“Am I defined by what other people tell me? Am I defined by my previous failures and what I can or cannot do?” – Nick Vujicic
How does one determine their own self-worth? What steps must one take to get to the roots of their identity and discover their purpose in life?
I don’t know if there is a simple answer to that question, the age-old philosophical thought — why am I here?
Everyone is guilty of being a little too hard on themselves, I know I can be. Whether it’s in your work, your relationships, or any other aspect of your life, we all have thought at one point in time, I’m not enough.
Maybe you look around your workplace and feel that you aren’t as talented as your colleagues. Or maybe you see your partner and think why would you ever want to be with someone like me? These self-limiting beliefs are destructive and harmful to your emotional well-being and your life.
Growing up, kids used to call me the “dumb kid,” and I let them hold me back for years. It’s critical to remember that other people do not define your worth — only you can do that. It’s simply astounding what we are capable of if we simply believe we are enough. Self-doubt is one of the worst things that can keep you from reaching your full potential.
Today’s guest is no stranger to self-doubt. Even without any limbs, he believes in himself completely and doesn’t let anything slow him down.
Without any medical explanation or warning, Nick Vujicic was born in Melbourne, Australia without arms and legs. According to Nick, the victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, can be credited to his faith in God. However, he also attributes the support of his family, friends, and the many people he has encountered along the journey that have inspired him to carry on as well.
Since his first speaking engagement at age 19, Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions, sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity. Nick established the Life Without Limbs ministry in 2005, and he is currently serving as President and CEO. In 2012, Nick married the love of his life and now they have four beautiful children.
Nick has written several bestselling books, such as Life Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life and Be the Hands and Feet: Living Out God’s Love for All His Children. Nick is truly an inspiration, and I was so honored to have him on The School of Greatness today.
If you are tired of drowning in self-doubt and are ready to unchain your fears, then join me on Episode 931 with the incredible Nick Vujicic.
Nick had his situation laid out for him at a very young age, and his parents didn’t sugar-coat the truth for him. Nick says having parents that pushed him to do things on his own was crucial to his development into the man he is today.
“No one knew what [I] could do unless [I] was ready to try something, but embrace failure as his classroom, and that was the attitude. My parents said, ‘Nick, you need to become a millionaire to survive. You are going to need caregivers. Mom and Dad can’t help you. You need to start a business in accounting and financial planning — get employees. They’re going to be your hands and feet.’ I was six years old when they told me that, so that was the understanding. I’m never gonna be a professional football player. I needed to find my full potential.” – Nick Vujicic
Nick goes on to explain how his parents gave him chores to do at a young age. Are you wondering how he did this without any arms or legs? Nick didn’t let this hold him back. He taught himself to vacuum his parents’ house with just his shoulder and chin and received $2 a week as payment. He says this taught him the value of what he had, what he earned, and how to set goals for himself.
I love how Nick paints this picture. How can we expect to appreciate all the things we have if we are handed everything we want? Parents play a huge role in almost every aspect of their children’s development, but our work ethic almost always stems from how much we appreciate the things we have. Nick was prepared for whatever the world might throw at him at a young age and hasn’t stopped moving forward since. The key, he says, is to treat yourself with positivity and kindness.
“I know I couldn’t play that sports activity, but I was watching and waiting for [the people who] were the first person to be eliminated outta that game. I would come over there by their side and look ’em in the eye and say ‘How are you doing?’ We have a spirit, we have a soul, we have a mind. Those are the three biggest elements of really who we are as a being. I did [learn to] look myself in the mirror and say, ‘Nick, your eyes are pretty good looking and no one can ever tell you different.’” – Nick Vujicic
No one can be the best at everything. We all have our strengths and it is up to us to discover what those strengths are. How are you going to know what you’re good at if you never put yourself out there? Take ownership of the qualities you possess! We cannot change the hand we have been dealt, so be thankful for what you have and use it to make the world a better place.
Life isn’t always peaches and roses, however. We all go through hardships and ups and downs. I know I’ve endured my fair share of tough times, and Nick certainly has as well. He had this to say about getting through the toughest times in his life:
“I attempted suicide at age 10 believing that I had no future, believing that I had no hope, believing that people’s opinions [of] me define my future failure. I was just in a very unhealthy spiral. … I’m a spiritual man, so apart from prayer and believing that God gives me faith and purpose and help, I actually ritually write out the things that I’m still thankful for every day.” – Nick Vujicic
Once again, we find ourselves learning how great the power of gratitude is! Taking time every day to write out all the things you’re thankful for can have a massive impact on your mental health and your self-worth. Just like Nick, we need to take account of the things in our lives that give us joy and happiness. Just by doing this simple act, you can shift your mindset from one of constant self-doubt to achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself!
After Nick and I got to talking about our greatest hardships in life, he told me the story of a woman in California who lost her husband to leukemia and left her as a single parent. The mother eventually married again and after five years gave birth to another baby. Ten months later, her second husband died in a car accident.
Nick had the honor of speaking at the man’s memorial service where he encountered the now twice-widowed mother of two. He said though there was an immense sadness, he could see in the woman’s eyes that she would never give up. He could see that she viewed this tragic experience as a way to encourage others to never give up, no matter how hard it gets. This brought us back to the philosophical question of “Why am I here?”
“Your value’s not determined by your past. Your future is up to you today. You, loving yourself, being the best you can be, and proactively being self-aware [determines your future]. Don’t let yourself get in the way of you … and then take one day at a time when you can’t think of thriving and you can only think of surviving. That’s a reality. You’ve been through that. I’ve been through that. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Take one day at a time, and one step at a time.” – Nick Vujicic
Wow. I was speechless after that one. I know we all struggle with our self-worth and our purpose in the world. Nick is living proof that as long as you treat yourself with kindness and push yourself to be the best version of you that you can be, you can overcome anything. Nick continued on to elegantly explain how he has maintained such a positive attitude.
“I just hope that people see the smile on my face as authentic and the peace and strength that I have in my eyes. No one has it all together, but if we can get ahead of that curve, we can get rid of those negative aspects and move on and shut that room down. How can I help myself focus on that next goal? Keep on going, knowing that your value and your happiness has nothing to do with money or fame, but by being happy, content, and embracing every day.” – Nick Vujicic
This is so powerful. Nick speaks to all of us with this because we all assume everyone else has it all together. Don’t hold yourself down by limiting beliefs about yourself. Instead, take it one day at a time and be thankful for all the things you have been blessed with in your life.
I have rarely felt as inspired as I did after speaking with Nick on this episode. This incredible man has managed to keep a positive outlook on his life even in his hardest times. Even though Nick credits his loving and supportive parents for the man he is today, I know he is a wonderful person and I hope to follow in his footsteps. No more excuses and no more limits!
Guys, I only covered the bullet points here — there is so much more to digest in this episode that I couldn’t fit into this post! Trust me, you’re not going to want to miss this episode!
If you’re eager to hear more from today’s guest, check out Nick’s podcast!
Thank you as always for joining me today, guys, and if you loved this episode don’t forget to share it on Instagram and tag me, @lewishowes. I’d love to hear your favorite parts of the episode!
I’ll see you all next time!