As a scrawny 9 year old at Grafton Public, I was in 3rd grade and running in my first ever school cross-country race. As many of you know, I’m built for long distance running, so maths and science aside, this was my area of expertise, my specialty in the school yard.
I was flying… coming 2nd to Aaron Gray who won everything he ever entered. I was killing it. It was one of the first times I had ever felt these emotions on this scale. How was it that on this day I was better than 99% of the rest of my grade? For most of the race it felt great, but for some reason, it wasn’t right… There was yelling and screaming from kids on the sidelines, I was shy and it was making me uncomfortable. Deep down I really wanted it and I was jealous of those that could handle it, but at the time, I was more comfortable slowing down and sneaking back into the crowd behind me. I came 7th and the top 6 went on to the next stage. I could have won. Phew! That was close…
With winning comes attention, notoriety, fame, and people that dislike you. It’s not easy and for me at that time, I wasn’t ready.
Most people who know me now probably think I’m making this up. These days, to the teams I’ve lead, business partners, friends and new clients that I meet, I am confident, strong-willed, even annoyingly cocky at times, but it’s true, friends: winning scared me.
Over the years, after many more experiences of feeling uncomfortable with any form of success, I started to push that little bit further each time. I began to enjoy the feeling of new experiences, getting attention for the right reasons and gaining confidence. Not only have I learnt one of the greatest lessons there is, but I now get to pass it on to many more and live this lesson in everything that I do -