It is defined as “to keep something or somebody upright or in place…to prevent from falling.”
We as women know that even our physical bodies need solid support. Every woman knows the importance of a good bra! While, yes we look for sexiness, support is essential! Those who struggle to walk know the importance of a solid cane or crutches! And, the arches of our feet are always begging for good support!
In architecture, support is ESSENTIAL! Without it, whatever we design, whatever we attempt to build would just come crashing down. Foundations support the walls, which support the floors and roof above. Engineers calculate and diagram all the loads a building will need to withstand in order to be fully supported.
But here is my question to you…Are YOU fully supported?
Fully supported…those words give us a sense of security don’t they? It is reassuring to feel that you won’t fall, that there is a solid safety net underneath you that you can fully trust. Oftentimes, we feel that we are somewhat invincible…or that we can work best in solitude. I can understand that--others can add their drama, their issues, etc. which inevitably adds conflict or further confusion and delay to our work. All the stuff we would rather do without. For expediency, we might want to rely solely on ourselves, without the distraction others can generate. But, here’s the thing…we CANNOT always work and be totally alone. There will be times where that support system is vital, because as human beings we do not thrive in isolation. We need to give and receive support. It is actually a basic human need.
And with all of the typical ups and downs that come with life, we need our family and our friends to be our “pillars of support.” The benefits of such a network of support are many. Studies have shown that with a support system, we tend to live longer and healthier lives, and we are able to cope with problems or struggles that arise. Research has also shown that a healthy support network helps us to manage anxiety and depression.
It is human nature to want people that we can rely on, that we can depend on. It helps us to not feel alone and isolated. And we count on those people in our support network to give us honest feedback, unconditional love, and a pure sense of concern and care with no strings attached.
It is also important to pick the right type of people as your pillars of support. Steer clear from those that put you down, those that don’t share your ideals or values, and those that aren’t rooting for your success as you go after your goals and life endeavors. You want to have uplifting, positive people, who are not afraid to give you heartfelt and sometimes difficult-to-hear advice. Those are the truest of friends, and the kind we truly need in times of struggle as well as the good, fun, celebratory times.
I asked some of our listeners what kind of support they needed most, and who they. Go to for it. Here are some of these girlboss answers.
Denise: “I typically need emotional support. I’m a highly anxious person who typically bites off more than I can chew. I need someone to tell me it’s all going to be okay and reassure me that I got this. I usually go to my husband for that support.”
Christina: “I typically go to my mother, best friend, or even someone I trust that I work with. Whether it be financial, mental, emotional, or social support, I usually will go to someone I feel comfortable with going to with the type of issue I have at that time. My mother is the one I go to the most for almost everything since we have a very close relationship, other than that I will go to my significant other before anything else, typically.”
Cheryl: “I need emotional support. I wear so many hats right now that from time to time I lose my mind. My hubby is the one that picks me back up.”
Kelly: “Support comes in all ways for me, being a entrepreneur, mom, & wife I feel like I get it from so many to make it all happen. My family to help with the kids is HUGE, mom, brother sister in law, aunts, YOU name it they are there to help in a moments notice if something needs to be done and my husband and I are needed on our projects. Girl Friends to just be there to listen when I wonder if I’m doing too much, or just doing it all wrong in general. Mommy friends are the nest and needed when you are not sure how to handle whatever it is the kids are throwing at you;) House help. For me someone to help with the house (laundry, cleaning, etc) is Key for me. My husband and I love taking our kids to school and so help with the house is key when it comes to either folding the laundry or working on a deadline. A clean space is key for me to have a clear brain so if you can’t do it all I say get help on the things where you know your valuable time could be used better for YOU!”
Do some of these resonate for you?
It’s pretty clear that we all need and thrive with support. Everyone needs companionship. Living in isolation is not good for us mentally and certainly not good for our souls. And the key to getting the support that you need is that you have to be able to ask for help. Being too proud to ask for help, thinking that you can just do it all alone, is not the healthiest approach to handle the inevitable ups and downs of life. Our support people are there for advice, encouragement, and often to enlighten us with another way to look at our own situation, from a different perspective.
Recently, my lifelong best friend got some disturbing news after a mammogram. And I knew without even asking that she would want and need my support. And, given our close friendship that has literally even for 42 yeas, I jumped right into that familiar role. She has been there for me through all of it, thick and thin. Through our marriages, and later our divorces, through having babies and then seeing them off to college. Through deaths of parents, through our own health struggles. I don’t know a time when she wasn’t there for me, or me for her. That is the strongest pillar a girl could ask for.
Equally important, is our need and obligation to be that support for others in our lives. Supporting others in their pursuits and their struggles breeds a feeling of community, companionship, and compassion. The three C’s… And in this unsettling world of self-entitlement and self-importance, we could all use more of those C’s.
So, even though you may be on the fast-paced treadmill of life, remember that life is not meant to be a solo act. It is a collaboration….so remember to build and put in place your support system. Find or create your own girl squad. Nurture it, be present for it, and cherish it. You never know when the next life earthquake can hit--and at those moments, support means everything.
I like this quote by M. Cabot: “
Sometimes in life, you can fall down holes that you can’t climb out of by yourself. That’s what friends and family are for—to help. They can’t help however if you don’t let them know you are down there.”
So my strong, savvy, and sensational girl bosses, I will leave you with this anonymous but powerful quote:
Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.