Do you remember where you were when the Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII? That day was a whirlwind for me. I remember storming the field, jumping into confetti, and being right behind Coach Carroll, as Zach Miller and Russell Wilson doused him with Gatorade. It was one of the most epic days of my life.
Then a couple of days later, we had a parade down the streets of downtown Seattle where hundreds of thousands of people screamed and cheered. We felt like kings. I remember standing on top of the truck I was on with Jon Ryan and Steve Hauschka (the punter and kicker) holding the Lombardi trophy and starting a massive “SEA-HAWKS” chant. All of it led to the concluding ceremony at Century Link field, where each player was introduced, and all kinds on insanity ensued. I’ll never forget that day.
Two months later, we were all sitting in the team meeting room, back at square one. Everything that had happened, had to get put on the shelf. It didn’t matter anymore. Winning ONE, Super Bowl doesn’t help you win two. The Super Bowl season was over, and we had to start over from scratch.
Throughout the offseason that year, I heard SO many guys saying “I keep waiting for it to sink in we won the Super Bowl.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard that. The truth is, I said it too. That went on and on for months, until I finally realized what all of us meant by it…and when I realized that, it broke my heart.
Have you ever put your hope in something? Maybe a relationship, a job, or a career milestone? What happened when you got it? Or maybe when you didn’t get it? What was its impact on your self-esteem?
The unsaid message for all of us on the Super Bowl XLVIII team, wasn’t “I keep waiting for it to sink in,” but I keep waiting for this thing I worked so hard for to make me happy the way I thought it would, and it hasn’t.
And it actually scares me.
Was it awesome winning a Super Bowl? Abso-freakin-lutely. Did it make me happy and satisfy my core need for significance, joy, love, or value? Man, not even close.
While the things you are working towards are wonderful, the most important thing you can remember, is to keep them in their place.
Your esteem is an inside job, and CANNOT come from external wins.
As I look back on all the things I had hoped for, I have come to understand that the value we absorb from accomplishing dreams, actually creates a very fragile ego. When I made it into the NFL, it didn’t make me happy. When I made a great salary, it didn’t make me happy. When I got married, it didn’t make me happy.
While accomplishing our goals does bolster our confidence, you cannot allow your wins to be the foundation for your esteem.
Esteem and confidence are two separate things.
Confidence points to ability, while esteem has more to do with your worth. If you begin to tether your esteem to external wins, once those are gone, your glass house will come crashing down, and the fallout will be terrifying.
I’m not saying don’t shoot for something. Go for it! I have dreams and goals I want to achieve based on what I believe my purpose on the earth is. But I keep those dreams in their proper place. I have made it my mission in life to establish a foundation which cannot be taken away. An eternal one, where I know who I am, and know what I’m capable of…that right there my friends, is the deadly combination I want to impart to you today.
Your dreams may be lying to you. Making promises of significance, and value they cannot deliver on. Luring you into greater sacrifice, and not realizing you’re the offering! While it’s true your dreams may be lying to you, don’t let that keep you from working towards them.
Make the conscious decision today to be firmly rooted in WHO you are, and not WHAT you do.
Work your tail off. Go get your goals but remember they won’t satisfy you like you hope they will. If you keep that perspective, you will be unstoppable.
Here’s to loving the process,