On a very normal September morning, I carried my hockey bag into the arena for another try out with the AAA team. After the last ice session, I had to convene around the coach’s room for the evaluation on myself and see where I stood among the other players. When my time was up for me to walk in and have my one on one meeting with the coaching staff I was nervous like any other 14 year old would be at that time. The meeting went on and the coach began to fire off on the fact of my size and that I was too small to play this level of hockey. Fair enough, I thought to myself, but then he began his barrage on his opinion that I would never make it anywhere in hockey and that I was too small and scared. These last couple of statements really took me back, and as an immature 14 year old, somewhat hard to handle. As I left the meeting and went out to meet my family, I remember a sense of anger and a hunger to prove him wrong.
In the coming months I played for the AA team, one step lower and began to slowly succeed to a higher measure as the season went on. In that season, I concluded with being 5th in league scoring, first in playoff scoring, winning the league title, capping it off with the MVP award for the entire league, and finally being drafted into a major junior league which is a very high level of hockey in Canada. I don’t say that everything that happened that year was because of anger and the desire to prove that coach wrong, but I strongly believe that it was a major factor and left a defining imprint on my character which I still hold high in myself today.
Everyone is confronted with doubt at some point in life, how do you handle it? I was directly confronted with that question that morning. In all walks of life people are confronted with others doubting them whether it be from athletics, business or academics. People are doubted at some point, one way or another and it can leave a defining impact on a person’s life the way it is handled. Ultimately, handling it in a positive manner is the best course of action. A man’s will and future can live on the decisions we make to handle our skeptics.
It is always easier to say how any of us would handle that type of situation until being forced into that exact predicament. The fact is that not everyone will handle it in a positive manner because of the way there personality is, but every one of us do have it within to unleash the person who says, “I can do anything I want to and nobody has the right to tell me any different.” The fact of the matter is, do we decide to unleash it? And when? Our personal character and ability of free speech and action allow for us to unleash at anytime, the person that we want to be.
We are called out as an individual many times in a day, may be smaller in scale or bigger but we all face that decision. I believe that we all can accept and conquer whatever doubts any one person or group may lay on top of us and pull forward through it. To deny yourself of achieving and becoming the person you want to be is an injustice and leaves forever a question lingering in your head: “what if…?” As Andre Maurios says, ” if you create a character, you create a destiny.”
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