Over the weekend, Carl and I were blessed to be able to take part in the annual Children’s Hospital Heart-to-Heart Picnic hosted by Turner Dairy Farms. I had an inkling that I’d be inspired by the families affected by heart conditions and their caregivers, but I got a bit of inspiration in an unexpected place.
Some of the volunteers included members of the football team at Seton Hill University. Many of them had never seen a racecar before in person, but some knew about sprint cars because of the recent media coverage. When there was a break in the action they came over to ask Carl questions. They were respectful and genuinely curious.
One player asked if Carl was a professional. When Carl said no, he asked if that was what he was working towards. Carl said yes. His reaction really caught me off guard.
He probably didn’t think much of it, but I was so touched by this little nod of encouragement for someone else’s dream.
It’s easy to become jaded when you’re consistently talking about racing with other racing people. At first, it seems like everyone is in it together. And we really are. But when you get a taste of success, you may get a reminder that the people you’re talking to are often the same people you’re competing with. Some of them react to ambition and success negatively, as if there’s only so much to go around.
- “You’re so lucky.”
- “Must be nice.”
- “You want to ____? Good luck with that.”
- “Aren’t you happy with what you already have?”
It’s easy to focus on the few negative comments that you hear when you put yourself out there and strive for a goal, whether they come from other racers, relatives, co-workers or members of your church.
Because when you’re striving to achieve something, big or small, self-doubt is a natural part of the process.
- Do I have enough [brains, muscle, skill, money] to do this?
- Am I going to lose the support of my [mom, friend, wife, brother] if I keep pushing?
- What if I put in all that [time, effort, heart] and it doesn’t work out?
As I’ve written before, I generally believe that we see what we’re looking for. And that goes for hearing, too. When we have that little bit of natural self-doubt that comes with ambition, that’s sometimes all of what we hear.
So when you feel like all you’re hearing is crappy, backhanded insults, stop looking for feedback in the same places. Talk to someone else who’s working hard for something, even if it’s something completely different than your dream – like a business, a college degree or a football career.
Look for inspiration instead of negativity, and you’ll find it. But above all else?
Keep grindin, man.
P.S. Tell me how you stay inspired in the comments below. Gotten some great encouragement? Share that, too.
P.P.S. We’re almost half-way through September, which is when many companies start looking at their marketing budgets for the next year. I wrote a post last year about it preparing sponsorship materials now that you might find helpful.