Your Underdog Moment!
I love the underdog and have always had a heart to cheer them on, believe in them, want it for them and to know deep inside my core, in some way, we are all or have been the Underdog.
When was your underdog moment?
I believe it is our underdog moments that show us what we are made of.
I believe it is our underdog moments that push us out of our comfort zone.
I believe it is our underdog moments that build our character, determination and commitment.
I believe it is our underdog moments that humble us, and ground us in our humanity.
I believe it is our underdog moments that make us more compassionate and empathetic towards others.
I believe it is our underdog moments that are spiritual gifts we are given and should then share.
It is unfortunate that some of our underdog moments are not necessarily a result of our aptitude or ability, sometimes they are based on others opinions or evaluation. We know not to let that stop us, and we also know that we are 100% responsible for ourselves, our action and our results. The beautiful thing about our underdog moments, is that we persevere through any obstacle, doubts, fears, and people or things that are in our way, for these stones become steps in our journey and pursuit.
My underdog moments have created who I am—they have been a series of lessons on life and shape my own experience on how I live and what I teach. I believe I am a champion for the underdog because I am the underdog—my life would look completely different had I not reached inside of myself and listened to that voice that said “I want more”. I would have had a completely different life had I followed the advice of others, and the path that was set for me to follow.
Growing up, I felt like the underdog for a few reasons. One being that school did not come as easy for me as it did for others, knowing myself today, I probably was ADD (most definitely) and a different learning style—to this day, this sets you back in traditional education. Secondly, growing up with such humble beginnings and financial challenges just makes you feel like the underdog, it is apparent and beyond obvious to yourself that you don’t have the same advantages as your peers, this was something I felt to my core, you look at things differently and value them differently.
My underdog Moment are many, but one that really stands out as my moment, and success story was as a high school student and my transition into Adulthood. I will never forget being in the Guidance Councilors office discussing my plans for the future, and the path I should take regarding college. In my high school, while people went on to college, a good percentage went in to the workforce so this was very much an acceptable path for many in my community. I sat across the desk from my Councilor and I wanted her to tell me something like this “You have everything it takes to be successful in college, and we are going to do everything we can to support you in that process, I believe in you and want to help you”. Those are not the words I heard and I will never forget how my heart sunk, and my hopes disappeared when she said something like (in a very kind voice), “I don’t think college is the path for you and I think you should look at getting an administrative job or secretarial job to start in”. Gulp. I was agreeable to her but inside I will never ever ever forget that feeling, disappointment, conflict, misunderstood, left out, labeled, mad, sad, confused, and hopeless. I am certain I just put a smile on, agreed with her and thanked her for her time, I had not exercised my voice in that meeting, and buried the lump in my throat and the dream that was stirring in my heart. Even though she did not say this, what I heard was YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
After graduation, I did get a job, and entered the workforce even thou I wanted to be going off to college as some of my friends were doing. I hated it, it felt wrong inside, but by all accounts, I was doing what I was suppose to do. I was working alongside some people my own age, but mostly women that were my mom’s age, I was stuck in a place I did not want to be, and did not know how to get myself out.
Sometimes our Underdog moments have their break out moments because of a champion and someone who believes in you. My girlfriend’s dads believed in the underdog (me), and took action and became my champion. He said “Pammy, you really should be in college”. It was music to my ears but seemed impossible. I responded that I don’t know how I would do it, how I would afford it and how would I get in (two big huge hurdles that seemed impossible to get over). As fate would have it, his friend was a Dean at a college and he would set me up on an interview. I borrowed my girlfriends professional clothes, and brought my A game to the meeting (and Mr. F brought his belief and recommendation and obviously put in a good word). I was accepted, the interview went well, and the next hurdle was financial—Mr. F told me that I would get scholarships, grants, Financial Aide and would probably need to borrow money, and with my parents help on filling out the paperwork, that is what happened. My parents were concerned, could I really afford it, how will I do it. I just told them, I didn’t care, I would make it work, it would somehow work out, and that is the path I followed that following Fall. Faith filled my heart and fear slowly dissipated and while it was there, my faith was stronger.
My underdog moment became my game changer moment. I would thrive in college, work several jobs to support myself and not only put myself through college and earn a BS, I graduated Summa Cum Laude and would go on to receive my Master’s degree years later. I love this story for many reasons, but at the heart of the story is a young woman (girl), that heard from an adult and professional that she “was not good enough”. She also had a champion in her corner that validated the voice inside of her that said “there is more for you”, “you are worthy”, “you are smart enough”, “you can do it”.
It required me to be brave, it required me to move past the fear, to break down the labels, walls and opinions of others (even myself). I moved past all of that and because I took that action, that step, it completely changed the trajectory of my life. Education was the key for me to open up so much more inside of me, it put me in circles and circumstances I would never have been able to before. Career, marriage and lifestyle would all change, because of this one very important Underdog Moment, the moment I had a choice, and decided to listen to the voice that said “what if”.
What underdog moment are you facing today?
How can you be brave enough to step out in faith?
What will it take for you to break through the barriers, walls, and status quo?
What does God have in store for you that you are been neglecting.
Listen to your heart, listen to that whisper inside, listen to your soul. It always knows the way!
Also, be the champion of yourself and others.
Who are you cheering on do do more, be more and have more?
Who needs you in their corner? Who can you help go from impossible to I’m possible?
Be that person. Be the champion. Believe in yourself. Believe in others.
We are in this thing called life together. Why not work together, see the best in ourselves and see the best in each other!