Recently, Steven Henegar College approached the Mayor of Midvale, UT (suburb of Salt Lake City) to offer two life changing scholarships to the citizens of Midvale.
The first scholarship was a full ride, four-year program (valued at $25,000). The second scholarship was for a two-year associates program (valued at $12,000).
The Mayor announced the scholarships in her newsletter to the citizens. She asked for anyone interested in the scholarships to write her. From there, they would choose who would most benefit from this opportunity.
At a local art show, the Mayor rose to the podium to announce who would receive the scholarships. As she spoke, she announced that she received only one letter. One letter!
There are about 28,000 residents in Midvale. Of those 28,000 residents, 4,000 fit in the 15 to 24 age demographic. The 15 to 24 year olds are not the only ones to blame for a missed opportunity here. Most people know somebody that could have benefited from this scholarship.
In this case, if anyone would have picked themselves to play the game they would have at least received $12,000 to go to school. But only ONE person picked themselves. Just one. (And good for her.) I know some people didn’t get the message. And I get that. But “I didn’t know”, “I didn’t have time”, “I didn’t think”, “I didn’t see” are forms of hiding.
This is an endemic problem. The internal narrative. The story we tell ourselves. We can’t bargain with it. We think we are being safe and cautious listening to this voice that is telling us not to bother with an opportunity just to play the game. We think we are being rational, “People like us don’t win things like this.” It is ingrained, “We aren’t special enough. You are not good enough. Who do you think you are?” Worse of all we minimize it and amplify the story, “I didn’t want to go to Steven Henager anyway.”
We sit back and wait and wait and wait to be picked. Then we complain that we never get picked.
So pick yourself. Pick yourself to play in the game. You might not win. And that’s okay. Play again tomorrow.