Gaining & Giving Support

I recently read a post by someone who shared how much they felt in turmoil over a project they are working on. As I read it I could totally relate. She spoke of rollercoaster ride of highs and lows as each day of the project went on, the anticipation, and the celebration of the success. She described exactly how I was feeling.

I decided to respond to this person’s post, someone who I did not know, but who I could relate to. I shared how I had a similar experience, how it made me feel, and the things I was doing to keep my self-motivated and focused on the positive. Later that day she replied back to me thanking me for my comments and noting how reassuring it was that she wasn’t the only one feeling that way.

Later that evening, someone else responded to both of us. She shared how she appreciated our openness and honesty in what we revealed. This person was soon to go on the same journey we were on and was nervous. She said our words had been helpful in preparing her a bit more for what to expect. In fact, she said she planned to print our comments as a reminder when she found herself doubting her progress.

Often when we are experiencing something we may feel we are alone and believe we are the only ones feeling this way. It can be lonely and difficult to face our challenges alone. Many avoid sharing how they feel for fear of criticism; their feelings being put on disregard (e.g. “Oh you shouldn’t feel that way); or embarrassment. There is a vulnerability in putting ourselves out there.

But, when we open to others, in what we find as a safe environment, we can find support that we didn’t expect. It can come in someone sharing that they feel the same way, or have experienced a similar situation or feeling, or someone just acknowledging how we feel. It can make us realize that we are not alone.

When you are facing a challenge or are sad or unsure of yourself, realize that with all the people in the world, you are not the only one. I encourage you that when you feel that way, reach out where you can feel supported. In some cases that may be reaching out to a friend or family member. In other cases it may seem easier to speak to someone you don’t know. (If it is a serious issue you are facing or you are in danger, please keep in mind that there are organizations you can reach out to for support.)  And if you see someone struggling with something and you can relate, take the opportunity to tell them you know how they feel. Knowing you are not alone is a huge comfort at times.

Share with me below how you have been there to tell someone they are not alone or how it helped you when someone demonstrated to you that they had been there as well.