S U P P O R T.
The word that everybody throws around, but do we know what it truly means? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
If you support me, then I support you. However, even if you don’t support me BUT I rock with what you’re doing, then I will STILL support you. For example, I love and support the hell out of Beyonce, but sis and I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. Am I supposed to stop supporting Queen Bey just because she doesn’t like my pictures on IG or retweet one of my blog posts?
My support isn’t really contingent on what someone else is or is not doing.
I support because I simply love to see people win.
I support because support is one of the easiest (and usually most free) things you can give to somebody.
I support because that’s genuinely who I am as a person. Ask my mama and all my friends.
Something we all have to understand about support is that sometimes it’s not directly reciprocated from the ones we support.
If you get caught up in who is or who is not clapping for you, you will miss out on who actually is clapping for you, even if it’s just a few.
I am a firm believer in that all you need is a small tribe of people who really fuck with you because those are the people who will believe in you and push you when you find it difficult to believe in yourself.
When seeking to give or receive support, ask yourself a few questions:
Am I supporting this person because I want to be acknowledged for it?
Am I supporting this person because when the time comes, I want this person to directly reciprocate it back to me?
Am I supporting this person because I believe in them and care about what they are doing?
Am I supporting just because that’s who I am as a person?
There is no right or wrong answer to those questions. Just self-reflect and move forward accordingly.
To help with that, you need to figure out your love language for support and how to effectively communicate them. In other words, how do you want others to show they support you?
F O R M E:
In my normal love language, I adore words of affirmation, whether I am giving them or receiving them. Naturally, being uplifted or encouraged by friends, family and strangers alike is a great way to show that you support me. I also like when people listen to my ideas or if they are able to physically show up to things that matter to me. Being supported on social media is special to me as well. Every like, retweet, etc. does not go unnoticed and is sooo appreciated.
F O R O T H E R S:
Some people like to be supported by you helping them with something (acts of service) such as helping them set up a space for an event. Other people may feel supported when you buy something they are selling (receiving or giving gifts). Some may like it when you are a physical shoulder to cry on (physical touch).
SOME KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT SUPPORT
1. Nobody is obligated to support you
This is a hard pill to swallow but it doesn’t make it any less true.We have to remember that support is earned, not given and that our friends and family may have different interests outside of what you’re doing.
Ask yourself would you rather people support you just for the hell of it? Or do you want them to support you because they believe in what you’re doing?
Whatever your answer, please remember this: Nobody is obligated to so remember that when you find yourself getting upset at something.
2. Focus on the love, never the hate
We focus too much on who isn’t clapping for us. I think it’s because we are our own biggest and worst critics and we know that we work so hard that when support doesn’t come from the people that we expect it to, we deflect that hurt by focusing on who isn’t supporting us. It hurts the most when it’s friends and fam who don’t support because we set these expectations in our head that they are obligated to believe in our dreams (refer back to #1). I couldn’t name one person who isn’t supporting me because I simply don’t care. I don’t give my energy to it to nor do I rack my brain in trying to figure out why. The love always outweighs the lack of support and even the hate. Focus on that and remain grateful.
3. Support is like karma, it eventually comes back around
It may not be reciprocated by who poured it into you, but support will ALWAYS come back full circle. Understand that you will reach the audience that you are meant to reach. There will be people who understand and believe in what you are doing and support you effortlessly.
*4. Some people won’t support you simply cuz it’s you… and that’s okay!
Understand that you, your brand, whatever you’re selling isn’t for everybody. Sometimes, no matter how dope you are, some people will never bring themselves to give you props. Understand that you whether or not you receive criticism or praise, you will be STRAIGHT no matter what! Maybe they are a hater. Maybe they aren’t interested in what you have going on. Maybe they just don’t like you… but they will pay attention to everything you do. Don’t seek support from those type of people… you’re better off without it.
With that being said….
Talk to your people man, Figure out your love language for support and communicate that. Figure out a way that you can express it for others who need a support love language too. And may it be reciprocated in ways you couldn’t imagine.