If you plan to rock your dreams, a proper, fully-aligned, and dedicated support system is a necessity. Truly. It is not optional. If no one has ever told you before, be advised now that you need to form what I call a Power Posse. Write it down in your journal: “Form a Power Posse.”
“Smarties” (women who do the do today) understand and execute this support system, carefully monitoring its members and adjusting as necessary. The Power Posse is made up of women who possess the strengths and characteristics to help you strategize, provide feedback, and support you in overcoming your obstacles (a definite requirement to go full speed ahead). It’s a group that understands the end game, promises to huddle with you, cheer for you from the sidelines, and is not afraid to call foul. Ugh, I just used a sports analogy. Let’s break it down with some girlfriend vernacular. It’s a group that understands your heart, promises to go to the ladies’ room with you, dances with you at bars, parties, weddings, or any other dance function, answers the phone at 3am, and will flat out tell you the truth or give you that crinkled nose when asked, “Does this make me look fat?”
When you are intentional about your Power Posse, it’s magical! It’s like your own Board of Directors except you meet over coffee, at the playground with the kids, or during the mani-pedi, which, in my opinion, has become the new women’s version of the business golf-outing.
To be clear, the Power Posse is not to be confused with other sorts of girl groups such as the Griping Girlies, the Hen House Honeys, or the Busy Used-to-Bees. These groups deal in whining, not winning, and focus on obstacles as opposed to action. It’s not that I haven’t myself been a part, or even the flag waving leader, of any of the aforementioned groups. I have. As a matter of fact, I can provide a long list of names of groups, and times that I have gotten distracted by and sought comfort in them. But after a lot of inner work and professional development, it occurred to me that I should really use my powers for good and not evil. I found that it was like sitting around in the Halls of Justice, but instead of being there with super “sheroes,” I was hanging with Cat Woman and Poison Ivy. And before you get caught up in the head noise scolding you for being overly judgmental about these ‘superhero villains,’ just remind yourself that you can and absolutely want to practice loving everyone. Everyone has value. Everyone is worthy of love and appreciation, and I do believe we are all flawed. However, I also believe that if you are guided to do something significant and your current circle of friends are not, then you must look at adding to and, yes, maybe even replacing some of your current forms of support.
Check in on these two steps and see where you might need to apply a little extra effort today.
1. Be someone’s Gayle.
I think it’s a good idea that, before looking to be supported, we look to see if we are being supportive. When I think of Power Posse role models, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King immediately come to mind – two powerful and seemingly fun women who know how to GET. IT. DONE. Given the chance, anyone of us would, at a moment’s notice, drop what we were doing to join them in any adventure.
They are the professional and successful versions of other dynamic female pairs such as Lucy and Ethel, Laverne and Shirley, and the underrepresented but never forgotten Electro Woman and Dyna Girl. Each of these pairings conjure up feelings of mutual respect, admiration, and loyalty. There is a clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses, and how and when to leverage them.
Smarties, to advance to step 2, you must learn to be the kind of supportive power buddy you desire to find. Who are you helping? Who can fully and completely trust you to help her propel over or power through her obstacles, even if it means she may pass you up socially or financially? Who can count on you for soft landings and a swift leg-up as she gets back onto the horse?
When you find your Gayle, ask specifically how you can support her (daughters are assumed to already have your support, so for this exercise they do not count). Listen to her goals and find out if a specific gift or talent of yours could be of service to her. After all, we are starting a community. Whether it’s through idea or resource sharing, accountability help, encouragement, or good old-fashioned prayer, make a commitment. Oh, and regarding the prayer thing: I do mean a real commitment to praying for her. Not the Facebook praying hands emoji reply of “praying for you.” I mean the real deal: holding her dreams in your heart, writing down her goals and prayer requests in your journal, and committing to praying for her specific needs.
Every Oprah needs a Gayle. Be someone’s Gayle.
2. With step 1 out of the way (Be that which you seek, Grasshopper) you are ready to accept the challenge of moving on to finding the Gayle for your inner Oprah, the Ethel to your Lucy…you get the idea.
Oh, Smarties, prepare yourselves. This is harder than you think for two reasons. The first part of this step requires you to see yourself as the superstar of your own show, literally. We’ve talked about this. It’s okay. You can learn this, but you must fully see it and own it. Embrace the super powers that have been placed within in you, which are there and available for the very thing you are trying to do to create good in the world. And realize that you were not designed to go it alone. Since many of us suffer from low self-esteem, we need external voices to plant new recordings in our hearts and minds. You need people to praise your efforts, to affirm, “You can do this. You are good at this. You were meant for this. This is your gift. You will learn what you need.” Surround yourself with women who can speak these positive affirmations because, having made the excruciating and exhausting climb to self-love and acceptance, they are able to tap into the endless love that surrounds them, and have accepted the role of amplifying all that is good in the people around them. If you have never encountered this sort of love and support, it may be hard to imagine, but it’s out there.
When you are called, inspired, or invited to change something in your life or world, you will be surprised. No, it’s deeper than that; you will be straight up heartbroken to discover that most of your friends don’t get it. I see this over and over – the sound of disappointment in people’s voice when their friends or family won’t help them or support them. I hear story after story of someone starting a new venture and believing that they can count on their circle of Bunco buddies to be excited for them, only to discover that their support consists mostly of showing up with wine and rolling the dice. But here’s what I want you to realize – Bunco buddies can still serve your “fun needs.” They just may not be the group you can turn to for help with your “making a dent in the universe” emotional needs.
So, go out and find your Gayle and support her with all your heart, and then seek and be open to the possibility of a Gayle coming into your life to support the Oprah inside of you! It may not manifest itself immediately, but stick with it and it will happen. And in the meantime, keep doing the do today!!