One of the interns at one of our companies came to spend an evening with me – he had things that had been worrying him for a while about his life and growth and he wanted to share.
In the midst of sharing, he talked about his mother.
“The other day,” he shared. “She said to me ‘It’s not people like you that do great things. You are not special.”
“She said that to you?” I asked.
He said, yes.
He answered again, yes. I had to take that in. It was a reminder to be deeply grateful to my mother, from whom I got nothing but affirmation and validation every day of my life.
“I am going to tell you something very difficult,” I said to him. “Are you ready?”
He said yes.
“Is your mother a billionaire?”
He said no.
“Is she the best in her career, or whatever it is she does?”
He said no.
“You have experience of her motherhood,” I said. “Do you think she is doing a good job of it, speaking honestly, based on all you’ve told me?”
No, he said.
“So obviously, she doesn’t really have the credibility to tell you, you are nothing special and you’re not going to do great things. She is obviously struggling with her own issues, and her inability to love and support you the way that it should be done. So what you must do now is disregard her words, have compassion on her struggle, and continue on your journey.”
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