I am stupid, dumb, worthless, a loser who won't amount to much in life. That's what I told myself and was also told by a teacher when I was young. I would often look at wealthy people, clever people, corporate leaders, senior executives, people who had the world in their hands and I would think to myself - "If I could just be like them".
At school, I was never shown how to learn, not even how to rote learn. (I only learned what that was when I left High School). I assume that I must have been shown something because I could read and write, pretty well in fact.
I tried to learn but no matter how hard I tried I was always near the bottom of the class. And so I became comfortable there, near the bottom. I wasn't last in the class so at least I wasn't that stupid I told myself.
I went through school fearing life - how was I going to succeed, how could I buy a house, how would I be able to live, what is going to happen to me, would I even survive.
It use to keep me awake at night, worrying that I was a failure and wondering if it was all worth it in the end.
I did okay in life as it turned out, I sat a building apprenticeship and eventually became a construction site foreman. That was great but there was still something missing. And then something happened late in my life, at 35 years of age someone showed me how to learn.
From that point I realised that I wasn't so stupid, so dumb, so worthless, or a complete loser who wouldn't amount to much in life. Studying became like a drug for me, I couldn't get enough of it. I found that I could read and digest eight to ten research papers in an hour, highlighting the important points as I read. As I laid the points out on pages I could visualise where each paragraph would fit, it was crazy and exciting.
Words would float across the pages to where they should fit.
The end result, I now have a fistful of qualifications including a couple of Diplomas and a Master of Arts Degree. And I am still studying. So what is the moral of this rant? If I can, anyone can.
Stop telling yourself that you can't do something because you can. No one is stupid, dumb, worthless, or a loser who won't amount to much in life. Each of us has something special to offer the world, we just have to find what it is and how to use it.
Dismiss the negative self-talk, the comparisons, the comfort of complacency.
I once would make excuses as to why the other person was better than me - they had money, they went to a good school, they had perfect timing, they had lots of support - excuse after excuse.
I may not be the smartest, most intelligent, wealthiest, or a senior executive, but I have done okay I reckon. What I do know is that we can all achieve great things if we put our minds to it. You just might need some help as I did so never be afraid to ask for help.
One person took the time to show me how to study, for that I am so very grateful. That was my key, learning how to learn. I encourage you to strive to find your key, it's never too late. Find it, use it, give it all that you have when using it and watch how life unlocks before you.
Finally, remember to give back and to pay it forward. Help others to succeed as you find success. The rewards become endless. Go for it, you have nothing to lose except regret.