Who do you think you are?

  • Published
  • By Maj. Darin Gibbs
  • 71st Logistics Readiness Squadron commander
When you look in the mirror, who do you see?

Besides the obvious answer...do you see a successful or defeated person? A person who stands on solid rock or sinking sand? Let me ask another question, who is correct between a person who thinks they're unstoppable and a person who thinks they'll never amount to anything and can never get anything right?

They are both right because you are who you think you are. So I ask, who do you think you are?

There are people who have so much potential and so many gifts inside them, but do not bring them out for fear of failure. They sell themselves short and do not believe in themselves.

You can tell if you're one of those people because there's a little voice in your head that reminds you of past failures, like an audio tape that plays over and over.

If you are one of those persons, snap out of it. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, cowboy up, get back in the race and keep on driving towards your goals, because there will be some risk involved. Tell yourself that you're a winner, and surround yourself with positive people who strengthen, encourage and lift you up.

You say, "what if I fail?" What if you don't? Sometimes failing is just another step to getting close to where you want to go.

When Thomas Edison failed for the 100th time trying to invent the light bulb, he was asked how it felt to fail 100 times and not be successful. He replied, "I don't see it as 100 failures, I see it as 100 times closer to achieving my invention." Failure is relative. Some see failure as the end, while others see failure as a learning opportunity to make themselves that much better.

Abraham Lincoln once said a great concern of his was not that someone failed, but that the person was content with their failure.

If you make a mistake and say it is not a big deal and move on, is that because you are making an excuse to get out of taking responsibility? It is a big deal if you are content with failure and you should never think that it is okay. Take the steps necessary to ensure you don't do it again.

As a freshman in college, I was required to take the Air Force Officers Qualifying Test if I wanted to be an officer. My Commandant of Cadets, a captain who was "God" within our Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment, called me into his office to tell me I had failed the test. It was a day I remember vividly.

I had failed miserably on the vocabulary and English portion of the exam. My options were to quit AFROTC or stay another year in college and take the test again. I decided that the Air Force was what I wanted to do and I elected to stay another year in college, which was easier said than done.

My parents didn't have the money for me to attend another year, so I worked four jobs on top of going to school in order to pay for my books, tuition and room and board. Additionally, I enrolled myself in a refresher English and vocabulary class.

Six months went by and the AFOQT was upon me again. Long story short, I passed the test and 14 years of service later, I think I'm doing pretty well.

My point is when I failed the AFOQT I could have dwelled on my disappointment, devastation, and embarrassment and succumbed to the controversy that faced me in that point of my life. I could've told myself that I was a failure and not good enough, smart enough or sharp enough to be an Air Force officer.

Have you ever caught yourself talking or thinking that way? Be careful, it's powerful and it will keep you from your goals, dreams and ambitions. You become what you think you are. If you think you're a failure then you will be. If you think you're successful, then you will be.

I challenge you to charge after your dreams, goals and visions. You have so much potential and unexplored gifts. Get out there and go for it.

There's an old proverb that says, "As a person thinketh in his heart, so is he."

Who do you think you are?