Do you remember when we were kids and had tough choices? What team will I join? Where will I sit in the lunch room? Who’s going to be my best friend? I was a smart kid, but I was never physically gifted and I was almost always was the last kid to be picked. The fact I rarely got picked also meant I often didn’t find myself nominated to be team captain.
Almost always, in every team sport, I was also the slowest and the most uncoordinated. In volleyball, I’d miss the serve. In basketball, I couldn’t keep the ball. In dodgeball, I couldn’t dodge. I was the girl no one wanted on her team because I couldn’t guarantee a score. I began to believe that sports, cheerleading, and homecoming court were just for popular kids.
But, what I learned through this very real experience is I brought something different: heart and soul. I laughed at myself, encouraged others to laugh, and did everything with a smile.
I showed up to class to be that last person picked. And, that, mattered.
I began to learn how to play the game to my strengths.
- I didn’t wait...and started to make my own choices regardless of who was nominated to “choose sides”.
- I mustered the courage to nominate myself for things, regardless of how uncool that seemed to be.
- I connected with everyone: popular, unpopular, cheerleader, geek...because the world has a place for everyone. And, I still do.
- I became fearless and relentless pursued what I wanted. As an example, I ran for student office six times before I was elected. I learned from every lost election to get up and keep trying again. Eventually, the kids took me seriously and I won!
The fact is choosing sides is about you making the choice, not someone else.
How do you get picked for the right things? You choose. You self nominate. You connect. You stand out. You make the rules and sometimes you fly by the seat of your pants. But you learn and adjust. You drive the ball!
No one is going to choose you unless you choose first.
Today I take it a step further and encourage others to do the above, and you should too. Too often we get trapped into negative thinking and our loved ones need to know that choice is the most important tool we have in life.
Were you the odd ball? Perhaps you were the one who didn’t pick kids like me? What choices are you making today to get picked for the right things?