Life Is A Team Sport

Make room in your life for people that lift you up… not bring you down.

During my last marriage, I rarely received a compliment from my husband. It just wasn’t something he did, but I came to realize it was something I really needed. Whether or not it was fair to expect that from him, I still wanted some validation that he found me attractive. Maybe he did, but I sure didn’t know it!

When we dressed up to go out, I would put a lot of effort into my hair and makeup. I’d find a dress that I thought I looked great in. I’d sort of present myself to him, expecting a simple, “Wow, you look really pretty, “ or, “That’s a great dress for you.” Only I would usually get nothing.

Over time I stopped expecting it. In fact, I started to think, what’s the point? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe I’m just being selfish. Or maybe I’m really not that attractive after all. After that, I pretty much let myself go. I put on weight. I stopped exercising, and I ate an awful lot of ice cream and Oreos. Don’t get me started!

One day, during a sad look in the mirror, I decided enough was enough! I had to snap out of this. I wasn’t happy and I didn’t like how I was feeling or looking. I realized that feeling good about myself mattered more to me than I’d ever thought. And really, it mattered more to me than hearing it from my husband.

So I tackled it head-on. I started on Weight Watchers. I started running. After lots of hard work and determination I’d dropped 30 pounds. I bought some new clothes. I’d finally started to feel better about myself. I was actually becoming happier!

My husband’s reaction? Well, it wasn’t, “Wow, you’re looking great lately.” Or, “You seem really happy now.” Or anything like that. No, he accused me of having an affair, because why else would I want to look better and feel better about myself?

I was devastated. Why couldn’t I simply want to look better and feel better? Why couldn’t I simply want to make myself a better person for me?

The accusation took its toll. After all the hard work, I was back to feeling low and sorry for myself. But somewhere near rock-bottom I decided once again I was going to take charge of my own life and happiness.

I am no longer married to that man.

I joined a life-coaching program to figure out how to be a happier person and how to like myself again. Very early on in this program, I learned that life is actually a team sport. I know you’ve heard things like, “A team is only as successful as its weakest player,” or “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” This time I was damn sure I was not going to be that weakest player or weakest link in the chain.

But I can’t do it all myself. On almost any team, there are several players, and it’s rare that one of them wins the game herself.

This is absolutely true in your life as well. Pay attention to the people who surround you. If they bring you down, they shouldn’t be in your lineup.

It doesn’t mean you have to ‘fire’ them, but maybe you should bench them and fill in their space with people who do support you and help lift you up. This is critical for your well-being, your self-esteem, and your life’s success in general. If you truly want to achieve the goals you set in your life, surround yourself with like-minded people who support you.

Now that I’d made space in my life for a new team, I’ve filled it with some extraordinary people. My new husband balances me and supports me in everything I do. He loves that I want to keep improving myself. He’s excited about my business. He makes me laugh. He compliments me almost every day, and means it. It’s an amazing feeling.

I hired a business and life coach who has an uncanny ability to see through my occasional doubts (yes, I still have them!) and shine a laser on what’s really important. I’ve surrounded myself with other highly-successful people, both personally and in the business.

You can do this too. In fact, you have to! Go to the gym and figure out which trainer will help you see a better version of yourself. Eat better. Dress better. Look around. Who in your world is there to help you grow and improve? Who do you want on your team?

In my Color Style Club, I have a Facebook group. It’s exclusive to Style Club members. It’s one of the most popular features of the Style Club because there’s such a wonderful sense of community there. There are like-minded women, all on their own personal journey to define their style, their greatness, and their best selves. It’s a safe place to post photos, ask questions, and to show off their new and best colors.

And I’m there to support too. I’m there to steer and shift and nudge and offer my opinion and encouragement and the wisdom I’ve gained from reinventing myself multiple times.

I’m super excited to have started this community. It’s a wonderful place to grow and find confidence in the colors and clothes you wear as you change into the person you want to be.

Jen Thoden is a color style coach, entrepreneur, runner & mother-of-the-year (not). Her expertise in color and style has been featured in Inc.com, She Knows and Thrive Global. Her mission is to empower women to be true to themselves. She is the founder of Your Color Style™, a proprietary online color system that makes it easy for women to discover their best colors and to learn how to style themselves in ways that say “I am worth knowing!”.

Like what you read? Give Jen Thoden a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.