How to Ensure Your Success with Your Support Group
Support Groups Help Us Succeed
We all believe in ourselves and naturally want to solve our own problems ourselves. We don’t want to ask for help because we think it is a sign of weakness. A lot of times, we are embarrassed for others to know we have problems, so we suffer in silence. We struggle, trying to work through things on our own. But, sooner or later, we realize that we can solve our problems more quickly and more thoroughly by asking others for help.
Joining or starting a support group is a great problem solving solution. Whether your problem is personal, social, or business related, there are support groups that help ensure your success.
Getting involved as a leader of a support group motivates you to be there without fail. For four years, I served as a worship leader for the main service and group leader for one of the small groups at one of our church’s support group programs. Regular attendance is important, but there were times when I would have preferred to stay home with the excuse that I was tired, it was raining, or some other minor excuse. But, I had to be there to fulfill my obligation to lead worship and I had to be there to help lead the group. If I didn’t attend, I felt I would be letting down the group in a major way. The truth is, if I didn’t attend, I would be letting myself down. My support group helped me through some trying times in life and the friendships I made there are lifelong.
The Benefits of Support Groups
Misery loves company! Sometimes, just talking out loud to someone who is attentive and like-minded is enough to help you resolve problems. The support group members may not have a solution to your problem, but there is comfort in being among people who understand you and know what you are going through. That alone makes support groups valuable.
Added Benefits of Support Groups:
- Confidence. When you are among your peers and people who have faith in you, you have more confidence. Confidence gives you the drive to move toward your goals.
- Emotional Release. Bottling up your emotions is crippling to success. When you do not release your emotions, you become tense and agitated, cluttering your mind, which slows down your ability to get beyond your emotional turmoil. Your support group offers a way for you to open up and talk about the things that are bothering you. Clearing your mind opens your mind up for you to discover a solution that you may not have seen otherwise.
- Information. We only know what we know, and what we know may not be enough. There is power in knowledge. Your support group is a way to glean knowledge from people who are already successful in an area where you are venturing. Your support group offers you the ability to gain virtual experience through the real experiences and perspectives of others.
- Relationships. Helping you become successful is only one aspect of being in a support group. The lifelong relationships developed are immeasurable. As you actively engage in the group, you become more fundamental to the group and you become part of the overall success of the group. Additionally, as you participate, talking and listening, you develop relationship and communication skills that are likely to help you with other areas of your life.
National Support Group Resources
Listed below are a few organizations that are nationwide and offer group support that may help you through personal or business related problems. Visit their websites for more information and to discover the type of support you can expect from the group.
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-Centered Recovery Program. Celebrate Recovery is an excellent support group for helping you overcome personal problems of any kind. Whether you have personal dependence problems or need to solve a specific issue in your life, the success you receive from the support of people whose main purpose is to help you through your problems is incredibly valuable.
Celebrate Recovery programs are offered nationwide. Most Celebrate Recovery programs are offered as an outreach program through established community-minded churches. Ask your church minister if your church offers a Celebrate Recovery program at your church. If not, you can find a Celebrate Recovery program by searching the Internet for "Celebrate Recovery groups in [insert your area name]."
Small Business Mastermind Support Group
The Small Business Mastermind Support Group is a support group maintained online through LinkedIn. This group is dedicated to offering success to small businesses. Members share their success and help you develop ideas to build your business.
Note: the Small Business Mastermind Support Group is an online group and can be accessed through your membership with LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an online social network of professional people.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is probably the most well-known support group in America. Alcoholics Anonymous offers a twelve-step program designed to help group members become successful with their dependence on alcohol. Their primary goal is that each member is successful through group fellowship of sharing and helping each other overcome and stay sober. The group also offers literature, videos, and audios as helpful aids. There are no fees to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Personal Experience: Food Addicts Anonymous
In the short time that I was a member of Food Addicts Anonymous, I received support and tips that have helped me develop and sustain successful eating habits for over two years.
Food Addicts Anonymous
Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA) is a support group that provides participants with tools to help you recover from food addiction. Through group meetings filled with testimonials of other successful members and literature to guide you through the process of recovery, you have a very good chance of overcoming your addiction to food. There are no weigh-ins, so you are never embarrassed about your weight. There are no fees to attend Food Addicts Anonymous meetings.
How to Find a Support Group
The above list is just a small sample of groups. They were listed because either I or someone I know has been personally involved in the group and know, firsthand, how helpful these groups are as a support tool.
Many support groups value annonyminity and highly guard member participation. If you desire to remain annonymous, you want to refrain from asking family, friends and co-workers about support groups. If you feel comfortable enough, you may also talk to the pastor at your church about a support group that may be available.
Nowadays, online support groups and forums are an option to consider. Online support groups offer the element of being convenient. With online support groups there is no set time to meet. You can voice a concern and receive feedback and advice from other members. A simple search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and LinkedIn are a few excellent resources to find websites or forums with like-minded members. Also, to find established meetings, try a service called Meetup.
Enter the words “support group” and the type of support you want and a number of groups should appear. Visit the group’s webpage and talk to a few people to determine whether or not the support group will be beneficial to you.
If you have a medical issue that needs to be addressed, some insurance companies will cover all or some of the cost involved with support group sessions. Contact your insurance company to see if they can find a good support group.
How to Develop a Strong Support Group
If you cannot find a support group already in existence, you can develop your own support group. The only thing you need is a couple of other people who identify with you and who want to be part of the type of group you wish to establish.
To establish a strong support group, you first need to determine the following:
- What method of communication will work best for your group?
- Will you meet face-to-face? If so, then where will you meet?
- Will you meet by telephone? If so, then who will call who?
- Will you meet online? If so, will your meeting be in the form of a forum or chat room?
- What time will your group meet?
A good support group will strengthen you and help you build your confidence in life and in business endeavors. Find a group that supports you and your goals. Become active in your group and be the success story of your life.
I wish you much success!