A friend recently confided in me about some trouble he’s having at work. He was hurt and he felt betrayed by people he thought were better than that. As we talked, he said, “I guess not everyone is on my team.”
The truth is, few people truly are. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re against you; they’re just not really with you.
A couple of years ago I self-published a children’s book. Many of you bought it. I will forever be grateful for the support. It was amazing. People I haven’t spoken to since fourth grade ordered multiple copies. I mailed A Tail of Two Kitties to people all around the world.
At the time, I worked for a man who has a huge platform in the publishing world. He’s well-respected with a lot of influence and thousands of social media followers. When the book was finished, I asked if he would spread it around for me; just a mention on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll never forget what he wrote back to me: “Curt, I don’t see how this benefits my audience.”
That really hurt. Until I accepted the fact that not everyone is on my team. It doesn’t mean he was against me; he just wasn’t really with me. He didn’t champion my efforts.
Imagine you’re a pitcher toiling away on the mound; you’re struggling, succeeding, failing, competing. Some in the crowd very much care that you win and they’re cheering you on. Others are in the same ballpark as you, but they’re just hanging out eating hotdogs. Neither group is on your team. There are seven players behind you and one very important one in front of you that make up your team. Win or lose they are with you, and they’re prepared to do whatever is necessary to make sure there is success. They’re wearing the same uniform as you are.
In life, there are no uniforms. You must assemble and maintain your team. And the first step is to be a good teammate. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” I spent years going against that advice. I approached too many things as a competition. It was me against the world and the results were never really satisfying.
I get it now. I will build my team and be a great teammate. I will rely on the people behind me and I will always look to the One in front of me to call a great game. I cannot worry about the people not on my team. I have too much I want to do.
Are you surrounded by people who champion you? Are you championing others? Maybe you’ve got tough decisions to make. Make them. Not everyone is on your team and that’s okay. Lots of people need teammates. Find them and find peace.