Who's In Your Corner? (Untucked Column #9)
In just about every sport, at every level, there is a coach. The role of the coach is to guide, to teach, to prepare, to encourage, to motivate, to manage, to help, to correct, and to put you or the team in the best position to win. In the world of professional tennis, during a Grand Slam tournament match (one of the 4 major tournaments of the year), there is a rule that prohibits coaching. That’s right! The rule specifically states: "Players shall not receive coaching during a match (including the warm-up). Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching." In other words, you are on your own.
Now, consider something like boxing or mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Those fighters have both an entourage and a corner. The entourage is that group that is pretty loud and boisterous. The corner is typically quiet and there to do a job and that job is taking care of the fighter between rounds. Life has so many similarities.
The greatest pain and pleasure you will experience in your life will be in the context of relationship. Someone who is meant to be in your corner, you will never have to beg them to be there or to stay. Let the people who naturally gravitate to you, enjoy who you are. Cherish the people who want to be around you and talk to you. Remember – there is a difference between those who talk to you in their free time and those who free their time to talk to you.
Sometimes we don’t see those who are with us because we can only think of those who left us. We can get so upset about the encouragement we are NOT getting from somebody that we are tripping over the encouragement of 20 other people because we’re mad about that one!
While we may not get to choose WHAT we go through in life, we do get to choose WHO we go through it with. Who are you going through life with? Is it with the wrong group? Alone? Do you have the support system to help get you through a tough time? No matter how attractive you are; no matter how wealthy you are; no matter how many followers you have on social media, it does not stop the storms of life from coming. You are not meant to go through life alone. You are meant to have a corner that you can go to before you go back into the ring to fight your fight.
When people can walk away from you, let them walk! Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left. You are never tied to who let go of you – you are only tied to what you hold on to. When people want to truly know how you’re doing, they’ll ask you. People that want to gossip about you, will ask everybody except you. When you set the standard on how you expect to be treated, don’t be too surprised at the number of people who will disappear – when you realize how many people benefited from your lack of self-love and boundaries. However, it is a great way to filter your circle. Who is with you – not when you’re on top of the mountain but also when you’re at the bottom of the valley?
Those who are the loudest are not always the most loyal. Sometimes circumstances in your life will show you who was really with you because they loved you – and who was really with you because there was something they got from you and the moment they don’t get from you what they wanted, they’re gone. This is the difference between the entourage and the corner. The entourage is there for what they can GET; your corner is there for what they can GIVE.
We all go through seasons of life that reveal who is loud and who is loyal. The greatest testimony of someone’s loyalty is not necessarily what they will say to you, but how they will stand with you. You can feel the most alone in crowds of people. Who is surrounding you, is more important than how many. We have a tendency to choose people that we think are good for our image instead of people that are good for our souls. Your corner should want to see you win. Your corner should clap loudly when you have good news. If not, get a new corner!