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I do not have what it takes to get through The Struggle

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I do not have what it takes. I am the average. The mediocrity. Not that special. I do not think I have the resilience to keep standing back up after every cold rejection, every disheartening defeat, every failed attempt. I do not have what it takes to get through “The Struggle” to become what I imagine myself could do or to build Bearapy.

Ben Horowitz wrote in The Hard Things about Hard Things, that every entrepreneur goes through “The Struggle” – when we question ourselves as to the reasons for doing what we do, we get drenched in shit when it hits the fan, no one returns our call, we run out of money, and no one supports us. Everyone has it in themselves to be creative, to be entrepreneurial, but only a few can make it through the other side and triumph over The Struggle to become the “successful entrepreneur” i.e. the Zuckerbergs, the Jack Mas, the Elon Musks.

 

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Last night, I met with my super ego and arrived at a grudging hypothesis – I will not be one of those in the minority who have conquered The Struggle because I do not have what it takes, not the capability, not the pedigree, not the persistence, not the resilience…

I am tired. I wonder what is the point of it all. I toyed (yet again) with the idea of working simply as an associate for multiple firms to deliver other people’s ideas instead of architecting my own. It would be simpler, and stable, and I might even have time to play with jigsaw puzzles again. Why try to create something else? Why try to market myself? Why try to maintain the public profile?

Life would be easier if I would accept that I am, but mediocre. I would worry less (I guess) and be less anxious over whether I missed an email from a potential client. I am wrought with anxiety, laying awake in bed going through in my head possible scenarios – and how I would brace myself for disappointments because I did not make the cut. Turned down, again.

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I get worked up when attending events, or even hearing about happenings around town. I sneer when I see all the dufus-no-substance people and blah blah blah nonsense that speakers come up with, the same inner circle of people featured here, honoured there. All because I am bitter that I was not the one invited to be on the panel or on stage, and because everyone is doing something at least. In contrast,  I am drowning myself in resentment, hermitting on my red chaise longue in the living room, and lamenting the state of the world and my pitiful existence through typing on my fading keyboard with fury. For goodness’ sake, I still have not even finished writing that book I have been talking about.

Despite my personal mission, it is strenuous to go on. Is this “making the world mentally healthy” mission some illusion I conjured up to give myself some excuse to continue breathing? An effort to give myself a noble cause, that maybe I would one day, have a legacy to leave behind instead of ending up an anonymous stone with engravings somewhere in the dirt. It takes up too much energy to simply, stay alive.

It is so easy to give up. I am so tempted. So easy to self-doubt.

Success, they say, is the amalgamation of small, repeated efforts – day in, day out. So I keep trying, over and over and over and over again. Getting up everyday, one small breath at a time.

“The Struggle is where greatness comes from.” You and I can be great too.

Will you go on?

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6 Responses

  1. John H says:

    What’s the name of the book? I’m building a company and going through “The Struggle” right now 🙂

    • Noch Noch says:

      It’s called the Hard things about Hard things – there is a link on my post to the book
      Good luck with the struggle…. still going through it…
      Noch

  2. Jim says:

    Noch
    1. If you are going to compare yourself to others, why use Zuckerberg et al as the model? Better yet, why compare yourself to others at all?

    2. You don’t have to be mediocre. Just be Noch.

  3. Kiran says:

    You helped me!

    Keep delivering good work consistently. Ask for help if you need it. Your words and your experience can help people.

    Best wishes.

about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) is born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Play Consultant for corporates interested in creative change management and employee well-being using the psychology of playfulness.