I once asked a student whom I was advising on a theatre project what they needed from me in regards to next steps in the process. I was expecting them to ask me to review the draft of their script or help them with subject matter research.
"Honestly? I just need a pep talk.”
Isn't that the truth? We all need support on a regular basis, someone to cheer us on, to reassure us that in the moments when our inner critics start shouting at us, insisting that we aren't "fill in the blank" (smart or capable or brave or, or, or) No matter if we are a beginner starting something completely new for us, feeling the wobbly-ness of the first time, or if we are years into a project or path, and are suffering with that awful sensation of being an imposter, hounded by the sense that soon, everyone will discover you have NO idea what you are doing and laugh you out of the room for trying.
I'm both of those things, ALL THE TIME. I know how paralyzing those fearful feelings are. I used to think if I could soak in enough support or confidence or reassurance, I would have enough to last me through the rest of my life. Though a one time pep talk can leave a powerful imprint on our heart, we are human, and we need pep talks and support and enthusiasm offered to us on a regular basis in order to sustain the kind of belief that we need to do our work (NOT a job) in the world.
To be fair, doubt and fear never really go away, but when we get a pep talk from time to time, from someone we trust and whose words we value, those voices tend to quiet down enough for us to glimpse the strength and beauty of our own heart, and allow us to take the next step towards whatever it is that we believe will make the world a better place.
And sometimes, the best pep talk is something akin to "You're scared? Feeling doubtful? Yeah, me too." Normalizing doubt and fear and "What am I doing and who in the world am I to be doing this?" are meaningful parts of pepping up a fellow human.
Students, teachers, children, parents, friends, partners, HUMAN BEINGS; no matter our role or relationship, we all feel scared sometimes and we all need encouragement.
(seriously, go pep up someone you know today. it's free for you, and will make the world feel a little warmer for them.)