I always had this belief that I would be successful.
This belief was instilled in by a mother who was a high school dropout, married at 17, and had lived a modest, yet decidedly meager life.
But in her sons, she saw greatness.
She pushed me to memorize the math tables that swirled in my head. She turned off the TV and stuck books in front of my square eyes. The B plus was a sign of failure. The second-place wasn’t good enough. She never relented in telling us that we weren’t like the other kids.
“You can do better.”
Any of those professions would be fine with her.
But there were the realities. And they were biggies. I couldn’t stand the sight of blood. I was color blind and could never fly. I couldn’t figure out physics.
I wasn’t ready to concede. After all, I wasn’t normal like the other kids, or so I thought. Let’s just say, I didn’t have self-esteem issues. I swallowed a lot of that medicine, actually believing that I was above average, special, and skilled.
The great pretender
I depended on my ability and was frustrated when I was told I “couldn’t.” So I began to pretend I was all of those things. Confidence is one thing, but pride is another. And it’s a very thin line to walk.
Now, at this ripe middle age, I’m at the point where I’m comfortable in my own skin. I laugh about my inabilities. If my abilities aren’t so hot, that’s fine. But I still feel the fire to do something, to be somebody.But reading the red letters really tells me something.
“If you want to be great,” He said. “Learn to the be servant of all.”
Now, I wanna be great, but in a different way. And that will chase away the negative frustrations and usher in joy.