March 8, 2020

How I Embraced Being a Big Loser

Hello Love,

Not to brag, but I’m a pretty big… loser. I made reality TV history. 

You might not know this about me, but I’m the only person in 40 seasons of Survivor who was the first person voted out… twice. Meaning, I was on two seasons, and on both of those seasons I was the first person voted off my tribe. First out, last place. 

Everyone knows that the first person out on a reality TV show is usually a weirdo, annoying, untalented, etc. 

It wasn’t fun. And it really caused an internal crisis. The first time? Bad luck. The second? WTF?? I always thought of myself as a social person who could get along with most anyone. My very public Survivor experience said otherwise. 

But that crisis passed long ago. And now I wear my loser status as a badge of honor. But how did I get from crying myself to sleep in remote parts of Nicaragua and the Philippines to being grateful for the experience? 

Here’s how.

#1 I stopped resisting reality

The reality of my reality TV experience is that what happened happened. It’s done. It’s in the past. Wishing for an alternate reality, one where instead of losing, I came back for a second season and stunted on them fools, wasn’t going to make it so. 

I decided to hold my head high and accept that there were clearly lessons for me to learn from this experience. 

Oprah defines forgiveness as the point where you “stop wishing the past was different.” I forgave everyone involved, myself included. 

#2 I owned my feelings without judging them 

There’s a tendency, when something painful or hurtful happens, to judge your feelings and pretend that you’re over it, or not bothered by it, or to focus on blaming other people. I went through those stages of denial, but in the end I confided in others about how crappy I felt. It wasn’t easy at first, but it got easier the more I did it. 

#3 I used my disappointment as a catalyst for change

After the familiar fiasco of my second season, I became determined that Survivor wouldn’t be the defining experience of my life. I’d been dragging my feet for years on making a career change, but I stayed stuck at “I don’t know what to do” before Survivor

Post Survivor, my attitude changed to “I’m ready to figure it out.” It took humility, it took seeking out mentors, following breadcrumbs of things that interested me, and ultimately deciding to start my own business. 

I was so caught up in finding out what I was meant to do in this world, my disappointment took a backseat to the excitement of making major change in my life. 

#4 I realized how I see myself is what ultimately defines my life

I joke now and call myself a big loser, but that’s only because being a “loser” isn’t a shameful term for me. There’s no such thing as being a human and not losing sometimes. And sometimes that happens on national TV in front of millions of people! 

My life gets better the more I pay attention to the lens through which I see myself in different areas. I met the love of my life when I successfully started to see myself as a magnet for the relationship I wanted. I lost nearly 40 pounds when I chose to see myself as a person who effortlessly prioritizes her health and fitness. 

Some say I’m bad at Survivor, and well — I agree. I’m super bad at it! But I’m also great at finding the lessons in whatever challenges arise.

That’s what makes me a great coach. I have to thank losing big time for setting me on my path. 

If you’re ready to overcome your love or life challenges, and you need a little help (who doesn’t sometimes??), reply to this email so we can set up a time to talk about it.