomplishments of your friends, family, and coworkers are yours, too, if you’re genuine in your support. That’s not to say you take credit, of course. But you can feel a sense of joy and pride at their success, and isn’t that often just as great?

I can confirm that it is. I was introduced to a woman a few months ago who was in the process of launching an inclusive and justice-seeking church in the heart of Downtown Columbus. What a task. I went to its launch service, and it was packed. My eyes welled with happy tears.

Be unflagging in your efforts to root for yourself—and others. You know I’ll be rooting for you, too.



P.S. While watching the funeral service for George H.W. Bush I learned that in the customary letter an outgoing President writes to the incoming one, President Bush signed his letter to President Clinton “I am rooting hard for you.” How’s that for awesome? Let’s root hard for each other as we gear up for the ball drop tonight, and give 2019 our all.

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