People talk about setting up support systems when they embark on a new path, such as making dietary and lifestyle changes or starting a business.

While a support system is important, your first line of support should be yourself. If you’re not taking care of you first, then no one else can do much to help.

There may come a time in your life, however, either personally or professionally, where it can be in your best interest to seek the guidance and support of a professional.

As unique humans, we all have different needs.

Maybe you need someone to keep you on track or someone to tell you that you can do this.

That support could come from a health coach, holistic health-care practitioner, medical doctor, accountant, counselor, psychologist, baby sitter, business coach, attorney, personal trainer … you name it.

When you are clear in the roles that you need filled and understand what kind of support system you are looking to build, follow these steps to ensure that you create mutually productive and therapeutic relationships.

How to create a rock-solid support system

Here are seven simple steps to build a rock-solid support system.

  1. Give yourself permission

Permit yourself to search for the right supportive match for your personal and professional needs.

Whether that’s personal support you find in a friend or family member or a hired position you need to fill, investing in a supportive relationship is one of the most empowering things you can do.

  1. Identify who would best fill the roles

Take a look at who is available to fill the needed roles. This may include the following:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Colleagues
  • Support staff
  • Professionals (i.e., accountant, doctor, counselor, attorney, etc.)
  • Coaches
  • Support groups
  • Pastor, rabbi or other religious support

Maybe you know this person or perhaps you don’t. Either way, look around, ask around and see who would be a good fit for your journey.

  1. Talk with an expert

Talk with a professional about your beliefs, values, and hopes that you have for your personal and/or professional growth.

Consider the following questions when choosing a professional to work with:

  • Is the person listening with full attention and not distracted with other things going on?
  • Is the person treating me with respect?
  • Does the individual answer questions without impatience?
  • Does the individual return calls/emails?
  • Do they explain things clearly?
  • Do they have the training and experience to meet my needs?

Set your standards high and trust that you will find the perfect match — if not right away, you will eventually!

  1. Invite the expert

When you feel you have found the right match (I know you will!), invite the person you are seeking services from to work with you as your skills develop and you grow personally and professionally.

It’s important that both sides feel it’s a good fit — this will ensure maximum growth and communication.

  1. Avoid the naysayers

You’re bound to find one of these along the way!

Avoid the people who tell you all the reasons why it can’t be done. There is no place in your life for negativity.

These people may have good intentions and want to protect you from failing, but failure is how you learn and grow.

It’s not up to them to take that away from you!

  1. Avoid the “fixers”

Fixers are those people who are always on your side.

They don’t want you to feel bad, so they attempt to “fix” things for you. These people are wonderful for making you feel great about yourself, but they’re not helpful in supporting you in reaching your goals.

The people you want instead are those who say, “That must be hard for you to feel. I’m here for you. How can I best support you?”

Look for those who support you, hear you, but give you the power to take the next step toward your goals and dreams.

  1. Remember to take time to get grounded

Take time to center and ground yourself so you can find renewal in personally and professionally satisfying ways.

When you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, you have greater resources to bring to the table. You’re more productive and can accomplish more in the work you do with the person supporting you.

In conclusion

Building a community and a support system is essential for everything you do.

Take time to determine the kind of support you need, and remember that it might take time to build a really solid support system!

Do you have a support system?

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