BELIEVE IN YOURSELF? NO PROBLEM!
Memes like this are broad strokes, and while the devil is in the details, so to speak, let me use the big brush for this one.
I have no trouble believing in myself.
The problem is getting others to believe in me.
I have accomplished so much that it staggers people outside of my pursuits: Staggers some to the point of disbelief. I’ve told the honest, easily verifiable truth about myself to some folks only to have them give me the side-eye as if I’m lying to their face. To them, I’m the only person they’ve ever met who has done the things I’ve done, therefore, I never did them. Why? Because that makes the most sense in their experience.
On the other hand, to those who share my pursuits, my accomplishments are barely impressive as we all work toward the same goals, have the same ambitions, move in the same circles.
And yet, despite my accomplishments, they are only rungs on the ladder to my goals. I haven’t achieved the actual reason for why I’m putting myself through all of this.
There is a reason why even the most talented, driven, educated people say, “All that plus a little luck when I found this wonderful person who believed in me.”
There is a reason why such exceedingly rare people are called Angels, as in “Angel Investors” and the like.
James Cameron was getting nowhere (contemplating suicide, in fact) until he found his producer, Gale Anne Hurd.
John Carpenter reached a dead end (he was about to give up and teach at a Junior College) until he found his producer, Debra Hill (she literally saved him twice, in fact).
I’ve interviewed a number of successful people on what it took for them to become a success and they all have the same story. They hit a brick wall until by random chance, X person(s) noticed them and came along.
This story repeats itself for everyone from Nikola Tesla to Oprah Winfrey to Elon Musk.
Stephen King alone has frequently mentioned the writers who astound him with their driven, ambitious skill and talent, but never rise to even half of his level in the same market. And of course we’ve seen the opposite: people who have no drive, ambition, or talent, and go on to become best selling authors with preposterously huge movie deals – all because they were in the right place at the right time (50 Shades of Gray, Twilight).
There are tons more stories of men and women whose extraordinary merit went unrecognized until long after their deaths. People whose inventions, ideas, or stories changed the course of generations even civilizations only long after their overlooked, unnoticed deaths.
Having skin in this game, I can personally attest that for every “Angel” who can actually help you and nurture your career, there are seemingly over 100 smooth talking scumbag con artists who are only out to ride you like the parasite they are – even if it means they starve to death on your failure that they created, because that delights them. There are probably a matching number of egotistical losers born to successful families and with family connections or an inheritance, who will fuck up everything they touch.
So many thousands of people who work so hard and reach the point where they believe they’ve found their “Angel”. The one who believes in them and wants to help them. Likely only one in a thousand of those seeming Angels are good, honest people. Only one in a thousand, or maybe ten thousand, aren’t parasites or paranoid egotists or bullshit artists who only want to waste your time as you lavish attention and praise on their delusions.
Because they are so rare, they are so difficult to identify. Because so many driven, talented, ambitious people wind up being used again and again by various parasites with their various personal methods, they become beaten.
In that dark time of the soul, they sometimes turn to family, who are usually the first to tell them to give up. The first to say, “I told you so.”
“You know, there’s nothing wrong with being a plumber.”
As if the fact that you didn’t dream of being a plumber meant that you looked down on plumbers.
Family doesn’t say this because they’re hateful, but you have to move the earth to impress the folks who once “changed your shitty diapers”.
“A prophet is without honor only in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his own household.”
– Mark 6:4
There are plenty of accomplished, talented, driven people who believe in themselves, whatever their dreams may be. There are only so many “Angels” to go around.
Until I find mine, I’ll just keep hammering at the wall.
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