Sometime around 2015, a phrase emerged throughout pop culture. “Squad Goals” went viral and took over all mainstream social media outlets. It spawned a myriad of goal-based hashtags: #relationshipgoals, #workgoals, #gymgoals, and so on.
According to the Urban dictionary, squad goal is defined as “an aspirational term for what you’d like your group of friends to be or accomplish”.
In our personal and professional lives, we spend a great deal of time discussing goals and strategizing ways to accomplish them. We set annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals as they relate to our business. Successful individuals are known for creating vision boards and regularly attend conferences to cultivate a visionary, goal-driven mindset. But when was the last time you looked beyond graphs and ROI and evaluated your squad? We become like the five people we spend the most time with. Have you chosen your friends wisely? Let’s evaluate the makings of a squad, worthy of pop culture hashtagging.
When I think of a squad, I envision cheerleading. With a dancing, tumbling granddaughter, I witness first-hand, the strength and discipline that go into the beautiful performances we behold. On the surface, we see a sport that exudes energy and spirit, but cheerleading and dance require strength, discipline, and trust.
Isn’t that a great analogy for women? The strongest women I know, those that are pillars of strength, effortlessly exude vitality. Few see the discreet work put into growing oneself and one’s business, behind-the-scenes. Most attribute their strength to a support network, a squad of friends and mentors.
The elements of having a balanced squad are not dissimilar to a cheerleader’s pyramid. An effective pyramid is a mega-stunt whose successful execution lies in its form and strength, from the ground up.
With cheerleading pyramids, the most critical element is the base. The base is the foundation that supports the flyer (the top) with the correct distribution of weight and strength. It is critical, and without it, the pyramid would crumble. In relationships, the base friend is unwavering in their rock-solid support. Their loyalty is your sentinel of critical strength. This is where you find honesty and tough, yet unconditional love.
Though not as flamboyant as their flyer counterparts, their perspective is the balanced foundation upon which you build your most critical decisions. The strength of the base is not in the spotlight. They are the emotional cornerstone cited as the backbone of your success.
The inner framework of a pyramid is often referred to as the mid-base. The mid-base connects the flyer to the base. Their stability is the power that propels the flyer into aerial acrobatics. The flyer confidently performs knowing they are supported from below.
You are considering starting a new venture. The idea has been rolling around in your mind for some time and you finally feel vulnerable enough to share it with friends. They immediately respond with a hearty, “You should do it!”. They link visionary arms with you, showing up in whatever capacity you need. This is your mid base network of friends.
These friends provide verbal encouragement and keep us motivated. They seize every opportunity to promote your ideas, your skills, and your commitment to excellence. Their enthusiasm gives affirmation to the things we often lose sight of. These are the folks you can count on. They are dependable friends, taking as much responsibility from your shoulders as possible, allowing you to relish in the success you’ve created.
They stand on the sidelines of life’s playing field and passionately cheer us on when we are at our best. If we falter, they encourage us to dust ourselves off and try again. When we teeter on the dangerous cliff of the unknown, their support can champion us into believing if we jump, we will surely fly.
The flyer is the individual at the top of the pyramid. She’s hurled into the air and seemingly glides without a care, while the spotlight zeros in on her presence and poise. This momentary glory reveals nothing to the number of times she’s fallen and gotten back up. There have been bumps and bruises, scrapes and sprains. But all the training has been for this moment.
At any point, you may be the base or the mid-base in someone else’s pyramid. Our roles shift as we grow in relationships. Your squad relies on your friendship for strength and posture. You will launch them toward the commencement of their dreams, as they have yours. The important thing is to be a true friend: honest, motivating, and encouraging.
But who is the flyer in your story? You. You are always the flyer at the top of your own pyramid. The squad is the subtle strength that sends you soaring. They are the gust of wind that propels your wings to flight. They are the strong scaffolding that supports you from within, launching you to bigger, better, and greater things.
Friends and mentors should be a group of likeminded individuals who elevate and push you to be the best version of yourself. An authentic squad is a group you can rely on that, collectively elevates itself to be someone else’s standard of excellence. One worthy of being someone else’s #squadgoals.