“Support your girlfriends the same way you support celebrities you don’t know.” 

Many of us have idols. We follow their every move. We can’t wait for their “next-big-thing” – whether it’s a movie, a book, an album, a concert, a new release of clothing… we are counting down the minutes to swoop in and buy whatever it may be that our favorite celebrity is sharing with the world. We don’t actually know these people. We have never met them. We just watch their lives online or on tv and it feels like we know them. We want to be a part of their world and share in their journey, so we continue to follow along, to purchase, to worship, to idolize.

I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with the above… in fact, your girl spent close to $300 on a Justin Bieber concert ticket when he came to Chicago in April. I spent all of that money for a lower level seat super close to the stage and I went to the concert alone, because the obsession is that real. I have no shame. It was one of the best experiences of my life!

Okay, Leta, so if there is nothing wrong with supporting your favorite celeb #girlcrush or #MCM (#mancrushmonday) then what is the point in all of this? My point is that while it is absolutely okay to idolize and show support for celebrities and those who have big names in the industries that we follow, many of us neglect the pursuits, visions, and dreams of those around us.

There are so many cliché sayings that I could quote on this subject, but let’s focus on this one… “Empowered women, empower women.”

As a bikini competitor, I make a lot of sacrifices with regards to my social life. Some friends get it, some friends don’t. I wholeheartedly wish that all of my closest friends would understand that this is something that I love and I wish that they would support me and back me 100%, but that is not always the case. I want support, so I make sure to give it as much as I can.

I love sending words of encouragement to the people that send me messages asking for motivation. I love seeing some of my best friends find their passions and I support them in changing their minds and chasing after a new dream. I love going to competitions that I’m not competing in just so I can cheer on my friends that are up on stage. I love lending a hand when friends or family ask for help. I love to “share” Facebook and Instagram pages of my friends and family that are out there doing work and pursuing new ventures.

Empowering the women (and men) around you can do so much for your own self-esteem. You will find that as you continually lift others, you yourself will be lifted. It’s like respect, the more you give, the more you earn. The same goes with support; the more supportive you are to those around you, the more genuine support and encouragement you will receive.

When I first decided to compete, I couldn’t wait to tell my friend, Terressa, who had just started her own personal training business and fitness blog. She showered me with positive messages, the most precious note, bright pink sneaker laces, and gum (because I was dieting). Five months later, T (as her friends lovingly call her) even put together the sweetest show day present with two other incredibly supportive women when they came to the 2014 Badger State Championships to see me compete. After prejudging, we all went out to lunch together. The picture these women gave me still hangs in my room; the sour patch kids, however, didn’t last past midnight.

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Photo Credit: HMS Photography

T is a shining example of what it means to empower those around you. When she’s not taking her own pictures for her blog, she goes to a fellow female entrepreneur, Heather Schwartz of HMS Photography in Milwaukee, for her photoshoots. T was even asked me to join in on one of her photoshoots with Heather (the photo above is from this shoot). It was an amazing day with these girls and the energy was incredible. I left the shoot that day with a renewed energy and drive. It was so fun to help a friend out. This isn’t just business for these two; it’s mutually beneficial both personally and professionally. Terressa books a session with Heather, Heather is able to get some great shots (and glowing word-of-mouth references) to use for her portfolio, Terressa receives the same great shots to make her blog posts fun and personal, and they both have the ability to promote the other’s endeavors when showcasing the shots taken at the photoshoot.

“Support your girlfriends the same way you support celebrities you don’t know.” 

So the next time you need a fun photoshoot, a personal trainer, a graphic designer or artist, or maybe you just need help with your taxes… and you know someone who does these things, who is passionate about these things… reach out to them! Support them! By purchasing from them or using their services, you are funding their dreams and their passions. I don’t think there’s anything better than that.

If you ever wonder why your friends aren’t supporting you in your dreams, ask yourself if you’ve supported them in theirs!

Xo,

Leta

Want to know more about Terressa? Visit her at Achieving Fit or visit her Facebook page and Instagram. Her lifestyle blog is amazing and encompasses all things fun, fitness, and healthy. You can also learn more about her on-line training programs, here.

Need an amazing photographer? Heather shoots senior pictures, boudoir, engagement, and personalized shoots. She’s so sweet and gives amazing direction. She’s a must-use if you’re in the Milwaukee area! Visit her at HMS Photography to learn more and check out her Instagram and Facebook to see even more of her work!

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