The last few weeks I have been pondering on a topic I’ll be sharing with you today. It’s the topic of success. I was sitting in my bedroom thinking about the Jones Soaps journey and my life in general. I looked back at my struggles and realized that at times I had cheated my self from the big win. Have you had struggles in life? How did you prepare for them? I ask you this because I asked my self the same thing. It turns out I have always had all kinds of plans for failing. You know, the plan alpha numeric. If a goes wrong I’ll do b etc. But it turns out I had failed to plan for one thing. It is that very thing I failed to plan for that held me back for a long time. What is that thing I failed to plan for? Success.
You see just like failure, success also requires planning. If you have a business you have to prepare for growth, at work you have to prepare for promotion, at home you have to prepare for great kids and relationships. It’s often what we focus on that becomes our reality. How do I know? I’m the poster child of this very topic.
Lets take a trip back into time. As I kid I was diagnosed with Dyslexia, I had no Idea what it was. All I knew was that I didn’t grasp some things as quick as others. Especially when it came to reading and math. For years I thought to my self that I was dumb. So I learned to be the cheerleader for others and not of me. I taught my self to see the potential of others but never my own. Have you ever done that? If you have I want you to stop that today. You too deserve a chance at winning. You have to start singing to a different tune!
That bad song I was playing to my self for years, told me others could win but not me. Without knowing it I was sabotaging myself. When someone would compliment my work, I would come up with ways of finding something wrong with it. When an opportunity came to go after a promotion I would tell my self “Are you crazy, that’s more responsibility than I care to have”, when the truth is I wanted that responsibility. I wanted to win. But instead I was the last kid to get picked for games at the playground. The one overlooked for opportunities. I felt rejected and hurt. For years I was angry at others for the rejection, till the light came on. I one day realized the truth in the saying “you teach others how to treat you”. By rejecting my self I was telling others that I was not worthy of winning. I was telling them to leave me as a bench warmer, watching the game of life unfold while I was just the spectator. It was then that I realized I had to change. If I wanted to go from bench warmer to star player, just like in any sport, I had to show I had what it takes. I had to learn the following skills.
- I had to learn to lead. In leadership the blame game and two year old tantrums are not signs of greatness. They’re signs of immaturity emotionally and mentally.
- I had to learn if I wanted to play with the big boys, I had to learn to take the low blows and rise above them. That meant, using my critical thinking to analyze what went wrong, create a strategy to fix the issue and execute. There’s no time for the pity pot when there’s 60 seconds left on the clock and your career depends on the winning shot.
- I had to learn that there are times where all the odds or people will be against me and it’s ok. When the tough gets going hard choices have to be made. This means not all will be happy. My job is not to make all happy, it to make sure the desired results are obtained. As a mom this is so true. My kids at times don’t want to do their schoolwork. They just want to play. If I allow them to play all the time, they will not obtain the skills they need for their future. It’s my job to enforce the rules of the game of life and make sure they get their work done. Why? Because If they don’t when they turn adults they will not even have the minimal skill to go after their dreams, or even worse to just make it period.
- I had to learn to stay focused. When Jones Soaps started it was right smack in the middle of the economic down turn. As a matter of fact my husband and I are still recovering from the blow of 2008. Just like many we lost everything. It was this very thing that taught me the importance of focus and tenacity. To succeed you have to know what it is you want, you have to stay focused on it, and you have to have the tenacity to say, I’ll do whatever it takes. Quitting is not an option.
- I had to learn to be my own cheerleader. It’s great to support others and cheer them on. Even better is to cheer your on. I had to learn it was ok for me to be good at something. That I didn’t have to play dumb just because others wanted to play dumb or needed extra recognition to boost their egos.
You have what it takes to win the game of life. The question is do you want to? I encourage you to change the tune in your head. Today Dyslexia has taught me to overcome, to rise above the obstacles in life, that I don’t have to fit in a mold. Today I read min 2 books a week, created the products, and founded the company you know as Jones Handmade Soap Co. This so called disability that could have been my excuse to be the bench warmer, taught me how to win. I now see life for what it is! Opportunities to achieve dreams beyond my wildest imagination.
Share with me in the comments section what are your bench warmer moments and how did you overcome?