Expert Interview: The Underdog Curse
Don McDonald, PhD
Dr. Don McDonald has spent 17 years in the health and wellness industry as a chiropractor. It was from his position at the adjusting table that he noticed a common frustration developing into a major stressor in the lives of many patients. He identified it as ‘the Underdog Curse,’ and his chiropractic patients seemed unable to break out of it. It stopped people from living their best lives, and often stripped them of true happiness. Dr. Don is now a life coach and motivational speaker who dedicates his time to empowering people with the new, inspiring information regarding success, health, and his first love, neurology.
The Underdog Curse
“Many people, including myself, love underdog stories–whether they’re in the movies, or in the story of the World Series and the Chicago Cubs, or any story about someone who is not expected to win but who still wins. These stories are quite inspiring for people. That’s the promise—the upside—of the underdog story. If you’re not happy with where you are in your life, you can use those stories as an inspiration. But there is also a downside to over-identifying with the underdog.”
Why Is This Important?
“The challenge is, if you truly love underdog stories and you finally succeed at something, suddenly you are not an underdog anymore. You might notice that you are subconsciously sabotaging your success to get back into that underdog state. When you’re an underdog, you have no expectations, you have lots of support from your external environment. You can try something new and fail, yet not feel badly about yourself because you are still the underdog. If you happen to win, it’s like winning the lottery. This is the downside of the Underdog Curse.”
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
“Self-awareness is the key. The first thing is to ‘know thyself.’ Go on a journey to learn what your values are and what you enjoy doing. This is especially important for underdogs who are also people-pleasers. Often, they have lost sight of their own true desires. They’ve been doing things out of habit for so many years, based on what other people want or what they think other people want. For many of them, their ‘what-do-I-love’ muscle is atrophied. Spend some time with yourself. Some solitude and quiet time will give you insights into what you would really love to do. You might find that you are surrounding yourself with people who are trying to get you to do other things, not necessarily helping you do what you love or to use your talents. Surround yourself with people who will support you in that.”
Connecting With Don McDonald, PhD
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