It was a difficult road for Michele Tafoya to make it to the top of sports journalism. She was a woman breaking into an almost entirely male domain, she conquered an eating disorder and suffered multiple miscarriages. And this is to say nothing of the difficulties of the actual job itself—with its grueling travel schedule, days away from home, egos and lightning fast pace in front of an unforgiving audience of millions. When we asked Michele—who happens to read The Daily Stoic each morning—how she did it, she gave us four pointers that apply to anyone going through any hard moments. She called them “go-to bits of self-talk” for hurtful moments but really they are more than that. They are Stoic principles embodied.
Read them and use them:
1) I’m not identifying myself as a female sports reporter. I’m a sports reporter. This notion helped me focus on the job at hand rather than what people’s perceptions of me were.
2) Life is unfair. That is a fact. If life were fair, no child would ever die. If life were fair, everyone would look the same. If life were fair, cupcakes and potato chips would be good for you. Accepting that life is not fair is liberating. It reminds you that there are some things with which you have to deal and accept. Why play the victim? It doesn’t get you anywhere. I don’t accept illogical unfairness — like being paid less than someone doing the same job I’m doing. But I do accept that there are people on TV who are much prettier than I am. I accept that I have to exercise and diet to look the way I want. I accept that I have to freeze my tail off during some games while Al and Cris sit in a warm booth with hot chocolate! These are things I signed up for.
3) Don’t let the dishrags get you down. My husband calls the small worries in life “dishrags.” Someone can throw one at you, but it doesn’t hurt. Annoying, yes. Harmful, no. What are some examples of dishrags? Someone criticizes your hair. You give the bartender a $50 bill, and he swears you gave him only twenty. A player or coach publicly denies giving you the quote he gave you. All of these are survivable.
4) Taking the high road is never a mistake.
You can read Michele’s full interview here. It’s wonderful.
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