The 3 C’s of Support in Building Your Support System


Some call it a journey, others call it an adventure, and still others refuse to call it anything other than simply living life. But regardless of what you call it, we are all moving through the days of this life that we have been given.

We don’t journey alone, and consequently, need to choose the people for our support team.

In an earlier blog, we referred to creating your support team including the 3 C’s of support: Comforter, Clarifier, and Challenger.

  • A Comforter listens without judgement and supports our feeling self
  • A Clarifier supports our thinking by listening and helping us work through our thinking process where we may find ourselves stuck.
  • A Challenger is someone who encourages us to take action and move from contemplating and thinking to actually doing and living our changes.

Much like a rope team, if we expect to stay safe and be well on our journey we will have to assemble a good team. What do I mean by “rope team”? In the mountain sport of climbing, a rope team describes a group of climbers who are tied together by a climbing rope to ensure their safety and security in the event of a fall. As the experienced mountain climbers know, everyone falls, and that is the reason that climbers assemble the best rope teams they can before their ascent.

Be Thoughtful & Wise When Building Your Support System

Remember that our rope team, our support system in life should be assembled thoughtfully, so that we have good people, compassionate people, and wise people who can offer us the support that we need, and the right guidance for our circumstances and our personalities.

Know that we will fall, at some point, we all do, and it is inevitable(in life and in mountain climbing). But falling doesn’t have to be the end of our pursuits, or the letting go of our dreams.

Falling can simply be an opportunity to have reached beyond our current grasp for something more, and missed that hand-hold or that foot-hold and now we’re dangling a bit from the face of the rock.

We dangle but are held up by the care and compassion, the encouragement and the challenge of our support system – our rope team members.

In my last blog post, I referenced Jan Reynolds, a Vermont author and world record-breaking skier and climber whose book High Altitude Woman reflects how she became a valuable rope team member on an all-male climbing team by embracing her feminine qualities and strengths, including her abilities to observe, mediate, and cooperate, but most important in my view was her ability to be a compassionate team member.

“Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.”

In the classes I teach as well as in individual coaching sessions, I encourage everyone to examine their support team and to go out and take on the new adventures, challenges, and the many summits that await them.

So reach and plan and keep taking one step at a time toward your dreams and your goals.

Dare greatly as Brene Brown coaches us all to do. Hear her voice inside of you, “Life is messy, love it!”, “The middle is messy but it’s also where the magic happens” and hear Jan Reynolds whisper to you, You’ve got this, you know this, you can do this. You have everything you need to make it happen right now”.

Hear them both as members of your support team, your rope team, encouraging you to live your authentic life, as the genuine, unique woman that you are.

On your own journey, and yet joined to others and not alone in your striving for greater meaning and a more joy-filled, healthy life.

Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run we’re are also here for you, we are glad to be on your support team, and grateful to be part of your journey.

Don’t hesitate to reach out when you need support, or even before you need it. We are here for you.

4 responses to “The 3 C’s of Support in Building Your Support System”

  1. Judy says:

    Carolyn, this is just what I needed to hear. I was recently at Green Mountain and learned so much there. Coming back home to work these lessons into my daily life has been a challenge. I recently had a very stressful family situation happen and it through me off, both emotionally and in my goal of learning to live a mindful, full life. I did “fall” but I have a good support team around me – and reading these Green Mountain blogs really help! Thanks for doing this!

    • Hello Judy,
      Thank you so much for sharing and I am so glad that your support team is there for you. Green Mountain’s 3 C’s of Support has been a valuable tool to include in our consideration of support team members. Stay in touch and let me know how I can offer support to you on your journey.
      All the best,

  2. Callie McMahon says:

    Thanks, Carolyn. I’m just coming home after a week at Green Mountain. Trying to but my support team together. It’s a challenge to pick the best but I can see how important it is. Thanks for adding to the blessings of my week there.

    • Hi Callie,
      You are so welcome. I am glad that you are getting a support team in place. They are so important. Don’t forget to include many of the women you met while here at Green Mountain as they are amazing supports as you already know! Stay in touch and let me know if I can support you in any way.
      All the best,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Carolyn Whitney, PhD

Carolyn is a trained social psychologist who has spent much of her career teaching about and researching positive psychology topics and health and wellbeing. She uses a holistic approach to coaching and empowering clients to make desired changes in order to live more fulfilling and rich lives. At Green Mountain and within her blog posts, she teaches on topics including unhooking from negative self-talk, cultivating gratitude and self-compassion, strategies to simplify life, mindset management for stress reduction and more. Carolyn is the Behavior Lead at Green Mountain at Fox Run.

View Author Page