In April of 2012, these words were muttered, “You are not a motivational speaker? You need to tone it down. You need to be more conservative.” Those words felt like someone shoved me in a birdcage and threw away the key.
Just this past weekend Stuart Scott passed away after his battle with cancer. His dynamic delivery ushered ESPN into the 21st century. “He didn’t just push the envelope,” said sports radio host and former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick. “He bulldozed it.”
It was 1983, his first year as the New York Giants head coach, Bill Parcells’ injury-ravaged team had finished 3-12-1. General manager George Young considered firing Parcells as he flirted with hiring Howard Schnellenberger.
Parcells knew he was under pressure.
“I think in ’83, I was trying to be a head coach. In ’84, I decided to be Bill Parcells, and I kind of made a little promise with myself that I would try to do things my way, and I gave my best effort in that regard. And I really dispensed with the feelings of doing what a head coach was supposed to do.”
Self-acceptance. When self-acceptance happens is when you start living.
One of the ways many people don’t reach their full potential is because they don’t accept who they are completely. Why? It could be numerous reasons. Fear of rejection, lack of worthiness, friends, employers and the list goes on and on.
But, by not embracing who we are, are we possibly giving up the great life for just a good life?
In April of 2012 I struggled with being myself. I was overwhelmed and kept trying to make changes, trying to make others happy, but in turn became unhappy. After talking to others I realized I was not alone. Others have and were experiencing the same feelings I was: self-doubt, lack of worthiness and self-confidence. To this day, I am thankful my friend muttered those words to me. Those words were a bucket of ice-cold water splashed on face. Those words made me realize that the reason I wasn’t achieving the things I wanted to achieve was that I wasn’t being true to myself and who I was. I knew if I simply spread my own wings great things could happen. I came to a crossroads and I took Bill Parcell’s advice. I stopped being a manager and started being myself. This simple act propelled me to new heights in every area of my life. Career and personal life. I became happier, more joyful and less stressed. My decisions were not haphazard though. They were planned and strategic. When I decided to accept myself, I found out the saying “10 percent change creates 300 percent impact” is true.
Just think what ESPN would be like if Stuart Scott would have conformed, how the landscape of the NFL would be different if Bill Parcells had not owned and accepted Bill Parcells.
Here are a few lessons I have uncovered to owning who you are and unlocking your potential:
- Understand and recognize that we are imperfect and flawed. –It may be one of the scariest things you have to face, but it will be liberating.
- Write down what you value most and what is important to you. This way when life happens and it will, you will not be entirely knocked off your rocker. You will have values to filter your decisions.
- Learn to forgive yourself. Because if you live, it is inevitable that you will make mistakes. If you hold onto your mistakes and dwell on the past vs focusing on the future it will blind you to future opportunities. Real difficulty is to overcome what you think about yourself. If we don’t have that we never grow, we never learn.
- Grow yourself personally– One way to discover your strength is to grow yourself. Jim Rohn said, “Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development.” From biographies, to self-improvement books and podcasts, there are hundreds of ways to grow. Who do YOU want to become? Find whatever rocket fuel you can and use it to propel you to new heights.
Everyday is a new opportunity to grow and become a better you. It’s a hard pill to swallow but everybody’s not going to like you and this world isn’t for everybody to like you. So, if some may think we are a bit weird, heck maybe a little crazy. That’s Ok! We all are!
“Be what you are. Do what you love. Speak what you feel. Don’t hide your humanity. Celebrate it. Embrace it. That is how you change the world.”
― Vironika Tugaleva
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