“Underdog: A person who is expected to lose in a contest or conflict“.
Many of us feel like the underdogs in the contest that is life. We struggle and fight to make our way to the top, to reach success and to overcome all obstacles in the way. Yet when we take a look at the present point we are at in our lives and how far away the goal seems to be, we feel like throwing in the towel. We’re quick to think of a million reasons why we wont achieve our goal and sadly, we believe them. If you look throughout history though, it has always been the people who believed in themselves, even when they had all odds against them, who have made an impact on the world and achieved their own level of success. These are the underdogs- the ones who persevered, who maintained their determination and kept their sights on the end goal, proving that you really can make something out of nothing.
Take a look at these 5 underdogs who started from the bottom:
Once upon a time in the housing projects of Brooklyn lived a young 12 year old boy…who shot his brother in the arm for stealing his jewellery. To meet financial needs, this boy became a drug dealer. This boy then escaped the slums of New York and grew up to become the man we know as ‘Jay Z’, a world renowned rapper and producer, the head of a record label, clothing designer and restaurant and club owner. 99 problems but success ain’t 1.
Not only was Oprah born into a poverty stricken family where she struggled through financial hardship much of her early life, she too was faced with a traumatic adolescence having been the victim of numerous accounts of sexual abuse. Now fast-forward a few years to when Oprah was 19 and got her big break working as a co-anchor for the local evening news. From there, Oprah worked her way up the ladder to become the most powerful and successful female self-made media mogul in the world. Not to mention the fact that she was the first Black Female to become a Billionaire.
When she first pursued her career as an actor and moved to New York, Berry ran out of money and as a result she was forced to live in a homeless shelter. Chasing her dreams paid off though, as she now earns a reported $17million dollars a year and achieved the dream that she initially risked it all for.
After dropping out of high school as a teenager in order to help his family pay the bills when his father was fired from his job, Jim worked as a janitor. However his family eventually lost their home and were forced to live in a van that was parked throughout different places in Canada. Today you would recognise him from his lead roles in a long list of cinematic classics including Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar, The Mask, Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty, The Grinch and The Truman show.
Sarah Jessica Parker
Before she became the female icon ‘Carrie’ from the successful hit Series “Sex and The City”, life wasn’t always that sexy. Parker grew up in a family of 8 children, where at school they would have to face humiliation when she, along with the other children who were poor enough to be on welfare, would be called to the front of the lunch line to receive a pass for a free meal. She could now afford to buy the whole school their lunch, but it isn’t the money that makes her successful, it’s the fact that she achieved her dream of becoming an internationally renowned actress.
Moral of the story, if these people can claw their way to the top after living through the shit storm they did, then so can you. All you have to do is have a goal and believe you can reach it, but most importantly never allow anyone, especially yourself, to make you believe that you cannot achieve it.