Do you know those special people in your life that you might call something like, “My cheerleader”, “My support system” or “My biggest fan?” or even “My hero?” That special person (or people) who show up to everything you are involved in, “likes” what you post online and tells or shows you how proud they are of you on a consistent basis? ( I am not talking stalkers here). In the span of a year and a half, five of my Heroes have left this world.
I lost five people who were always there waiting for me to do my next great thing. It was always great because that’s what they thought. As time goes by and I do my next thing (whether it’s great or not) there is an empty place where their support used to live. There is a hole in my universe where someone used to sit or a comment used to live. I did not realize or put my finger on the fact that the people I was losing were the people who supported me so much in my life, until I lost my friend two months ago. She would never miss one of my music gigs. She was so proud of my blog and loved Bongo as much as I did. She was one of the most loving people I had ever met. What was I going to do without my friend? Without any of them to cheer me on?
Besides being torn apart by all of this loss, I have a feeling of being more on my own and a little more grown up. And I carry around some faith that they can still be proud of me and still support me. Somehow…
I sit here and ask myself what the feeling is that I am missing so much? What is this “support” that I felt. The first thing I think of is love. How much they loved me to think that everything I did was so awesome. It was blind sometimes for sure- but it was honest and true and from such a place of patience and wanting the best for me. They really believed in me. To them I was the cat’s meow. They loved me and also supported the things that I did. This is a real key.
Having support for what we do can mean the difference between doing stuff and not doing any more stuff. Without our best fans, support systems, or the wind beneath our dang wings and all that jazz, (Heroes) how would we get the confidence to get up there and try something? Because we know when we fail our Heroes will cheer us on and encourage us anyways. They are like a safety net. Or a trampoline!
After losing some of my personal Heroes I want to honor their legacy by becoming a Hero too! I believe we all have heroes inside of us, it’s just up to us to put it out there. Kind of like my Take 5 Idea (more on that later if you don’t know about it- that’s another post) You cannot be everyone’s best friend, or everyone’s hero, there just isn’t enough time. I suggest you choose a few people that could use a Hero in their lives right now and start your Hero training on them.
10 Ways to Be Someone’s Hero
- Like People’s Stuff- We are all on our own journeys and doing stuff, and making stuff and wanting people to like our stuff. So, take a moment out of your busy day and like someone’s stuff! It can be as easy as a FB like button, or even go further with a comment, GIF, or any words of delight, pride or interest.
- Show up- Rally and go to their show, book signing, exercise class, party, race, art exhibition. Whatever it is, just being there will make you look like a Hero to them.
- Be “No-Kidding” Curious- Ask tons of questions about what they are doing and remember the details. Be interested in their processes and their ideas. Encourage them to talk about themselves.
- Listen- Really listening without waiting to talk about yourself or your own next endeavor will let them know that they are important to you and you care about them. Listening is Hero 101, plus, as a bonus this practice will make everybody else like to be around you more.
- Spend Time with Them- Literally just being there can go a very long way. Sometimes that’s all someone needs.
- Acknowledge Them- Let them know that you really see them and tell them the specific qualities in them that make them, or the things they do, so great. Point out specifics about why something went so well. Make it personal.
- Champion Them- Be their cheerleader! Let them know that they can do it!! Make it better by telling them why you believe in them so much. Celebrate with them! When things fail, be there to pick them up and cheer them onto their next thing.
- Challenge Them- This can be used when they are feeling like they can’t get through a hurdle or something is blocking them. Help them to become their best selves by pushing them past their comfort zones or to do the right thing.
- Be a Good Example-If you are going to be someone’s Hero, you better be awesome. Do your best, live with honor, be impeccable with your word and don’t forget to love yourself. You can be a Hero to many people without even knowing it if you are living your best life, giving back and spreading your good messages to the world. Just be your awesome self!
- Offer Help- There is no better way to support someone than to actually support them! I am not talking about paying their rent, but lending them a helping hand when they are trying to get a project done is extra-credit Hero behavior.
I know that I will probably fall apart the next time I have a gig and my friend is not there. I know that I will have a heavy heart from the missing comments that I would usually see at the end of this blog post, as soon as it is published. It’s gut wrenching for sure. But there is some light. I can learn some of their Hero behavior and bestow it upon other people. People out there doing stuff that could use the support and love. Yeah, I’m gonna go out and do some Heroing.
The other good news is I still have lotsa Hero’s out there! I don’t know how I am so lucky, but I have not forgotten about them and I am so grateful that they are in my life. Besides going out there and being Hero-like, I also intend to make sure that my current Heroes know how important and special their support is for me. Perhaps I will sing that Beaches song in there ear the next time I see them…