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workaholic's avatar

"They told me I'd never amount to anything" success stories?

Asked by workaholic (194points) March 8th, 2013

I’m looking for encouraging stories about people who were told they “would never amount to anything,” “would never make it,” “aren’t good enough,” or “couldn’t do it” but came out on top. This can be your personal accounts or links to other people’s stories. Thanks for your help!

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6 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

I was pretty much a dud at school. My English Literature teacher refused to let me sit the exam because he didn’t think I would pass. My dad asked me ‘can you do it?’ and I swallowed hard and said ‘yes’ and he paid, money he couldn’t afford, for me to sit that exam. It was one of the few I passed.

Since then, I had a successful career working, had kids and then returned to study. The kid who had no chance of passing an English Lit exam, now has a PhD and rated in the top 1% of the people who took a tertiary admissions test in my state.

Shippy's avatar

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
― Apple Inc.

Earthgirl's avatar

It’s a nice thought, your question comes from good place. We all like to cheer the underdogs. But think about what it means to “come out on top”. Does it mean success at any price? At the cost of your integrity? With backstabbing and compromising and missing out on good times with friends and family? Hopefully not. To me surviving and doing what your want to do for a living is success enough. That means enjoying the journey whether you come out at the top of the heap or are just an “also ran”.

A former boyfriend of mine in college said to me that when his mother found out that I was going to New York to become a designer she said “They will eat her alive in New York!” (She didn’t like me much) Here I am, not on the top of the heap, but still doing what I love for a living. It’s full of disappointment, lack of accolades and not too much money but I have never regretted my choice. To me, that is success of a sort. I still wish it could be better. Damn, I want that Rocky moment! But it will have to do.

workaholic's avatar

@Earthgirl Totally. The fact that you’re just doing it is the success. I agree that you don’t have to be at the “top” of your field (whatever that means) to be successful.

nebule's avatar

My old boss once told me that I’d never finish my Open University degree. I graduated last December with 1st Honours. I was also told when I was in school that I would never make a living out of being a singer. I don’t amke a living singing at the moment but I did end up going to the Royal Northern College of Music to study opera for a year and a half and a few years later after that I went to Tenerife for three weeks and earned some pennies over there singing in clubs and bars. It didn’t last but I consider it a success. If I wanted to go back to it, I know I could do it!

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