Have you ever had someone believe in you? Not tell you they believe in you casually, in passing, but really believe in you? If you have, you know that this is a powerful thing.
Many times, our default perspective is that we aren't _______ enough, or that we can't make it, or "why me?". Or we think about all of the "losing" possibilities, and measure out precisely how we can (and will) fail.
Clearly (or so the gremlin inside tells us) someone else is more suited for this particular opportunity. For many of us, unfortunately, we are not our #1 Fan.
From time to time, I think we need a #1 Fan.
On a side note, as I'm writing this, I thought about something that I feel compelled to share. One of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately is what I want my adult relationship with my kids to look like. Planning for the future certainly changes my perspective and how I make decisions in the present. One of the things that I desperately want, is for Hope and Harper, when they are old enough to articulate it, and until they are too old to be able to articulate it, to know and believe that I was always their #1 Fan.
There are a few times that this has shown up powerfully in my life, and they may seem insignificant now, in the retelling, but I can assure you, they were certainly not insignificant then, and I believe they have helped shape me positively and profoundly.
When I was growing up, I joined a travel soccer club, coached by a guy who would go on to become the local high school soccer coach. He was really sharp, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing for him. At some point, I volunteered to play keeper, even though I had no idea what I was doing. I survived purely based on the fact that I was extremely tall for my age, and was above average in my athleticism. But technically, I was an absolute rookie. And, being an introvert, and lacking in self-confidence, there were some leadership aspects of playing the position that did not come easily for me.
But almost immediately, Coach Brockman spoke about me and to me as if I was world class. I was terrible at trash talk, and it would never even cross my mind, but that was okay, because he did it for me. Many times, after I'd made a save in practice, I'd hear this from the sidelines.
"Hey, you are going to have to give a better effort than that, that's Bryan Hendley back there!"
"Fellas, come on! Someone give Hendley a challenge!"
Me: Coach, just curious, who is the backup keeper?
Coach: There is no backup Hendley, you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
(Maybe this one went too far...but for a quiet, confidence hungry kid, it did the trick)
And this went on and on. There were all kinds of one liners for everything, and his belief in me was no different. I think another personality might not have handled this well, maybe some ego would've crept in, but Coach knew I could, and his belief in me only served to fuel my belief in myself.
I started to believe then, that Bryan Hendley may in fact be someone special, someone to be reckoned with.
Sometimes, we need people to speak truth into our lives, even if it is a future truth that we can't quite yet see, but that they believe to be true.
My friend Cranz has done that for me recently. She thinks I'm the next Tony Robbins or something. When I first started the blog, I was publishing multiple times a week, and every morning when I saw Cranz at work, she would greet me as if I'd just unearthed one of life's great secrets with my writing, and tell me how wonderful it was.
Things like this make you want to keep writing.
And as I described a recent adventure where I'd met some really interesting and successful people, and I described the attributes that I noticed in them, Cranz said:
"That's YOU! You're describing yourself! You are interesting and successful!"
Now, I don't believe that. But that's okay, Cranz does. And right now she believes enough for both of us. And it's very powerful, to have someone sort of tote that for us until we are able to do it on our own.
Unfortunately, sometimes that belief can't come from our family. At least not exclusively. I don't know why that is. Maybe there are so many other roles that we fill as parents and spouses, that it muddies the water a bit. Maybe we can easily brush off those closest to us, and excuse their belief away because, "they should feel that way about us" after all, they are our parent or spouse.
That's a pretty foolish excuse, but I've used it before, and though I hate to admit it, I probably will continue to.
As a parent, I pray that someone, or multiple someones outside of my family will come along and speak truth to my kids about who they are, and who they can become, particularly when they can't see it for themselves.
This is where you (and I) come in....
While it's great to have people who are willing to speak unseen truth and belief into our lives, I think we should consider the power that we can have in the lives of others by doing the same for them.
We should make similar investments in those around us, that need our belief and hope, and to hear the truth about who they are and who they are becoming.
There is scripture that says, basically:
What is good, true, right, and just will last. Everything else won't.
I can tell you, without exception, the truth and goodness that people have breathed into me, has lasted in my life, and continues to impact me.
And we have the same opportunity to do that for other people.
And those are investments that will last. We often wonder what we can do, as we look at the world around us, and see all of the injustice and hurt that exists. And many times, overcome by the weight of what we see, we don't do much of anything.
It's easier to move about our lives, as is, with the belief that, we can't change the world, so...
But we can, and we can do it right around us, in a powerful and lasting way. I read this recently, from Maria Goff in her book, Love Lives Here.
Draw a one-hundred foot circle around yourself and go love everybody inside it.
I'm not always very good at this. I draw a five foot circle around myself, and then love the people inside of it that don't get on my nerves. But I'm working on it.
My encouragement to you, is to find people that are living, working, creating, and dreaming right inside your circle, and speak truth and belief into their lives. It might be a little awkward at first, but if the price of someone else gaining hope, belief, and confidence is your momentary awkwardness, I think we come out ahead in that transaction.
What a cool thing to be a part of, to help shape someone, however small it may feel, as they move closer to their potential. I'm so incredibly grateful for the people who have done this for me.
Write a note, send a text, type out an email, or look them in the eye and tell them what you see. Tell them what you believe about them, tell them where you see them going. Shout it out if you can. The louder the better.
Those echos will reverberate in their hearts long after you've stopped, I can assure you.
These things are true. And lasting. And worth the investment.
Don't Stop Believin'