At camp, we play a game with the girls called World's Biggest Fan. Here's how you play. From the larger group, you find a partner and the two of you play a round of RockPaperScissors. Whoever loses the round transforms into a cheerleader for the winner as that pair then hooks up with another pair - the winners of each pair playing each other, this time with someone cheering them on. This goes on and on until only two girls remain, each with a sizable cheering section backing them up. The winner of the whole thing is celebrated enthusiastically by the entire group.
The purpose of the game is not to be the best at RockPaperScissors. The purpose of the game is to have as much fun as possible cheering on your sister players and take in how good it feels to get that kind of raving support.
It may be my favorite game that we play. Life is hard. We could all use a bigger cheering section.
Be Your Own Biggest Fan
Many of us could win awards in being our own biggest critic. We have that down, no problem. Why not practice instead being our own biggest fan. Let's face it, no one is thinking about you as much as you are thinking about you. If you can't lead the cheers for yourself, who else is going to?
One simple way to practice is to sit down and write yourself a fan letter. Seriously. I dare you to try it. Imagine yourself as someone besides yourself. Really try to look at yourself objectively. What are your strengths? What makes you so interesting to be around? What makes you unique and remarkable? Write a list of those things and then turn it into a fan letter that you send to yourself.
Here's one that I wrote to myself once:
You are amazing. You have a unique ability to inspire people. You make a lot of people very happy. People just seem to laugh around you. Smile. Have fun. That's a big deal. That's amazing. It happens when you are just telling your story. Just being yourself.
You make space for people - women and men - to say "wow, I've never thought about it that way before. I want to start thinking about that more. Thank you." You are quite impressive, even though you don't always realize it.
I wish you could see what others see. Those people who are paying attention - cuz, no need to worry about those who aren't paying attention, right? You are amazing.
You see the world in ways few others see. You care deeply for people. For community. For the planet. You are fun and real and very smart.
I really want you to know how amazing you are. I promise that I will tell you everyday.
Your Biggest Fan
How would you feel if you were to receive a letter like this? Pretty friggin good, right? Then, try it. You don't have to show it to anybody. Just do it for yourself. Remind yourself that you rock.
Let me know how it goes.
This is Post #18 in 44 Days of YES! - a series of posts for Girl Advocates who know that empowering girls means we must empower ourselves first. Sign up for free inspiration, practical YES! hacks, and connection to other Girl Advocates just like you.