I recently became aware of Sylvester Stallone’s powerful story. Early on, he found it difficult to realize his dream of becoming an actor/writer. After watching a boxing match between Mohammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, he became inspired to write the script for Rocky. He then took his script to producers; they loved the idea but were not pleased that he wanted to be the lead actor in his own star vehicle. They even offered him $325,000 for the script only. This would translate into an inflation-adjusted $1.3 million in today’s dollars. Stallone turned it down, adamant that he should star in the film. Eventually, they acquiesced to his demand at the risk of losing the script, and he was paid $35,000 to star in Rocky. Now, films that he has starred in have grossed upward of $2.6 billion worldwide, earning him both critical and commercial acclaim. He clearly made the best decision. However, suppose he had bought into the producers’ assessment of his value rather than adhering to his own sense of his worth?
A real danger of having a negative sense of worth is that you never know when you are going to get a chance to do the extraordinary. If you don’t feel worthy of the opportunity, then it is hard to capitalize on it.