4 Famous, Successful People Who Overcame Underdog Situations and Negative Words to Fulfill Purpose

They cut me down with sharpened tongues; they aim their bitter words like arrows straight at my heart. (Psalm 64:3, The Living Bible)

Have you ever told someone about a project you were working on, only to hear them respond in distasteful amazement, “You?” Their response was a doubtful surprise and code for, “How could someone like you attempt something like that?” The world is full of haters and naysayers but the good news is their negative, bitter words aren’t the final edict, judge or jury on your life and purpose. Here are four famous, successful people who encountered that same “You?” attitude as well as negative words and underdog situations to overachieve.

Walt Disney was told he lacked creativity. Subsequently, he built a creative empire and books have been written about his creative genius. (Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240492)

A number of people said Pastor Paula White was not “ministry material.” She’s now the Senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center with a thriving television ministry under her own name.
(Source: White, Paula, Deal With It! You Cannot Conquer What You Will Not Confront. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004.)

Surfer, Bethany Hamilton, had her arm bitten off by a shark. She thought she would have to settle for being a surf photographer but won a surfing championship just two years later. (Source: http://www1.cbn.com/700club/bethany-hamilton-shark-attack-victim-still-making-waves, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/successful-people-obstacles_n_3964459.html)

Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC Film School, twice. USC awarded him an honorary degree in 1994 and he became a trustee of the entire university. (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/successful-people-obstacles_n_3964459.html)

If these four people had accepted the negative words of their naysayers, the world would be a very different place today. Bethany Hamilton not only continues to surf but also has raced cars and helped young amputee, girls believe in themselves. Pastor Paula White has empowered other women to believe that God can use them in ministry. Through Walt Disney’s legacy, children are entertained across the globe. Stephen Spielberg helps a university that rejected him twice.

Have negative words affected your courage to do something you’re called to do? Don’t let other people’s negative opinions paralyze you. Follow the leading of God and the corresponding passion in your gut—no matter what!

And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns. (Philippians 1:6, The Living Bible)

Lenita Reeves is a wife, mother of four, author, speaker, pastor and is hooked on all things purpose. She spends her time interceding, writing, speaking, blogging and conducting seminars on discovering and maximizing purpose. Visit http://www.purposehouse.net/iam to receive your free Declaration of Divine Purpose Manifesto document.

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