The importance of cheerleaders

High five, double cartwheel, splits and finish! Big smiles and applause. Now I am not suggesting you employ a cheerleading troupe that are available on demand (although you could if you wanted!)....let me explain.

When others are on our team; supporting and cheering us along the way, it makes us feel good. It makes us feel more confident, bold and tempted to step outside our comfort zone.

Life can be tough sometimes especially if you are trying to make huge leaps. There are often sacrifices that need to be made and challenges to gallop over. It’s not easy.

This is when your cheerleaders spring into action. Take yourself back to your school days. Who were your favourite teachers? What insights did you gain from them? How did they make you feel? The majority find their favourite teachers teach their favourite subjects. They join the favourite list because they made us feel good. They made us recognise that we were good at something, they boosted our confidence and took us to the next level.

A cheerleading squad of family, friends and colleagues in our adult lives can have enormous benefits. Who is in yours? Who would you like to add?

Here are five strategies to help your optimise your cheerleading squad.

1)  Who is currently in your cheerleading squad? Who are the people you call? Who picks you up when you are down and tells you ‘You can do it’. Who encourages you to push yourself and take a risk? Note them down.

2) Who do you cheerlead for? Who do you provide a wise word for? If you are often called for advice what are the pearls of wisdom you offer? Note them down?

3) Who is on your wish list? In an ideal world who are the people you would call and learn from. What questions would you ask?

There is so much information and so many resources out there; You tube, podcasts, books, blogs...the list goes on. Start to pull together your favourites so if you don't have a real life cheerleader in that moment, you can refer to them if you need a little inspiration, motivation or knowledge. The quicker you identify the missing information, the quicker you can get the answers.

4) Be accountable. Tell someone. Many of us have big plans for 2014 so start to set yourself mini goals to keep yourself on track. It may be a brainstorming session with a friend, a conversation with your mentor, or book a coach. For more details, click here

5) Be your own cheerleader. Tell yourself you can do it, even if you are having a bad day. Keep the faith. If you find yourself getting stuck in your thought process, ask yourself 'What could I do?' Don't wait for the phone to ring or for someone else to make it happen for you...take action. Keep moving your feet and the rewards will follow.