The first time I got a big building contract I had to go to their NYC Central Park West penthouse to get the contracts signed and to get my check for over $100,000.
This is when I was a carpenter renovating homes. This was my biggest job up until that point.
But I was young, still in my mid 20s and I looked like I was in my teens. I was nervous because these clients were the owners of the biggest book publishing house in the world. The penthouse was spectacular. Their wealth was mind blowing.
At that point in my life, wealthy people and people with high intelligence would intimidate me. Anyone with letters after their name, Phd, MBA, and basically anyone in a suit and a tie made me feel like a dummy.
At that time I only had a high school education. While I was extremely confident in what I could build with my hands, I struggled bad with my self-worth in other ways.
I always felt less than people with money and education. I always felt like I was looked down on because I was just a carpenter in work boots driving a pick up truck.
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I worked on mansions and penthouses, and renovated kitchens worth more than most peoples entire homes.
I wasn’t bitter. I found it interesting and motivating.
I started to wonder,
“What is different about these people?”
“How did they achieve so much wealth?”
“What do I have to do to be more like them?”
So I went back to school at night for many years. I graduated with high honors and the Dean’s accolades. I thought education would solve my problems. But I was so wrong.
I discovered that formal school education didn’t solve any problems. I was still the same guy, but I had a piece of paper on the wall. I am happy I finished my degree, but I was still intimidated by wealthy people and smart people. I still didn’t think of myself as smart even though I had a similar amount of education.
I started to dive into the world of personal development. I learned that I still had the “worth” mentality of an uneducated teen. I still had the wealth mentality of a poor kid growing up on the wrong side of the tracks.
I learned that …
If things were going to change,
I would have to change.
Many years later, I still read, learn, and constantly improve my knowledge but more importantly, I continuously develop my wisdom, soul and self-worth because this is where all the magic happens.
Most people are surprised to learn that I used to be painfully and debilitatingly shy because today I appear to be so self assured and confident. And generally I am. It’s been years to get here. Years to shed the insecurities and discover my true self-worth.
I discovered that wealth, success or education doesn’t give you confidence or happiness. You find your self-worth, inner peace and happiness by working on yourself. It is the hardest journey but it is by far the most rewarding with the biggest “return on investment.”
I understand now, that everyone, no matter how smart, or how wealthy, beautiful, or successful a person is, they still are fighting their own battles inside the vast journey of their mind.
In some way, we are all that insecure little child that is afraid of rejection and afraid of failing.
Many people never learn how to tame the voices of doubt in their mind. The voices of the people in your past that have said, “You’re not good enough” and “You’ll never amount to anything.”
For things to change, then you must change.
To finding your true self-worth,
Life Transformation and Peak Performance Expert, author, professional speaker, and global traveler. Croix is the Author of Dream Big Act Big, Dream Big Life Planner, Morning Manifestation, and the host of the Zen Warrior Podcast. He travels full time living the speaker and laptop lifestyle living part time in Costa Rica and wherever he feels like experiencing.