Gabrielle Douglas, the first African -American to win all-around gymnastic gold in the Olympics, looks more graceful flying across the bars than most do on the ground. But after her big win, the struggles she had to overcome became the topic of every article and interview: her parents’ divorce, her estrangement from her father, and the ankle injury that almost made her quit gymnastics. Hours after Gabby won the gold medal, the internet exploded with haters attacking everything from her hair to the color of her uniform. Even so, Gabby, along with her two medals and contagious smile, stayed busy making appearances worldwide and doing what she does best: excelling. And it’s that kind of attitude that’s inspiring.
What can you learn from Gabby? Tons. But, here are five things to focus on first.
1.Don’t Be Afraid to Fly Solo
When Gabby got the opportunity to train with the best coaches, she had to move to a different state and leave her family and friends behind. Even though it was scary, Gabby’s risk teaches us that sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone to truly shine.
2.Practice Really Does Make Perfect
There may have been times when Gabby secretly wanted to ditch a training session for a day at the mall or for an extra few hours of sleep, but as you can learn from her, putting in work — whether it’s for a sport, musical instrument, or other area of interest — is the only way to find success.
3.Quitters Never Win
What if Gabby really had quit gymnastics after injuring her ankle? What if she had let all the stress from her personal life distract her from training? Some other girl would be walking around with those medals, that’s what.
4.Haters Gonna Hate
You could invent a cure for the common cold and prevent a zombie attack all in the same day, and someone will still have something to say. Gabby didn’t let the critiques of her hair stop her from basking in the glory of her accomplishments, and you shouldn’t let other’s gossipy judgments get in the way of your happiness and achievements, either.
5.You’ll Catch More Flies With Honey
While competing, Gabby never lashed out or said ugly things to those people invading her privacy. Instead, she smiled politely and got back on those bars. Don’t let others bring drama into your life. Keep a positive attitude and positive things will come.