Building a Solid Support System
Begin by looking back!
- List at least 3 folks, who have mentored you or made you feel good about yourself in the past. Go back to your childhood, if you need to.
- Write down what made them special to you or how they made you feel.
- Relive and savor those memories and feelings for 30 to 60 seconds each.
Reliving and savoring the moments makes them easier for you to access by moving them closer to the front burners of your brain – so to speak. They can be a great tool for helping you build your new support system by reminding you how you want to feel again.
Next, write the names of at least 9 people who have been or are currently in your life.
- Circle one or two of those who already do or you think could create the same type of feelings you just savored.
- Send them a Facebook message, email, card, or brief hand-written note or call them and to tell them you are happy they are in your life. It doesn’t matter if you spoke to them yesterday or two years ago; they’ll enjoy hearing from you.
- Don’t worry if they sound surprised, a bit embarrassed, or if they don’t respond immediately or exactly the way you thought they would. Reaching out is all that matters.
Review your list again, and decide if and how you could reach out to the other folks on your list.
If you prefer, start a new list with people you want to bring into your life, and decide how you can reach out and make that happen.
It may feel awkward or strange at first, please don’t let that stop you. Everyone feels odd when they are trying something new. Learn to make the first move – say “Hello”; talk to someone new; introduce yourself. Be friendly and kind. Show interest in what others are talking about and doing.
Join a book club or church. Sign-up for a Wishful Thinking Works Meetup, or any of the hundreds of other Meetups in your area. Take a cooking, exercise, or technology class. Give a presentation. Volunteer. Offer to be part of a team project at work. Invite a prospective friend to coffee or lunch or a play date if she has kids of similar ages to yours.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again! Continue to reach out, and don’t give up. It may take a few tries to connect. Learn to laugh at your mistakes and yourself along the way, and, remember to thank everyone, who helps you along the way.