Last week, while Olympic athletes were competing for gold medals, I competed for a scholarship. The athletes dreamed of being recognized as the best of the best in their sport. I hoped to have my dreams for DoodleKids earn me a full scholarship for Marie Forleo’s B-school, an online business school to give people practical business skills to develop an online business making a difference in the world doing what they love to do, while also making money.
I was impressed by Marie’s introductory videos and I have watched Molly Hahn’s BuddhaDoodles business blossom as a result of her participation in B-School this past year. I want this growth and success for Create Thrive Grow and DoodleKids. So, I accepted the four-day challenge to create a 90-second video introducing myself and the difference I want to make in the world. Just like an Olympic athlete, I carved out time in my already busy schedule; I pushed through my fears around being in front of a video camera; I worked hard to create a clear, heartfelt, creative story to introduce myself and DoodleKids; and I rolled with the punches as I encountered one technological glitch after another.
With the deadline just a couple of hours away, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to submit my video. The video, which I had completed and was trying to convert to a YouTube supported format, was mysteriously self destructing before my eyes as one image after another disappeared and simply showed up as a black screen instead instead of the DoodleKid drawing that was supposed to be there. It was like the last training runs for an Olympic athlete turning to disaster.
With less than an hour to spare, I let go of perfection and got it submitted!… along with 2,000 other people. That translated to a 2.5% chance of winning.
When the winners were announced, I was not on the list. No gold. No Silver. And no bronze medal for me. Not surprisingly, I was disappointed. My inner child would probably say devastated is more accurate.
My inner critics were having a field day suggesting that not winning meant that they didn’t like me and that my work is not worthwhile. And they had me convinced that although I could pay the tuition and still participate in the program, it was like buying friendship and why should I pay that much money to be part of something where I wasn’t even wanted.
I know. I know. Sounds silly now, but in the moment the inner critics were very convincing and I bought their story hook, line and sinker.
Fast forward. I eventually saw through the games that my inner critics were playing. I realized that I was wanting to participate in the program because I was feeling stuck and a bit hesitant about growing my business. I was looking to B-school to shift this. At the same time I was also panicking about participating and whether the investment would be worth it. What if it wasn’t what I had hoped? What if I couldn’t keep up with the work with everything else I have going on?
In the end I am a winner, just like every Olympic athlete is a winner whether or not they win a medal. It took making that video to apply for the scholarship and losing the competition for me to realize something that was there all along. There is a long list of ways that I can grow myself, my business, and DoodleKids without participating in B-school this year. It isn’t this year or never. What a relief to not have to worry about if I can keep up with everything else on my plate. What a relief to not have to justify the financial outlay right now. And how empowering to realize all I can achieve without relying on anybody else. B-school is a fantastic program and a great opportunity. B-school has the potential to help me do amazing things for DoodleKids. But it isn’t the right thing for me today. Maybe next year.
I hadn’t seen the gifts that were before me all along. It took thinking I had lost to see my power and to realize that I am really a winner. Thank you B-school for helping me to awaken to my own power. Thank you family, friends, clients and followers for your support along my journey.
When have you felt like a loser? How might you reframe the experience to empower yourself, recognize the gifts you have, and realize what you can learn from the situation – thereby transforming losing into winning?