For most of my life, I have been afraid of success. I used to be scared to get out of my comfort zone. When I did, I would freak out one way or another. A lot of the times, I would do and say crazy things (like yelling/singing the Disney song “A Whole New World” to a group of girls I didn’t really know. One of which I ended up marrying…) to hide away the fact that I was incredibly insecure in my own skin. If people were laughing with me, they weren’t laughing at me, right? But with that came the inevitable backhanded comment: “You know, you sure don’t act like you are fat. You are fun and comfortable in your own skin!”
Tonight, I’m reflecting on a few other things I’ve realized after 1,000 days in to this crazy weight loss adventure. I’ll have more tomorrow night too! Enjoy.
Also, a quick shout out to the NSA agent reading this while tapping in to my data. Read as much as you want. I could use the views :).
Don’t be afraid of success.
I tried to not let that comment affect me, but people have said it to me way too many times in my life not for it to hurt a little. I felt that the only success I could achieve was under the provision that I was successful…for a fat guy. That didn’t sit well with me.
For most of my life, I was an average student. In fact, I had a teacher in high school that told me that I was a B student and I always would be.
Well she was wrong…I did worse than that in college.
Sure I did decent in my majors classes, but I slacked off in everything else. (Why did I have to take Geology? More important, WHY WAS GEOLOGY ONE OF THE HARDEST CLASSES I EVER TOOK???) In my hard classes, I strived to just pass because that’s what I expected of myself. At that point, grad school sounded like a great experience (the idea of just learning about social media, PR and marketing sounded amazing) but it was a pipe dream.
I left ACU with a crappy GPA. I knew I could have done better, but I was scared of succeeding. I was scared to put it all out there, to really study and actually act like I cared. What if I had put it all out there and I failed? What would be the point? I wish I could go back to that younger me and say “So what if you fail? You at least gave it your all!” (Then I would probably say “Oh yeah, you’re going to lose 130 pounds one day” to which Younger Nathan would have laughed and then ate a whole bag of Skittles in one gulp (yes, I have done that before.))
So when Megan got in to Florida State University, my dream school ever since I was in 7th grade, I was incredibly excited for her. One day when I was looking for a job in Tallahassee when we were still living in Abilene, she said “I think you should apply for grad school at Florida State.” At this point, I had been on their website 1,000 times, wishing and dreaming for the chance to apply. I knew I was a long shot, but I was going to give it my best.
Then, I took the GRE. I didn’t do well…at all. My dream was slipping away.
Fast forward to July 2010. We were sitting a Starbucks (since we didn’t have cable for our new place yet) and I got an email from FSU.
I didn’t get in, but they invited me to apply as a non-degree seeking student and to take two classes to prove my way in to the program.
“Maybe this isn’t for me,” I thought.
So I took two classes that first semester: Hispanic Marketing and an entry level stats class. I was scared of the unknown. How was I going to do in these classes? I finally said to myself “give it your best shot. Don’t worry about if you fail. What if you succeed?” So I did the work.
Not only did I pass both classes, I was even offered an assistantship for the following semester.
Three years later, I now work for my dream school and I will be starting an amazing new position within the university next week. This all began with me putting it out there and not being afraid of falling flat on my face. It was that step of confidence that lead to me taking an even bigger step months later: my weight loss journey.
Be bold. Give it your all. Don’t be afraid of success.
See ya tomorrow.