Updated June 2020

“When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement comes from the inside”. These are the words spoken by Jay Shetty. A person I draw inspiration from. There is so much power in this statement.

We cannot base our emotional state on the opinions or reactions of others. At some point in life, we must learn to be strong for ourselves. It’s not easy, it might be the most difficult thing we do. But reaching this level allows you to view life from the highest level.

Don’t expect everyone to do as you do

Whatever you are feeling or going through, don’t expect anyone to be happy for you, or sad with you. Imagine achieving a goal that you worked so hard for, and the people you expected to celebrate your success with, are nowhere to be found?

Just because you support others, it’s unfair for you to expect the same in return. We live in the world were people do things for the validation of society instead of supporting each other because they want to.

Five reasons why you need to encourage yourself

You cannot expect anything from anyone (material or emotional)

Two weeks ago I wrote about my friend who was fighting cancer. Sadly, she passed away last week. I was broken, I didn’t expect to feel all the emotions following her death – but I did. It was during this time of sadness that I realised who my true friends are. Some friends called me and checked up on me every day, knowing how down I was. Others found out that my friend died but showed no empathy.

If you can’t control it, let it be

At this point, I realised that I should not expect people (friends or otherwise) to be empathic towards me just because I am empathetic to them. I cannot control other peoples’ behaviours. Focus on the things you can control and let go of the things you cannot control.

Not everyone has reached a level of emotional maturity

You will drive yourself insane if you are waiting for people to understand or empathise with you. It is important to understand that you have different types of friends. Some you work with, some you study with, some you party with. But if you are blessed, you may have a friend that you can do all these things with. Someone who will stand by you through the good and bad.

People thrive on negativity

Some will celebrate your success with you if you are doing well, as long as you are not doing better than them. Not too long ago, a friend spoke to me after years of not keeping in touch. After I told her that my life has completely changed since we last spoke, she told me that she never thought I would become the person I am today. I didn’t reply, but it’s moments like these that make you question people for who they really are. Limited mindsets are dangerous.

Rumours and lies

Some people thrive on gossip. This is sad and disappointing. Those that spread rumours do not realise the magnitude of the consequences faced by those they hurt. This why we need to encourage ourselves to keep pushing ourselves forward. If we wait for support from others, we might wait forever.

It can be lonely as you start accomplishing your goals

As you reach new levels in your life, you will notice how the type of people in your life also changes. You will also change because growth requires change.

Sometimes we expect to have people around for longer than they need to be and we hold on to something that’s not there anymore.

We lose people along the way and although it is sad, if people are dragging you down with them, then it’s time to let go.

As you climb the ladder of your life, it will get very lonely. Working hard to achieve your goals might mean that you don’t spend as much time as you used to with people. Those that love and care about you will understand.

Those who were never true to you will not understand. You may find them distancing themselves from you. This is a good thing. Don’t dim your shine for anyone in life. You should never limit your potential to make others feel comfortable.

You have come a long way but have a long way to go

It may not feel like it now, but if you look back at least 5 or 10 years from now, you will notice how much you’ve changed as a person (hopefully). I say hopefully because some people who I kept around have not changed or grew as people, and unfortunately having them around was limiting my personal growth.

I tried keeping people in my life but it was exhausting trying to explain why I do the things I do. People can get stuck in the past and if you are stuck in the past then moving forward is almost impossible.

I achieved many goals in recent years and was only possible because I drowned out the noise of the subtle haters. Those that I thought supported me were silently praying I fail. Those people subtly questioned my ability to succeed and I didn’t even notice at the time.

They made my decisions to cut them off a lot easier. Now that I don’t have anyone holding me back, I am free to my own thoughts and actions.

You should take a step back too. Step all the way back from those that don’t support you and learn to support yourself. When you begin to change your life, the conversations and goals change. You aim higher and just know that you can achieve anything you put your mind to.

Coming a long way in life shouldn’t limit you from going even further. There are no limits. The only limits we have are the ones we give to ourselves. It is mostly in our mind.

It’s not easy – but find mentors, cheerleaders and life coaches. Find people who will guide and teach you how to become the best version of yourself. The sooner you realise and accept that not everyone will treat you the way you treat others, the sooner you will find happiness.