Growing up I got cut from almost every soccer team I tried out for. Four years in a row I was the last one cut from the better team in my club, was always one of the last ones cut to make the state team in the olympic development program, and was one of the last ones cut from making all state both my junior and senior year of high school. I vividly remember a conversation I had with a Division 1 college coach during my sophomore year of high school where he told me that at the very best I could probably play for a middle of the road division 3 school. That I lacked size, strength, speed, and overall athleticism. I had many conversations with college coaches similar to this one and it was in that moment that I realized I could no longer follow my dreams that I was going to have to fight for them and thats what I have done ever since.
I see quotes posted on social media and hear people all the time saying “follow your dreams.” While I know this is done out of the goodness of their heart, this is bad advice because following your dreams will never be good enough. It will never get you where you want to go. Sure its a good start but anything in life worth having or achieving will not be easy and will require a fight. In my sales career, every month I hit my sales numbers was a fight. I wanted a certain size bonus check and it never came easy. I had to fight for it. I remember during my first job after dropping out of college, I was selling jewelry. I was making $8/hour working 30 hours a week with the opportunity to earn commission on top of that. I needed that commission and I knew that if I performed well enough I could get more hours and a raise. A rule in the jewelry store we worked at was that we could split sales. Meaning if I started a sale with a customer but couldn’t close it, I could turn it over to another sales rep and if they closed the sale we would split commission 50/50. I knew I was inexperienced and not as good as other reps at closing sales but I needed to make more money because I was tired of eating peanut butter and jelly and ramen noodles everyday. So I determined that no matter what I would be the first one to greet every customer who walked in the store and start the sales process with them that way if I couldn’t close it at least I could get half the sale and both me and the other rep would win. I wasn’t following after what I wanted I was fighting for it.
I am reminded of this every time I set new goals and start following them. I have been reminded of this principle recently. In 2017 I was following my dream of being a life coach, motivational speaker, and thought leader. Sure I accomplished a few things but not nearly what I was capable of. I realized that in 2018 I was going to have to fight for what I wanted if I was going to make real progress towards my dreams. I was going to have to read more, do more, learn more, fail more, and pick myself up quicker when adversity hit. I realized I was going to have to do things outside my comfort zone and put myself out there a lot more. I was going to have to risk looking stupid, goofy, and weird to some people in order to make a real lasting impact on people. Fighting is risky because you might lose. Following your dreams is safe because you can always follow your dreams. But when you go all in and fight you risk losing, failing, and looking stupid. However its impossible to fulfill that dream in your heart if you don’t fight for it. Stop following and start fighting.