As we draw closer to the pro cheer audition season, I wanted to broadcast a note on a topic I did not address in my book, Professional Cheerleading Audition Secrets.
I considered including this in the "Mindset" chapter, but due to space constraints, it was left out (after all, the book is almost 300 pages long!).
I want to address a touchy subject... which is basically a deeper understanding of the commonly-known edict: "Don't be a hater."
We all know we should be positive, and celebrate the victories of those around us, but it is human nature to feel jealousy, anger, or resentment when someone else accomplishes something we dream of doing. We can feel it subconsciously, even, never realizing it's there.
Like when interviewing for a great new job, then hearing a friend got the offer. Like when trying for years to get pregnant, then hearing a coworker is having twins. Like when feeling lonely, then listening to your cousin go on and on about her perfect relationship. Like when putting in 20 rejected offers on condos, then hearing that your friend just closed escrow on her new dream house. Like when being a wage slave working 60 hours per week, then listening to someone rave about their 20 hour per week schedule for twice your salary.
Most of us can control it, and the feeling lasts only a second or two. We squash and silence the voice of the little green jealousy monster asking, "why not me?" We let that moment of envy wash away. We do that because we know that if we don't, that bitterness will grow and taint our lives. We know not to be a "hater."
Nelson Mandela said it best:
Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
But beyond silencing the jealous thoughts, beyond releasing the envy and learning to drop resentment like a hot potato, I challenge you to take it one step further.
I challenge you to practice feeling joy for the accomplishments of others. Even when those accomplishments should have been your own. Even people you hardly know. I propose that we all learn to be better cheerleaders for the success of others. Even for our enemies. Even for our adversaries.
Not just a momentary joy, but a symbiotic happiness that you feel from head to toe when you consider what the other person just accomplished or did.
So next time you feel that twinge of jealousy, and you manage to successfully dismiss that emotion from your psyche, take it further by recognizing the person's accomplishment as if it were your own.
Glow with pride for that person and feel joy at the success.
Respect his or her efforts.
Learn from his or her achievement.
Admire his or her boldness, creativity, perseverance, strength, and whatever else he or she used to make a dream come true.
Be instructed by that person's journey. Soak in the learning, and breathe out happiness for that person in return.
Acknowledge the win, and honor his or her journey.
Treat his or her success as your gift, and let it inspire you to achieve your own dreams.
You will find that your feelings of joy for the achievements of others will translate into a renewed purpose within you to accomplish your own dreams. And you will be surprised at how much faster you reach your goals when your mindset shifts beyond merely dropping resentment, to projecting love.
So when you audition this season, and you see others in the room looking perfectly prepared; when your friend tells you she reached her fitness goals, or that she made it to finals; when you hear through the grapevine that so-and-so made it onto her dream team; or when you see the veteran cheerleaders walk into the room, go beyond dropping the envy. Feel joy for them. Feel proud of them. Honor them.
And in that way, you honor yourself.