When I started college, I quickly became close with my freshman roommate, Kelly. She was a pre-med student and I studied journalism. Our friendship turned into a support system that we both grew to depend on during that first year. Although our subjects couldn’t be more different, we both endured tedious assignments and long hours staring at textbooks and laptop screens.

To help, we’d surprise each other with treats, remind each other to take much-needed breaks, and even talked each other through anxiety-ridden, tearful episodes when it all became too much to handle alone. The encouragement didn’t only appear at the worst of times, but also at the best of times, when she’d give me praise in response to good news. Not only was she a close friend, but Kelly was my hype person.

Sometimes, we like to think that we can get by on our own through hard work and determination—but the reality is that sometimes we don’t give ourselves the best advice. We can be overly self-critical or blind to some of our best assets. We can unfairly compare ourselves with others or ignore basic needs to the point of a burnout.

Sometimes we don’t give ourselves the best advice. We can be overly self-critical or blind to some of our best assets.

With Kelly, she would highlight the successes in my work when I felt insecure about it and would share my articles with kind words when I first started getting published. Similarly, I’d help her practice for her med school interviews and remind her of why she was pre-med when she’d start to question it out of frustration. She was my yaysayer, and I was hers.

A pep talk, a hype talk—whatever you want to call it—is something we all depend on at times. Think about the coach talking to their team in the locker room at halftime, or the best friend coming over with ice cream and advice after a major breakup.

friends drinking tea

As social beings, our health depends on successful relationships and connections with others. According to The Mayo Clinic, studies show that support networks give us a sense of belonging, increased sense of self-worth, and feelings of security.

The person who gives that pep talk? That’s your hype person. Whether it’s someone at work, at home or that speaker whose podcast you turn to when you’re feeling down, there’s one thing that all hype people have in common: they help you feel like your best self.

How to Find—and Rely On—Your Hype Person

Whatever you specific needs are, there’s a hype person out there for you. Perhaps you need a hype person to act as an accountability partner for your New Year’s resolutions.

Or, maybe you need someone successful to help inspire you to get out of your creative rut. Or, you could even just need someone to meet you for coffee every now and then and validate the feelings you’re having about a recent tragedy or struggle. Whatever it is you need from your hype person, you deserve to find it.

Your hype person could already be in your life. Ask yourself: Who you go to for support? Who gives the best advice, pep talks and encouragement that makes you feel on top of the world? If something major happened to you today, who’d be the first person you’d call?

If you’re unsure who that’d person be, you might need to do further searching for your hype person. You could try reaching out to someone who you admire for their attitude and work ethic and ask them to grab coffee and begin building a relationship. You can also reach out to that friend over social media that you’ve slowly lost touch with as a way to reconnect with someone who supported you in the past.

Your hype person doesn’t have to be present IRL, either.

Your hype person doesn’t have to be present IRL, either. If there isn’t anyone around you that you could see working as your hype person, you can turn to online communities and speakers for that support. Virtual pep talks like watching TED Talks, listening to podcasts, or reading blogs on issues that pertain to your life can be just as helpful as a real life chat.

Find your hype person, then start to see them as a real tool for your growth. Know they can hold you accountable, give you a new perspective, or support you through tough transitions and events. To thank them, perhaps you can return the favor and support them in a way that they need.

With my roommate Kelly, the best part of her being my hype person was the way that I could be the same for her. When we build each other up, the impossible seems possible and the world seems a bit brighter.

What more could we wish for 2018?