Things I was told I couldn’t do…
Elementary School teacher told me my story for the “Young Authors” project was too unbelievable (it was a story about a basketball team who scored a lot of points and did extraordinary things) and maybe writing wasn’t for me. My blog about extraordinary personal, physical, mental, athletic, business changes and accomplishments reaches thousands of people and the encouragement from others to write a full non fiction book about my story and journey of extraordinary human and athletic achievement is stronger than ever.
High school counselor told my I wasn’t smart enough for college and I should join the Army. Graduated with my Bachelor Degree December 2008.
Tried to join the Army after September 11th and the Army told me I was too fat and I should come back after I lost a few pounds. Have lost almost 200 pounds and run multiple 100 mile races.
Fraternity brothers told me I would never amount to anything in my life because all I did was party, I wasn’t smart, and all I did was create chaos. Owner of a business (where I was the #1 sales person for over 5 years and a sales manager) told me I was just a young kid with a chip on my shoulder. He said I needed to grow up, mature, and I needed to know my place in the world or I wouldn’t amount to much in life. Graduated college, successful in business, and people pay me to travel the world, lead their teams, and coach their top producers.
The head of a leadership group I was involved with “recommended” I should quit the month before graduation because I was a terrible leader, asked too many questions, challenged authority, and he told me I was thinking I was too big when I thought I was going to lead people, groups, and businesses… People hire me to bring my energy and passion to their organization in order to improver attitudes and production to their staff.
I was about to quit a job when my boss beat me to the punch and fired me… As we were wrapping up my exit interview, she looked at me square in the eye and told me running will never pay my bills and I should learn to accept that as a fact. Not only does running give me the satisfaction of personal accomplishment (which is greater than money), not only do people hire me to coach them from 5k’s to ultra-marathons, but people hire me to travel the world to tell my story, encourage others, coach others, and pass my inspiration for business, fitness/running, and family to people who need a little love, hope, and compassion.
Through the recent years I have lost relationships with many friends and family because of the misunderstanding and lack of support from the most important people in my world. From losing 200 pounds to running 100 miles to creating my own business to searching the depths of hell for questions and answers on how to see myself in a positive light, I have had to deal with setbacks, discouragement, sabotage, and people who don’t believe in me for many reasons… When I felt the lack of support, I would isolate myself to move forward toward my goal. I felt personally attacked when people didn’t support me when I was growing personally and/or professionally. After a couple rounds of losing my entire support staff, I have learned a few things about the importance of communication, understanding, and reaching for help.
I don’t tell you these stories because I want you to feel bad for me or give me encouragement… Every time someone tells me no, I have an internal voice that tells me how close I am to a breakthrough moment. I tell you these stories because I know at some point someone (and most likely a close friend or family member) has told you no or discouraged you from pursuing some form of happiness. Don’t worry, it’s not only common, but completely expected. They don’t want you to succeed… not because they don’t care for you, but because they care for you so much that the fear YOU will succeed brings up the fear that when you succeed, your relationship with them will change and you will leave them behind.
There are two steps you need to take when faced with discouragement and sabotage from people whom you’re close to.
- Do it anyway. You cannot let the thoughts, feelings, and fears of others take control of your present actions and future potential. You MUST have the self confidence know you are good enough, you DO DESERVE better and you have to know self-care is most important because you can’t pour from an empty cup. You might lose people from your past… but know there are greater opportunities in your future if you have the courage to take the step forward and go after what you can’t see yet.
- The importance of helping the people who love you and care about you understand the change, really is best for you. It is so important to work toward a mutual understanding. Help them follow along. Be fair but firm in discussing what makes you happy, why you are taking the action you are taking, and let them know it is important to you they support you no matter what. Let them know you love them and care about them. Show them you care by listening with an open mind. Sort through the advice they give you knowing it is based on their fears and their path… Only YOU know what is best for you, don’t let the fears of others ruin your future… The number one cause of an unfulfilled life is living based on what we think others think we should do. Be you. Do you. Live the life YOU want to live because in the end, you must live in your own head and deal with the consequences in your heart. If you don’t fill your own cup, you won’t have the energy to pour into the cup of another.
To all the people who have told me no, tried to sabotage me, discouraged me from working toward my goals, and especially to everyone who doesn’t believe in me or my potential, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without people like you my internal fire would be a little more than a spark. Every time I hear the word no, I know I’m headed down the correct path.
Best of luck to you as you move toward your goals in business, fitness, family, and life.