The other night I was at the gym. Restarting my fitness journey for the fourth, THE FOURTH, time this year. I tried to switch things up and listen to one of those YouTube videos with motivational music and speeches playing. Keep things fresh right?
I felt good listening to it because a lot of the speakers were people who could help a Jellyfish grow a spine, let alone get me through this workout. There was a point in the video where this young voice spoke and because of recent events… it really hit me. It was a rejection letter, one with zero filter, and it pointed out all the flaws in the applicant and while the language of the letter seemed to be directed at an actor/dancer for some esteemed school… It hit me hard. Because of my recent failures, INCLUDING JUST THIS PAST WEEK, I found myself having to just duck my head down and actually let out a little bit of pain.
Disclaimer… I did not cry. The gym was empty. I totally could have had a good man cry. I can’t really bring myself to do so anymore.
But it made me think of the doubt I’ve gotten. Look below and you’ll see some phrases that I’m sure you’re familiar with..
“You can’t do it.”
“You’re not tall enough, you’re not fast enough, you’re not smart enough.”
“We thank you for your application, but we have decided to go in a different direction.”
“He’ll never make it, he’s not committed enough.”
“The final tally, 33 votes THEM, 3 votes YOU.”
“Stop trying because you will never be good enough!”
DOUBT has always played a role in our lives. Whenever you have tried to do something that requires a lot of effort, a lot of work, and a lot of time you will or have undoubtedly heard a lot of people tell you that you couldn’t do it. Why? There’s many reasons why.
Your friends will tell you that those people are “haters”. That they’re just jealous.
Your parents will tell you that those people have failed and don’t want to see someone else outdo them.
But you. After you hear it so much. So much indifference. So much hate. So much doubt… it all starts to trickle into your mind as truth. Because if it wasn’t true, why would so many people tell you otherwise?
There is no doubt that this world is full of people who are jealous of others who have made it. When someone wants to be the next Tom Brady, we immediately disregard it. When someone decides they want to travel for a living, we call them crazy. When someone from a poor rural area proclaims that he’ll be as rich as Mark Cuban, we laugh and jokingly support them… not really support them. We say “you can do it” to their face while thinking up an uncountable amount of reasons they can’t. While we have all been doubted before, we each must admit…
We have doubted someone as well. You can argue that you haven’t. But somewhere in your life you were faced with a choice to support someone or shoot down their dreams… you chose the latter. And it seemed small. Doubting someone takes no effort at all. When Evander Holyfield said he’d beat Mike Tyson, everyone said the same thing, “Holyfield’s a real nice guy but my money’s on Tyson… by round 3.”
Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard, arguable one of the most prestigious schools in our country, and was called crazy for this. Walt Disney was fired early in his career because he, “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” There were 198 different football players, and 6 different quarterbacks in that 198, that were drafted in the 2000 NFL draft before Tom Brady.
And today Bill Gates is richer than all of humanity. Walt Disney has left a legacy as a theme park innovator and entertainment mogul. And Tom Brady just got his fifth Super Bowl Ring. In summary, doubt is supposed to wake you up and make you better.
With school ending, I have felt a wave of doubt creep in myself. I’ve had people doubt my intentions for no reason. I’ve been turned away from jobs and internship opportunities, I’ve left my bodybuilding and fitness life plummet, and don’t get me started on this blog… despite having just gotten my 2000th view since restarting.
I made the horrible mistake of doubters and unfriendly faces affect my psyche. Maybe it’s from being burned out from chasing my UnderGrad degree. Likely it’s from seeing so many successful people rise from nothing, and I feel like I should be there at their level.
I know I shouldn’t. But I see people get rich, famous, accepted into lofty career, and I sit here with plans-a-plenty.
We all get down. And when we’re down, that’s when we feed the doubt.
But that also set the stage for the comeback. Down 25 points going into the 3rd quarter. Bloodied nose and quivering legs while taking a beating from Iron Mike. $200,000 in debt with an investors meeting in 10 days.
These moments of pressure are what build diamonds! You’ve got the crowd dismissing you, bettors with their tongue-in-cheek looks on their faces, and they don’t have a clue that you’re about to turn things around.
You’ll be the fittest, the richest, most successful son-of-a-gun around but most importantly… you’ll be the happiest. And when you see those who casted doubt at your feet, said you couldn’t do it, or wanted you to quit. You will hold in your angry, you will bite your tongue if you have to. But if you just have to say something to them… say this.
You made a mistake, but that’s okay.
And then quickly walk off like a badass while the moment is fresh in their mind.
Why not say more? Let’s be honest. If you were face to face with someone who said you couldn’t do something and then you went and did it, you’d take off what ever filter you have installed in your mind and let loose a book of your fury. But you don’t need that, they won’t care, and it’s a waste of energy.
They made a mistake doubting your efforts. They should have supported or at least gotten out of the road. But your way of going through life isn’t aimed at making them better, it’s making yourself better that should be your target.
To end this post, I leave you now with Michael Irvin’s famous “Look up, Get up” portion of his Hall of Fame Speech. Not a Cowboys fan but had I been alive when this man was playing I think things might be different.
Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.