I’m A Nobody, So I’ve Been Told. Keep Believing In Yourself Even If Other’s Don’t.

I’ll always be a nobody.

I’m not good enough.

I’m not smart enough.

I’ll never make anything of myself

I should just take what I can get.

All messages no one should ever receive or have to listen to, especially a 13 year old kid. Unfortunately I did.


School was never my thing. Organized studies have always turned me off and never kept me interested or held my attention long enough for me to grasp and learn whatever it was that was being taught.

It’s not that I don’t like learning, I love learning. I can’t seem to get enough of it these days. The difference now is that I choose how I learn, what I learn, when I learn, and where I learn. Nothing is dictated.

We all learn differently. There isn’t one way that’s right or better than another way. The right way is the way in which we as individuals grasp, process, and comprehend information that is given to us. What works for one person may not necessarily work for the next.


“Be more like so and so, they’re smart, they get it, look at their grades.”


I’m a visual learner. I can read an entire manual or a How-To book and still still not understand but if you visually show me how to do it, it’ll make complete sense to me and I’ll understand it. Others may be more hands-on learners and need to actually do something themselves to learn. One way isn’t better than the other, just different.


Here are the facts…

I wasn’t a fan of organized studies.

I learned a bit differently than the rest.

I enjoyed making others laugh at inappropriate times (during church and reading class). 🙂


This didn’t mean that I didn’t want to learn or be supported and encouraged. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t trying. My grades my not have reflected my efforts but I assure you I was trying. Most of all, I didn’t deserve to be discouraged, punished, or told I would never amount to anything. No one needs or deserves to here that. I may have only been 13 years old at the time but it’s taken me many years to move past the comments made towards me during my time in 7th and 8th grade.

As tough as it was to hear the comments that I wasn’t good enough or going anywhere in life, I still believed I could make a difference. I always believed there had to be some way I could help, be of value, or provide value versus being a nobody. At the time I didn’t know how, I just knew I could regardless of what I was told.


Just Because Someone Doesn’t Believe In You, Doesn’t Mean You Stop Believing In Yourself


After high school, I applying and got accepted into college which I was told I wouldn’t be able to do. I was just suppose to settle and take what I could get remember? I bounced around through a few different majors and settled on one that involved two of the things I loved most as a kid and still do today; fitness and sports. Four years later, I graduated with a degree in Sports & Fitness Management.

I wasn’t done there though. I applied for a Graduate Assistantship which I was told was very competitive and very difficult to be accepted for one of these positions. Well, I was accepted. I earned my Masters Degree in Sports Medicine and graduated with honors.

Flashing back to high school, I can remember my 10th grade Civics Professor telling me I would never have the ability, guts, or means of moving and leaving my home town. After finishing graduate school, I moved to San Diego and lived there for 14 years. So much for no ability, guts, or means of making it happen.

I worked for a health club when I first arrived in San Diego as a personal trainer. I made it a goal to move up in the organization and become a fitness manager as soon as possible. I was told I had to first do my time, prove myself for several years and if I was lucky, they would consider me for a fitness manager position if one was available. I was promoted to a fitness manager position within 9 months.


The Harder You Work, The Luckier You Get


After several years in San Diego, I wanted to start my own health & fitness business but was told the odds were against me. I was told nine out of ten small business fail. Although these were and still are accurate statistics, I was insistent on making it happen. I was advised by friends and colleagues to stick with my current position as a fitness manager. I was making good money, great benefits, a nice schedule, plus what made me think I would be the one out of ten that made it? My thought was, why can’t it be me who’s the one out of ten that makes it? From 2004 until my move back to Boston in 2013, I became the one out of ten that successfully started, owned, and operated a health & fitness business. I got lucky once again.

If You Believe In Yourself, Anything Is Possible.


Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to meet several wonderful people who have believed in me, loved me, supported me, and told me I was good enough, smart enough, and to never settle for anything less than awesome. They encouraged and inspired me to be better, to do more, to believe in myself and all that I was capable of creating and accomplishing.

It’s hasn’t always been easy being the only one believing in me. Of course I had my parents and grandparents who were always great to me and very supportive. I just always though they were family and doing what family does.

I still have my moments but I’m in a much better place these days. One thing is certain, I will never let anyone dictate who I am and what I can and cannot do. That’s up to me to decide.




Looking back, the negative messages have replayed in my mind more often than I would like to admit. During college, job interviews, dating, different jobs, even with my own fitness business, they would often resurface. They crippled me mentally for years. As much as it has sucked, it’s also led me to where I am today and for that, I am thankful.

I share these stories with you with the hope that you too believe in yourself, all you are, and all that you are capable  of regardless of what you may have been told. You’re awesome, believe it, believe in yourself, and if you don’t have anyone to believe in you, call me (858) 245-4164… because I believe in you.

Believe in yourself long enough and others won’t have a choice but to believe in you as well.

You’re the only person who gets to decide what you can and cannot do, no one else.


“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

~ Nelson Mandela ~


Have you had similar experiences? Have you experienced episodes of others not believing in you or talking you down? If you, how did you overcome it? Who were those that did believe in you? Please share your stories and experiences with me in the comments below so that we may learn from each other and keep moving forward. 


 Image Credit: Alessio Lo Re

  • Great to see that you didn’t let anyone else determine what you could do. Thanks for sharing being open with this article. I’m definitely inspired from reading it.

    • Thanks Bryan. My hope in sharing my story and experiences with others is that they too believe in themselves and understand that it’s up to them, and only them, to decide what they can and cannot do. No one else. Thanks for your words too, always appreciated.

  • I just read that Jay Leno was told that if he would stop trying to be so funny at school he would be a good student. Maybe being yourself isn’t so bad! Thanks for the story.


  • Good for you, Mike! We all have people that haven’t supported us and many of us can fall victim to that negativity. It’s inspiring to hear how it motivated you but I also appreciate your honesty about how it still hasn’t left you. I have similar memories and try to use it as fuel as well. It’s no surprise you’ve risen above. Good for you!

    • Thanks Anne, your comments and words of support are much appreciated. Rising above what others say or think of us isn’t always easy to do but certainly what we must do. We are all awesome individuals in our own way and I can’t think of a reason any of us should ever be told otherwise. Good for you Anne for using your similar experiences as fuel to do more, be more, and create more. Seems to me you’ve risen above it as well. Cheers to you!

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