Has someone ever told you that you couldn't do something? That you weren't good enough? Not talented enough? That you shouldn't even try cause you won't win?
I have, and the truth is, when you hear that, it sucks. It hurts. It makes you want to crawl into a dark hole and never come out. I believe that who we are is defined by how we act in these moments. Do we choose to let others or bad situations get the best of us, or do we fight back to prove them wrong?
I love the quote by Julian Edelman "There are only two things you can do when someone says you're not good enough. You can prove 'em right or you can prove 'em wrong."
If you haven't heard of Julian's story, it's an amazing one. Growing up, he was always told that his height and size would always hold him back. With help from his tough loving dad, he would practice for hours, 7 days a week to get better. When he started in high school, he was barely five feet tall and weighed only 105 pounds. The summer before his senior he finally grew to 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds. As quarterback he put up an impressive 2,237 passing years and led his team to an undefeated 13-0. Even after that, still no division one colleges came calling.
"No, we don't want you" is all he heard.
He would eventually play at San Mateo and Kent State as a quarterback. Following his senior season, he wasn't invited to the NFL combine. He was drafted in 2009 to the Patriots in the 7th round, 232rd pick as a receiver, not a quarterback. He had a lot of catching up to do. He didn't play a snap as a receiver until he got to the NFL. He would wake up early to study with his coaches. They would work on everything, how to line up, how to read a defender, and how to break tackles.
Again, the odds were stacked against him. He knew that the only way to be successful was by putting in the work.
So how did Julian go from being a 7th round pick, to being Super Bowl LIII's MVP. He said "I only know one way to achieve success. You have to earn it." and that "tough times don't last, tough people do." He simply outworked his competition and became better each day.
We must firmly place the vision of what we want to accomplish inside our minds to motivate us. We need to be willing to do the dirty work each and every day. Learn to push ourselves past our own limits.
Julian's story reminds us that no matter what people say, or whatever obstacles are in our way, we can overcome them by putting in the work. Let the doubt from others help push us.
Let's go prove them wrong.
-Become your Own Hero