Remember, when you were in 2nd grade? Sitting in those uncomfortable desks that housed all your worldly-school possessions. The teacher poses a question to the class…and there was always that one kid..
The kid you thought was about to dislocate his shoulder.
The kid who someone lit a hot fire under his ass because he was jumping out of seat crying “Oh, Oh, Oh.”
The kid who begged for the teacher to “Pick Me! Pick Me, Mrs. Ryan! I KNOW the answer.”
Friendly and kind Mrs. Ryan would scan the classroom and rarely if ever pick that kid.
This kid was NOT me. I was the kid sitting quietly in the back making intense eye contact with her Trapper Keeper praying to God, Mrs. Ryan would pick anyone else.
Whether you were the shy quiet one or the kid with dislocated shoulder, in that moment you are taught a crucial life lessons:
You must be chosen to voice your brilliance.
Then there is the valuable lesson from P.E. class – good old physical education – it's dodge ball day (whoever was the creatin that thought it was a good idea that 8 year olds throw rubber balls at each other should be strung up…just sayin').
Our gym teacher choose his team captains for dodge ball based on strength, speed and agility.
Based on my athletic prowess of a sloth instead of cheetah, I never rose to the auspicious role of team captain.
Instead, I stood in a crowd of kids, hoping my name would be called.
The moments ticked by. There are 6 and then 4.
Now just 2.
Finally, it's down to just me.
I'd smile like I just won the sports team lottery.. Run and join my team who sighed as I past and immediately started plotting what they'd could do with me so I wouldn't cause their upcoming defeat.
Inside I felt a small part of me die. I felt ashamed, sad, and like the utter outcast. I wasn't good enough, and didn't measure up to my peers. Even though I kicked major bootie reading out loud in class when the teacher could cajole me from my cocoon of shyness (I did all the character's voices and enthralled all who heard my voice)…well that gal is an easy target in dodge ball!
Anyone who has ever been chosen last knows:
Not being chosen hurts…a lot.
In 2nd grade you learn, you must be picked and that not being the chosen one is a painful, humiliating moment.
We carry that lesson into adulthood. You wait for a college to pick you. Then an employer to pick you from an endless abyss of resumes. Then your boss to pick you for that big promotion.
And I've noticed that when I have been picked – it sucks.
:: The job that I prayed for sucks the life force out of me.
:: The college acceptance I eagerly sprinted to the mailbox to find, only to end up transferring from that school 2 years later.
:: The dream job in Hawaii (that all my friends were green with envy about) was the loneliest place on the planet for me.
Choice leads to action which is a heck of a lot more satisfying
Choosing to forge my own path and start a business is infinitely more satisfying than working for the dude (not the cool Jeff Bridges dude).
The college that I chose for myself produced an infinitely better education for me and was a heck of a lot more
Leaving the dream job in the land of coconut bras and grass skirts for the land of clouds, rain and Kurt Cobain provided me with more people and a textured life.
Put your hand down and stop waiting to picked.
How can you start choosing yourself TODAY?
What's the one thing you can do TODAY (not tomorrow) to start choosing yourself?
Instead of waiting for that speaking gig to come through, throw your own event?
Waiting for the perfect publisher to come along and pick your book, start writing and self-publish.
Want to be on a podcast and tired of pitching, start your own.
It doesn't even have to be that bold, start small and just show up and do the work.
When you work hard, incredible things start happening!
Now spill it in the comments – what's the one thing you are going to do today to defy your inner 2nd grader?