Imagine the following people. Not existing people – people entirely of your imagination. What they look like, how old they are, even what their names might be. If it helps, write it down.
- A president – a benevolent leader, loved and respected by their people
- A billionaire – a self-made success, driven and honest
- An achiever – someone who has worked their way to the top rung of whatever field you are most passionate about
Done? Good. Now answer the following questions:
- How many of these people are the same gender as you?
- How many of them are the same age as you?
- How many of them are the same skin colour as you?
- How many of them dress, talk, think like you?
- How many of them are from a similar background and upbringing as you?
- Do you see yourself in any of the people you imagined?
If the people you imagined do not resemble you, wouldn’t you say that’s a problem?
The world is a tough place. It might even be unfair at times. Especially if you’re not born winning the post code, gender or genealogical lotteries. But buying into the world’s concept of what people who achieve look like – to the point where you cannot see someone like yourself in positions like these – is an early surrender.
Success is a battle. If you’re going to fight, start by believing it is a fight you can win.