as originally posted on ZGirls
I was standing in the cafeteria, about 100 yards long, amongst hundreds of Olympians and had to find a seat. As I looked around I judged every athlete around me. That person has 50k followers on Instagram, that person is from another country, and that person has 3 gold medals. I panicked. I felt I didn’t amount to those around me. So I took a seat all by myself at a table.
How at 25, an Olympian, and usually comfortable socially, did I lack confidence?
Minutes later, someone approached me and said “Can I sit here? Because no one from team USA sits alone.” They sat next to me because they saw past everything I was (or wasn’t). They saw that I was human.
That one person taught me the influence of one action…compassion and acceptance for others. What if I could be that person to someone else?
WHAT IS AN OLYMPIAN “SUPPOSED” TO BE?
Recently I was at a meet and heard that while I was jumping a few girls in the stands made comments like “SHE’S an Olympian?” “I can’t believe SHE is an Olympian” in a negative connotation. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my best meet (in fact, I fell flat on my face) but little did they know, I was going through my own struggles, both personal and physical.
Their judgment hurt; I don’t care if they think I “look like an Olympian” or not. I care because there was a young girl sitting in front of them that aspires to be a triple jumper and I never want her to think her dreams aren’t possible because she doesn’t fit into a perceived mold. Just because I don’t look or jump how others think an “Olympian” jumps, does not take away the fact that I continue to set my goals high, just like many of you do.
Its ok to dream big, set your aspirations high, and fall flat on your face (literally) every once in a while. But when you fail don’t be afraid to get back up. Don’t let little moments define you. You define those moments.
That’s where your biggest growth is…in failure.
We are so quick to judge others by their mistakes because we secretly don’t want to fail either. We do everything possible to avoid embarrassment and often times, it unknowingly inhibits our ability to take a risk and go for our dreams.
Dare to step out of your comfort zone and go for it because everyone goes through success and struggle. What if you were judged at your lowest and highest points in life? Would that be a true depiction of the WHOLE you? I don’t believe so, because it is the sum of every moment that makes you who you are.
So, how do you deal with someone when you feel you are being judged? Confidence, compassion for others, and acceptance.
When I think back to the times I have judged others, I know I never intended to hurt anyone or myself…but I did. So how can we be less judgmental of one another? It has to start as conscious change. Show compassion, not judgment, so that no one ever feels alone in their success, failure or anywhere in-between. Start simple, next time you start to judge someone, replace it with a smile, a “hello” or a hug. Share your story and listen to someone else’s. After all, you never know the impact that you could have on one person…even if it means walking up to the lunch table to take a seat next to someone you don’t know.