When I think of lifting others up I see two ways of doing it. You can either try to push the person up, to raise them up with compliments, loving words, and by sending them your energy. Or you can raise yourself up and remind them that they're as good as you are, they just need to embrace it.
I bet one of those ways sounded heavy when you read it and one sounded light. The way that's heavy is the way that we traditionally lift others. When someone is down we shower them with compliments, "You're pretty! You're smart! You're amazing! You can do it!" We consciously or subconsciously give them our energy. We try to find ways to make them feel good, maybe even taking on part of their burden for them. This is the way of lifting people up that's like pushing them from below. Yes, you can lift a person that way. But as you can imagine, when you're pushing up on something it's also pushing down on you. It's also important to note that this method is a one-person-at-a-time deal. You can't lift multiple people this way. At least not without getting crushed under the weight of it.
The other way to lift people is the way that is easier on you and empowers the other person. This is the way that people are sometimes afraid is selfish. Sometimes we're too afraid if we're not pouring our energy and love into another person then we're not doing enough for them. We're afraid if we lift ourselves up and stay lifted then we're not in a place to help people. We sometimes limit ourselves and keep ourselves low because we feel it's the only way to reach others.
However what we forget is that when we radiate confidence, self-love, high energy and determination and look at another and say, "You are the same as me," we are doing more for them than anything else ever will. Just imagine a person who feels good about themselves. And then imagine a person who's down on themselves. Now ask yourself, what would make you feel more empowered, the confident person believing in you, or the down person telling you you're great? Sure you might get a little boost from the down person telling you they see you're greatness. But seeing someone living their greatness, and then having that person tell you that you have the exact same potential, that would be a gift for life.
When you lift yourself up there's no limit to how many people you can reach. It's unlimited how many people can look up to you and say, "I want to be like her!" That's because they will do the work on their own. It takes no energy from you other than a nod of acknowledgement to the person saying, "Yes, you are this awesome, you can be where I am. So why not join me?" They will find their own way to raise themselves to where you are. And when they do the journey they go on will give them strength that they never would've found had you dragged or pushed them there.
There are other reasons we want to lift ourselves up besides as a way to inspire others. It widens our perspective. It allows us to see over a wider view and do things we couldn't when we were being crushed under the weight of trying to push up those around us. From a higher perspective imagine what you could see. It also gives you sense of lightness and clarity that will make you more efficient and that much more capable in all you're doing.
I know that getting ourselves uplifted is sometimes blocked by the thought, "but it's just too selfish!" That was why I wrote part one of this first, to try and reassure you a little that taking care of you first is in essence the best way to take care of everyone else.
And also, I'm not against a little pushing and heavy lifting here and there. I have myself at times turned to my friends and said, "I just need to hear something good." At which point they filled me with reassurances and good vibes and gave me the boost I needed. The key, as with all things, is balance. Don't dis-empower yourself by always turning to others to lift you up. And at the same time, don't give your energy away by always doing the heavy lifting for others. Lift yourself, assure those around you they can follow, and share in a little heavy lifting at the right times.