One day when I was eight, my dad offered me a hundred bucks to lose five pounds in a month.
It was the first time I felt like I was fat.
I thought it was a sucker’s bet. What I didn’t know is I was the sucker.
I still remember stripping down and weighing in. Watching the rickety dial on the pale blue scale flick past my weight and snap back, delivering its verdict. One number to sum up the entirety of my deficiency.
One week in, nothing changed. “Not a problem,” I thought. “I’ve got time.”
Then two weeks passed. Then three. I could start to see the writing on the wall. I tried to put a little more spring in my step. Oomph in my play. I stopped eating my Cheetos with lunch. But when the final weigh-in came, I had lost exactly half a pound.
It was the first time I felt like a failure.
From there on out, I’d feel a throbbing shame whenever I noticed the tightness of my clothes tugging against the looseness of my skin. I’d change in the corner of the locker room to stay out of sight. And public showers? Absolutely. Verboten.
Late in college, I ballooned to 273 pounds and a 46-inch waist at one point. Though, eventually, I shed enough to fit into 30-inch skinny jeans. But I still saw myself as the same fat kid.
Then, one day, well into my thirties, something changed my life.
I stumbled across a picture of myself in my first year of college.
And I looked absolutely normal. As in good normal. As in great normal. Not big. Not fat. Not chubby. I was perfectly fine.
But I just couldn’t see it at the time.
I couldn’t see the person staring right back at me every time I looked in the mirror.
And whenever I think of that picture, I think about how much things like struggle and failure and doubt are really just in our heads.
In reality there is no failure.
There’s just doing and not doing. That’s it.
But until you can see yourself as you really are for what you’re really worth (and odds are, you’re worth a hell of a lot more than you think), you’re cutting yourself off at your knees.
You have more to give than you know.
Something I hear all the time from people I coach and from business owners in general is that there’s nothing special about them. That they’re like everyone else. That they don’t bring anything to the table.
I call bullshit.
We ask ourselves whether we’re good enough, but it’s the wrong question. The real question is Who am I?
And when you look in the mirror and you really see the person staring back, you’ll realize the simple truth. You’ve got exactly what you need. Find that. See that. And build your life and your business around it.