I have a fondness for Lucille Ball. Perhaps it is partly because my family has compared my personality and klutziness to her’s since I was very small. As a child, I loved watching old reruns of I Love Lucy, her trademark series, even though none of my friends knew who she was. I consider her to have been a comedic genius, mostly because there was something incredibly fearless about her. She had a comedic boldness blended with a splash of ridiculousness which makes me happy to celebrate her. Whether you love her or hate her, if you are over the age of a fetus, you have at least heard mention of her name. She was labeled the Queen of Comedy, was one of the most influential women in early television and continues to entertain the masses posthumously.
Success was not always had by Lucille, however. She dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to pursue her dream of acting. She could have quickly grown discouraged and given up before she started, considering her drama teachers suggested she shift her focus to another career choice. She was told she lacked talent, would never be successful as an actress, and was later regarded as a mediocre B-list actress during the earlier years of her career. In the years prior to her success, there was absolutely no inclination that Lucille would become the iconic figure she is now known as being. She simply refused to give up, stay small and believe her critics.
I’m grateful Lucille Ball didn’t surrender hope of her dream of acting. If she had, I wouldn’t have the same level of appreciation for black and white television or chocolate factories. If you are confused by my previous sentence, watch and enjoy:
Believing the opinions of your critics is easy. Anyone can do that. However, maintaining faith in yourself, no matter how you are criticized, excluded or turned away, requires a determined spirit. Others may be assisting you in every other area of your life, but no one can be good at being you for you. If you want to accomplish anything in life, you must possess an unwavering faith in yourself, and it must come from a place inside of you no other person will ever have access to. Perhaps someone other than yourself pays your bills, perhaps someone other than yourself cleans your house or apartment and perhaps your mother will continue to do your laundry for the rest of your life. Even if you live a fully catered existence, no one can be a strong operating system for you. No one can put your thumbprint, your spirit or your essence on anything; only you possess the power to be you.
No one can create the life you want for you. Consider how different Lucille Ball’s life might have been, had she believed the opinions of her acting teachers. Now, apply the same consideration to your own life. No person’s criticism or negative opinion of you will ever define you unless you decide it does.