We all have down days. Sometimes our self-confidence is so low that we can barely pull ourselves out of bed or face people in public. Hopefully yours is never that low (because you’re awesome, duh!) but in case it happens to be in a low spot right now, I’ve prepared a list for you. It’s a list of incredible people who overcame the obstacles in their life and eventually found massive success.
“Great,” you might be saying. “More examples of how much I suck and how great everyone else is. Thanks Samantha.”
No, no, no. That’s not the intention here. Instead of comparing yourself to them and making yourself feel worse, truly look at the obstacles they had to overcome to get where they are. Then think of where you are. Does it look similar to where they started? If they started at zero and you think you’re at zero, that should make you feel like a million bucks! That means there’s hope that YES, YOU TOO can get there!
Most uber-successful people are not exceptionally brilliant, connected, or blessed when they start out. All they have is their drive and hunger.
And if you’re reading this, I know you have the same drive and hunger within you. Don’t believe for a single second that these people had anything different than you. In fact, you have the best possible thing in common with them—hunger for something better; a dream in your eyes that WILL come to fruition, come hell or high water.
Ready to see who these amazing people are? Check them out below:
Example #1: Robert Herjavec
You know, the only nice one on Shark Tank? He is an immigrant from Croatia, whose father frequently spoke out against Communism and was sent to jail 23 times. His family escaped to Canada when he was only 8, with only one suitcase between all of them and a few dollars in their pocket. Their poverty was not lost on them; in fact it’s one of Herjavec’s first recollections of being in the new country: that they were glaringly poor. Although their family worked hard, they had it rough as immigrants.
As he grew older, Herjavec worked odd jobs and one day his father told him not to waste his life, since he had gone through hell to give him opportunities that he’d never had. From there, he really started to apply himself.
Have you ever landed in a completely foreign country with only one suitcase and $20 to your name? Then you’ve never had it as rough as this multi-millionaire.
Example #2: Benjamin Franklin
When he was a child, Franklin’s parents could only afford to keep him in school until the age of ten. That didn’t stop him though! He consumed as many books as he could and gave himself an education. As we all know, it massively paid off. He invented many things and even became one of America’s founding fathers.
Think you’re at a disadvantage because you don’t have an education, or you don’t have schooling in the field you love? Think again.
Example #3: Michael Jordan
This is someone who truly uses their failures to make them better. As we’ve all probably heard before, in Jordan’s sophomore year he tried out for the varsity basketball team and didn’t make it. Many of us probably would have accepted our defeat and thrown ourselves a pity party. Not him. He used that failure to motivate him to practice even more and train even harder. The next year he tried out again and made it, and in his senior year he started attracting some major attention. Thanks to his voracious desire to succeed, he used a setback to make himself better—and he continues to do so.
Every failure makes him try even harder. If you’re afraid of stepping up and trying something new or seizing your dreams because you’re afraid of failure, don’t be. The most successful people in the world ARE successful because they fail more times than the rest of us.
Example #4: Steven Spielberg
Love his movies or hate them, none of us can deny that we recognize this name. Guess how he started out? Getting rejected by the prestigious University of Southern California three times because of his bad grades. Even though their film school wouldn’t take him, he didn’t let that stop him. Fast forward some years, and he had created famous movies such as ET, Back to the Future, Schindler’s List, and Indiana Jones. He also created those little franchises you may have heard of called Jurassic Park and Transformers.
Never let others tell you your value. If a school, institution, job, or anyone tells you you’re not good enough, then make your own path and find your own success.
Example #5: Helen Keller
Wait, wait. Before you write this one off as a cliché that you already know, take a moment to really ponder her story. By the age of two, she was both deaf and blind. Let’s imagine what that feels like. Try closing your eyes (or donning a blindfold) for like five minutes. I’d wager most of us won’t last two minutes. Then on top of that, add being deaf. Pop in some really good ear plugs while you have that blindfold on, and then try to carry on as normal. Can you imagine how isolating and terrifying that would be as an adult, let alone a two-year-old? Keller didn’t let this hold her back though; with the help of her teacher, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree, write books, and be an activist for several things that she cared about.
Now I guarantee that whatever insecurities or imagined roadblocks you have, they are nowhere near as serious as hers—I certainly know mine aren’t! Her example is a great one that sure helps me keep my complaints about myself in perspective.
Next time you doubt yourself and your self-confidence is in the toilet, remember these people. Imagine all the rejection they faced and doubt they battled past. Remember that the most important element that contributed to their success is also the one YOU have in common with them—that spark of determination housed within your chest. As long as you keep that alive, you can achieve everything that these people did—and MORE.
Re-examine your insecurities and then look over each of these examples again. Do any of them specifically relate to what you struggle with? If not, can you see how each of these people faced both incredible fears and failures, but went on to be wildly successful anyway? Now imagine yourself doing the same even with your perceived faults! (Because you rock and deep down you know it!)
Join the convo! ;-)
Did anyone on this list make you realize how silly your own imagined hindrances might be? Do you know of another overcomer who inspires you? Do share with us!