Someone once described me as “ruthlessly effective” and I think that fits me to a tee, just not in the sense of being cruel or mercilessly effective. I mean that I am relentless and unyielding in the pursuit of my goals. It has always been in my nature to prove the naysayers wrong. So, if people tell me I can’t do something, it just drives me to work hard to show them I can. Here’s a great example of what I mean.
When I was cheering, I asked my coach to let me perform a solo dance at a cheerleading competition in addition to the routines I already had scheduled. She said yes, and I took on the challenge to create my dance, select the music, find a costume, and prepare to perform. It was a stressful competition for the team cheering alone, and I had just added an entire new level of stress with this new solo performance. But I was confident that I could make it happen.
The last night before the competition, and after 3-4 hours of cheering and tumbling practice, my coach asked me to perform my solo dance. I was very tired but obliged anyway. I had packed my dance full of tricks, but because of my fatigue, I was not able to really hit all of the moves. When I finished, my coach pulled me aside and reamed me out. She told me I was not prepared and that I shouldn’t even bother showing up the next day. Then she screamed at my mother! My mom simply replied, “I trust Amanda. If she says she’s ready, she is ready.”
I was sure my coach wouldn’t come to the meet the next day, but she did. Maybe she thought the same about me, but there was no way I was going to let her comments stop me. I had worked hard and prepared for the meet, and I was going to give it my best effort. As it turned out, I performed flawlessly! I received the highest score of the day and my score even placed sixth nationally. Then my coach, instead of providing words of happiness and support, snidely commented to me, “You pulled that out of your ass.”
I learned a few important lessons that day.
- Some people won’t enjoy your victories, even when those wins are awesome.
- That’s their problem.
- Some people will attempt to stop you from even TRYING to win.
- That’s their problem, too.
- For every naysayer (like my coach), I need a supportive fan (like my mom) to counteract the doom and gloom.
- People have the power to do anything with determination and preparation.
Yes, I won the competition that day, but the real victory for me was not in the score. The real victory, the lasting victory, was in not letting my coach’s discouragement deter me from pursuing my dream. If I had stayed home like she wanted, then I not only wouldn’t have won, but I couldn’t have won, and that would have been much worse. I believed I could succeed, and I had to try. And thanks to my mom’s support, I did!
So remember, the naysayers are out there, but don’t let them stop you. Go Get the World, and we are here for you if you need us!