Cheering is what you do. It’s in your blood. You know no other way of life. You’ve cheered on football teams, basketball teams, community events, and you’ve cheered your heart out at competitions. You’ve cheered on your teammates in their progress, you’ve cheered on your classmates to succeed, and you’ve cheered on your family through thick and thin over the years. But, when do you cheer on yourself? Cheerleaders uphold pretty high standards, with at least a B-average GPA, rigorous training, and a hectic schedule; what happens when you start slipping up? Nobody’s perfect, and it’s better to have progress than to try achieving unrealistic goals. However, as a cheerleader, you may mentally beat yourself up if you don’t get every little thing right in your cheer or life routine. You can be your own worst enemy, and this can start a spiral effect into all parts of your life–not just cheerleading. But, what you have to realize is that you are the only one holding you back from success! You have to remember to be your own cheerleader sometimes, especially when you come up short on one of your many responsibilities. Before you start bashing yourself, banish bad thoughts with these tricks.

1. Reflect on your milestones.
So, you messed up… what have you done right lately? Mistakes happen, and your coach knows you’re not a robot. And, you know who else knows you’re not a robot? Your friends, and your teammates, and your parents. Halt your emotions for a moment, and reflect on your recent accomplishments to get back into a reasonable state of mind. Chances are, whatever mistake you just made does not nearly compare to all the good that you’ve done over the past cheer season or school semester. If the good versus bad scales are still tipped in your favor, take a deep breath–you’re being too hard on yourself.

2. Get perspective.
If you still can’t pull yourself out of your own head, ask for help. Turn to a friend or confidant, and ask their opinion on the matter. A mentor is a great resource in these kinds of situations, but if you don’t have someone that fits the bill, then turn to your parents or your cheer team BFF. Maybe you just need to hear that everything will be alright! By obtaining a third party perspective, you might just see solutions you didn’t consider, or better yet, that you’re overreacting! Put your own thoughts on mute, and seek counsel from others.

3. Go to your happy place.
Maybe you are too emotional to shut off your brain: if you can’t shut it off, might as well trick it. Take your brain down memory lane by thinking of what gave you an ego boost in the past, or just envision the finer things in life for five minutes–like roses, babies, puppies, and ice cream. Whatever makes you smile will definitely pull you out of this funk! Also, by revisiting better times in your head, good memories may stimulate you to take action to fix the problem. Get back on track in a good state of mind!

4. Take action.
Imagine an alternate reality where you cheered and cheered on your school’s football team, but they stood there and did nothing. Wouldn’t that be frustrating? The same goes for yourself! Once you start cheering yourself on to succeed, you have to follow through on it by putting actions behind your positivity. No matter what happens in life, remember that you can fix anything with the power of thought and a solid game plan.

How else can you be your own cheerleader? What’s worked for you? Share your story in the comments!