This week's article assumes that you have chosen a goal, dream, or task for yourself. You may or may not have started implementing your step by step plans yet. Are you a bit shaky in your faith though? Maybe you have a tendency to doubt your ability to carry this thing out to completion. You need a support system that will hold you up when the road gets rocky.

Think about the people you know. Who believes in you? Who do you think would believe in your goal? Ask them to be your cheerleaders. Don't be discouraged if there is only one person whom you feel is truly safe and will give you unconditional support. Whether it's one person or one hundred does not matter. You decide how many cheerleaders you need for any given dream and which ones to choose.

Tell them your dream. Don't be squeamish or shy about it. Just say it out loud. Ask that they hold you to your highest potential and help you to not make excuses when you are afraid and want to quit. They will say yes and do it for you or you would not have chosen them to be your cheerleaders.

Jennifer and I had been friends for about three years when I had finally decided to start my own business as a motivational speaker and writer. I had been telling everyone for years that I would be doing this 'someday'. While staying the weekend with her, she asked me how my new career was going. I told her I couldn't do it because I'd been overcome by fear and doubt. I recited for her all the logical fears and doubts that I'd come across. I pointed out how outsiders were also bringing up these same concerns and therefore they must be real and valid. There were just too many logical reasons to quit.

She never responded. I felt as if I was talking to a wall. She just sat there blank. This was my very best friend. We were known for talk-a-thons that our husbands and children couldn't compete in and yet she wasn't saying a single word to me. She wasn't responding to my very real fears. I took it as validation. She must agree with me and since it's her nature to be incredibly loving and supportive, she must not want to say it out loud. "Yep, Jen knows I bit off more than I could chew and is just too sweet to say it out loud!"

Later that same evening, we were sitting at her kitchen table and I told her I was somewhat surprised that she didn't utter a peep when I was telling her all the reasons I should not, could not, would not start the business after all. I assured her that I wasn't angry at her for not responding, but that I was just surprised. I had never known her to be speechless before.

She looked at me straight faced and said, "As long as I've known you, you were going to do this. I just figured you would still do it. Have you come up with a name for your business yet?" She then offered some ideas for business names. I pretty much hated all the ideas that she threw out at me. My daughter jumped in and suggested we call it The Motivation Station. Jen and I were laughing as we quickly discarded that idea. We pulled out paper and pens and started brainstorming business names. We were also playing around with designing a logo, letterhead, and business cards. I completely forgot that I had given up on starting my own business.

I did not choose a name until the next day while driving the four hours to get back home. She had planted the seed of naming my company. She had set me back into forward motion. She had simply stated her undying faith in me, carried my dream for me, continued forward with my dream when I did not think I could, and then handed it back to me when I wasn't even looking. She expected me to live up to my best. She never doubted that I would keep moving forward and succeed.

Not only had I picked my dream back up, I had named the thing! I couldn't wait to get home because my next three or four steps were laid out for me. I had to register my business name with the state, print up business cards, and start doing trademark research. I couldn't wait to get back to work! Jen's the best cheerleader.

Originally, I had not thought to include the idea of a personal coach in with the concept of cheerleaders. Now that I've chewed on it for a while, I think of them as professional cheerleaders. You may or may not feel unconditional love from them like you would a personal friend or relative, but they are making their living at being really awesome cheerleaders. They are paid to give you rah rah speeches and to have clever ideas and such to help you when you hit those down times while on the road to living out your dreams. Personal coaches can definitely be of help. Like anything else, you get what you pay for, so shop wisely.

Even if you only have one cheerleader in your corner, know that they are perhaps your most valuable resource when battling against fear. Your cheerleader will carry your vision for you when you can't see it clearly. Your cheerleader believes in you with or without your goals. Your cheerleader holds you accountable for your life. Your cheerleader will let you give your goals voice until you get used to hearing it said out loud to others.

Thank your cheerleaders by returning the favor. You can cheer them on with their goals and dreams too. What greater way is there to say "thank you" or "I love you,' then to be someone's cheerleader?

This article was adapted from a segment of Beyond the Inner-Critic by Skye Thomas, copyright 2003.

About The Author

Skye Thomas began writing books and articles with an everyday practical approach to spirituality, motivation, and inspiration in 1999 after twenty years of studying spirituality, metaphysics, motivation, and parenting. More of her articles can be found at as well as free previews of her books.

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