Building a Support System

Building a Support System

Lifestyle Strategy
Networking & Social

Here I delve into why having a powerful support system will push you further than just going it alone. Adding some accountability can do wonders to help you reach your goals - the right kind of accountability, that is, and from the right kind of people.

In the immortal words of literary mastermind John Donne, No man is an island. Even though Donne wrote those words almost 400 years ago, the sentiment holds true today. Why? Because its truth speaks universally. So universally that it is the founding principle behind my 6th revelation from the Universal Championships of Online Poker.

Everyone Needs Support

The UCOP was a pretty serious grind, and if you watched the highlight reel, you'll see that I definitely dealt with some adversity and I most certainly did not have luck in my favour. For many people, this combination of less than encouraging factors could have been crippling.

Fortunately for me, I am not many people. And the reason I am not like many people if because of you. 

The support of the Gripsed community on the live stream and across social platforms made it so much easier not only to get, but to stay excited about what I was trying to accomplish. Your words of encouragement kept me motivated to push on, and for this, I want to give you guys a HUGE thank you. I wouldn't have been able to make it through the challenge without your support. 

Before this experience, I didn't realize just how much we depend on good vibes from other people to reach our goals. Moreover, I didn't realize how important the support of even one person can be to an individual’s success. 

Everyone needs someone in their corner who wants to see them succeed. 

OK, I know not everyone has someone who’s going to be their personal cheerleader. That's cool. You are going to have to start by being your own #1 fan. As you cultivate the natural attributes that make a good cheerleader, you'll automatically attract other cheerleaders. Birds of a feather, and all that stuff. 

Once you have this support system - be it one or two or 20 people - you'll notice that your endurance to keep pushing when the going gets tough multiples exponentially. And the main reason for this increased fortitude is simple: accountability

If you're the only person supporting yourself through a challenge, it's easier to let yourself off the hook. But when other people are looking to you, holding you to your goals and keeping tabs, you're much more likely to keep grinding. It's a lot harder to throw in the towel and quit when other people are watching. 

A little well-placed peer pressure can go a long way, my friends...

I'm not advocating that you let people push you around, but the pressure created when people who want the best for you are expecting you to try your best is an invaluable source of motivation. You want to succeed for yourself, yes, but you also want to succeed for them.

But a great support system does a lot more than push you to be your best. 

They are people you can talk to in order to blow off steam. And nothing helps release stress like getting shit off your chest.

They are people that can help you see things from a different, perhaps more advantageous, perspective, which can in turn help you find solutions to problems you could not have solved on your own. This is a big perk of a support system because when we're trying to do everything on our own, we get caught up in our hardwired trains of thought. I like to think of it as a 'thought prison.' We're only willing to look at a problem one way and we're only going to go about a solution via one particular means. Often, there's a simpler solution that involves just looking at it differently. 

A strong support system can offer up a reset. They give you pause, so when you're caught in that thought prison, thinking about everything that's gone wrong, they'll remind you of everything that's gone right. They will help you get back to a frame of mind where you feel more enabled, more capable, more powerful and more motivated to go out there and continue on your mission, whatever that may be.

A great fan base is also incredible because when you celebrate your victories, you have people to celebrate them with. You have people who can share your wins, and that makes the wins so much more worth chasing. It's not just you who gets to enjoy the spoils of victory. It's your entire support system. You're not just winning for you, you’re winning for everybody.

Finally, having people who support you is pure adrenaline. They boost you up, get you pumped, and get you going. I saw this first hand this past summer when I was railing the final table bubble at the World Series of Poker Main Event. Daniel Negreanu’s confidence when compared to everyone else was huge: it wasn't even a close contest. 

Here's why: I think about 90% of people in the Thunder dome who were watching that tournament were rooting for Daniel. Every where he looked there was support, positivity, and the belief that he could final table the Main Event and eventually, win the bracelet. 

He may have come up short, but out of everyone who came up short of that final table, I don't think there was a single person who was happier and feeling better about themselves than Daniel. He had so many people in his corner, so many people supporting him, that it was hard to feel let down. Not only was it not that big of a deal, but he probably figured he could do it again. 

Don’t buy it?

If you don't believe me about the power of support - even just one supporter - than at least try this:

Pick one person you know personally who is struggling with something. For one month, support them. Unequivocally and relentlessly. Give them all the belief, confidence and help that they need. Be their #1 fan. See how much more they accomplish in this past month, as compared to the last year. You'll notice a marked improvement, and it's all because they had that support from you - support they didn't have before. 

By doing backing someone else, not only will you see the power of having someone in your corner, but you'll also see what traits and attributes a great cheerleader needs. Anyone who's ever had a well-meaning, but over-involved parent knows that there is such thing as being too involved and giving support to the point of suffocation. So get feedback from the person you're rooting for, listen to them. This experience will not only help you help someone else, but it will illuminate what qualities you should look for in a support system for you.

Now, for those of you who already believe in the power of support, let’s get on to this lesson's exercise:

I would like you to go to the comment section and write down the three people who are the biggest supporters in your life. Maybe it's family, maybe friends, maybe it's a significant other or a coach or teacher. Whoever it is, just write them down. Then, I'd like you to add a fourth person; someone who would round out your 'dream team' of supporters.

For extra credit, I'd like you to share this video with the three people on your list, and refer them to your comment specifically, so they can see just how much their support means to you. Recognition is one of simplest and most powerful forms of appreciation. Put it out there. 

Once you've done this, you know what to do: take what you've learned, take it to the tables and get stackin'!