Becoming Your Own #1 Fan

How hard is it for you to pat yourself on the back? To give yourself a compliment and truly feel like you deserve it? If you’re like most people, you find it quite difficult. Perhaps self-encouraging episodes are few and far between. It’s complicated to go through life without a self-created support system, now throw in the girls soccer lifestyle, and things can get a lot stickier. Being your very own #1 fan is not only the best thing you can do for your game, but it’s the absolute best lesson you can learn in order to thrive overall.  

Think back to the first year you began playing soccer. Remember everything you learned? How difficult and complicated it was to lock your ankle or lean over the ball so your shot wouldn’t go to the moon. Remember the hours you spent outside of practice perfecting new skills and sharpening old ones? Who, out of your family, friends, teammates, coaches, etc., was there to witness every single one of those events? With great certainty I can say that none of them were there 100% of the time.

Your parents were there to take you to the tournament out of town, but they weren’t with you after the game when you cried to yourself after missing the winning goal. Your teammates and coaches were with you at practice when you all learned a new skill, but they weren’t with you when you were at home in the backyard practicing the scissors till the sun went down. What I’m saying is this, the only person who has been there 100% of the time has been…YOU. You have been there for you through it all. The ups and the downs. So how about you cut yourself some slack and thank yourself for that? YOU never let YOU go through anything alone.       

Hey, you’re pretty great. If you have a difficult time admitting that to yourself, let me remind you of this: it’s a lot harder to reach your goals without a good dose of self confidence and self belief, because HELLOOOO life (and soccer) is tough! So why make it harder on yourself by being hard on yourself? 

I want you to think of the last time you made a mistake, how did you react? Did you call yourself names and put yourself down? Now think of when your teammate made a mistake. Did you encourage her to keep her head up and try again? How odd we are, being so ready to call ourselves out on our own mistakes, yet so ready to forgive others for theirs. So let me ask you this, what makes you so high and mighty that you feel the need to hold yourself to a higher and more difficult standard?

Forgive and encourage yourself like you so kindly do for your teammates. You deserve it just as much as they do because you are only human. Instead of getting upset with yourself about making mistakes, learn from them, and use them to grow and improve. If you practice this habit of self forgiveness and letting go, eventually you will change your thought patterns and see that in life and soccer, there really are no mistakes, only learning opportunities. 

Since we’re being super duper honest, I’m going to remind you that not everyone is going to be a fan of yours. You will encounter situations and people that will do what they can to bring you down. In those instances, you need you to remind yourself not to take anything personally, and remember that YOU are what YOU think you are, not what anyone else thinks you are. Everyone is dealing with their own “stuff” and they make judgments based on that without knowing all the information. But YOU make judgments about YOU with ALL the information, so YOU know best. When you say you are a baller, BELIEVE IT, no matter what outside sources may say. Stand up for yourself, believe in yourself, and root the loudest for YOU because if you don’t, no one else will.    

The honest truth is, you won’t get as far as you want without self-belief. If you choose to be hard on yourself and you do happen to achieve something amazing, it won’t be nearly as gratifying or fun if you aren’t full-heartedly rooting for the person who accomplished it. So be your #1 fan. Don’t worry what others think. Do what is best for you. Difficult times WILL arise, so be sure to be there for you 100% of the time in order to pick yourself back up and brush yourself off. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments and learn from your “mistakes;” don’t be so hard on yourself and remember to enjoy the ride and the time spent with you. At the end of it all, you are your own best friend, and when have you ever not been your best friend’s #1 fan?

Feature photo via Adobe Stock



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