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Achieving Success: Handling the Issue of Belonging
Groucho Marx once said, words attributed to him, I would never join a country club that would have me as a member. It’s funny, but one of the issues that almost everybody has to deal with is the issue of belonging. Do I belong at the strata I’m aiming to reach? Aren’t people different when they’re at that level? Don’t they know things I don’t know? Don’t they, like, operate differently? Maybe they have a genetic advantage.
We will invent anything at times to avoid stepping out on an uncertain plane. It seems like it crosses the Grand Canyon. We’re working it up a little bit there, folks. It isn’t that bad, and you can handle the issue by deserving, by again doing something that I’ve talked about throughout the videos that you may have seen here or will see here, which is that there is a quality that you need to operate from when you’re embracing new change, it’s to do that.
Embrace it. Know that always this issue of belonging or deserving or whatever is going to come up because you’re doing something new. You’re reaching a different altitude.
You know, tennis players usually can make, I mean, often make a meteoric rise, but it’s not the case with all. A very excellent women’s tennis player from the early 2000s was Lindsay Davenport, and she gradually worked her way up. She was never some flaming comment that was, you know, flashed on the scene and at 16 was ready to rock.
No, she made it, made it, made it, step by step and at a very mature age was finally in, you know, the finals of major championships. And she says, at every single step of the way, I had to get used to being at the new level. I had to get accommodated to it. I had to wrap my mind around it and be ready. And that was, like, the final gate.
She did all kinds of work on her strokes. She was one of the hard-working tennis players, and in women’s tennis, there were people who were meteoric who went past her, and she finally caught up with them, but systematically she developed the skills.
And yet, she had at each stage of the way, not to say, I guess, I’m sort of a grade B, you know, I’m kind of a good top 20. I’m a good 100. Wherever she was, she could’ve said kind of that that’s where I am. I’m already 22, and I haven’t gotten far. No! She kept going.
Now, that doesn’t mean getting to a sense of belonging or deserving is something that takes a long time. It doesn’t have to. But you have to actively work on that, and you’ve got to know that, like, when you cross the sound barrier in a jet, it’s going to shudder. That just happens when you cross that barrier. You’ve got to realize that when you break barriers that you thought were real for you, and they weren’t real after all, that you’re still going to shudder when go past.
You know the story, of course, of the four-minute mile. It’s been talked about and talked about, but the significant thing about the four minute mile was that people were collapsing if they got anywhere close to the four minute mile, that is running a mile from beginning to end in four minutes or less. They were literally falling down on the ground and having to be carried off sometimes on stretchers. And when Roger Bannister, who was a medical student, finally cracked it the first time, you may know also that immediately, two months later, somebody else cracked it. And I think in the first year, something like the first year, something like 12 people cracked the four-minute mile.
It was this idea that became a barrier, and it was so strong because everybody believed in it that it had a force, and there were medical journal articles that said the human body is not built for this.
You’ve got your own responses why you may think you don’t belong. Just realize that it’s one of the things that comes up. It’s not terribly real. It’s kind of nonsense, and you can move right past it. If you realize that, you simply will because it’s kind of an internal hoax that one part of your mind that says, careful. Go slow. Watch out. Don’t. It’s just an old kind of relic from the past. Let it go.
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