Early this week a Facebook friend of mine shared a post of the donkey that fell into a well. The farmer who owns the donkey thought that it was too old, so he decided to bury the donkey instead of finding a way to help it to get out of the hole.
As I read that post, I was reminded of the challenges that I went through growing up when people around me did not believe in me, that I could achieve anything in life. When people close to me, constantly reminded me on a daily basis of my lack of intellectual capabilities, and because of that I thought I would not amount to anything. When you hear that daily, it is like being brainwashed. You started believing that it is true and other people’s perception become your reality. Perhaps it is true; I ponder that. The reality is that I really was not smart compared to my siblings. In addition, I did not achieve the same academic success year in and year out. In fact, I never achieved anything academically until later in my high school education.
Back then, I almost gave up. I felt that there was no point of trying when people put you in a box and no one gives you a chance. But then, like the donkey when its owner started shoveling soil down that hole, I started to lose hope. I still remember that feeling of emptiness and feeling sorry for myself. Self pity kicked in and I rolled down this slippery hole of negative thoughts.
Not until someone showed interest in my ability and encouraged me to try did I have hope. But the reality is, not until I changed my attitude did things change around me. That day, I decided to prove to everyone who doubted me that I could get it done, that I had the courage to grind and push and dig deep to try my best. Yes, the reality is I was not given the intellectual ability, but I’m blessed to be here on earth and there is a great reason and role for my existence. Maybe I will succeed, maybe I won’t, but unless I try I will never know.
The first step of believing in myself was the hardest. I had to convince myself that I would ignore the voice and what people said around me. It is hard, but each day that I push and dig deep, it becomes easier and easier to move on. I focus on small wins or success and build upon that. Just like the donkey I shake the things that people around me are saying and I step up on the soil that was dumped on me. Yes, it takes a long time, but is your current situation any better? Don’t you think you deserve better? Ponder on that. We all deserve better as long as we want to put in the work to get there.
We must develop the discipline to work on what we desire to achieve. Focus on the end goal and persist. Remember that defeat is only final when you give up and accept it. Persistence is the key; we start by believing in ourselves. Work on it and develop a bulldog persistence and work on it daily. Develop a never-give-up attitude.
Looking back in my life, yes I came a long way. Many times I would meet people from my past that say they are amazed at what I accomplished. It all changed because I chose to do something about it. I was diligent in working toward achieving goals one day at a time without ceasing.
I am a long way from achieving my goal and continue to work on it on a daily basis. It helps to keep that in mind. As you achieve a certain level of success, give back to your community and mentor others, spread your knowledge and develop a community of folks that believe in empowering others.