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  • Need inspiration? Check out these Cinderella stories from the Super Bowl

    Molly Fletcher, Need inspiration? Check out these Cinderella stories from the Super Bowl

    Need inspiration? Check out these Cinderella stories from the Super Bowl  

    We all struggle to stay stay motivated. That’s why it’s such a valuable reminder to see people unexpectedly succeed—to affirm we each are capable of reaching a big goal no matter where we come from.

    This year’s Super Bowl had several wonderful Cinderella stories that will inspire you, too.

    The Rookie: Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots
    Butler is the reason the Patriots won, because he intercepted a goal-line pass in the last few seconds of the game. No team drafted Butler, who had a spotty college career that ended at West Alabama (not a football powerhouse). Earlier at a community college, he was let go from the football team after five games and worked part-time at a fast food restaurant.

    Even when others gave up on him, Butler saw better for himself, and that carried over to his performance on the field. “I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play, and it came through,” Butler said after the Super Bowl.

    Never doubt that no matter how far you appear from the spotlight, you can perform magnificently—as long as you see and believe in yourself that way.

    The Survivor: Jermaine Kearse, Seattle Seahawks
    Kearse has a knack for positioning himself at just the right spot to make a big play, and keeping his wits and reflexes about him when his team needs him most. He made only one catch in the game leading up to the Super Bowl, and it was the game-winning touchdown. That put him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

    He plays with a maturity and relentlessness that evolved after his dad passed away in 2007, and that distinguished him as an undrafted free agent (aka player least likely to succeed) in 2012. “I’m glad I went through this road because I learned a lot about myself, pushing through adversity and just making the most of opportunities,” Kearse told the New York Post. “It really had molded me into the player I am right now.’’

    In the Super Bowl, Kearse made another extraordinary catch to set up his team’s final touchdown attempt, and replays show how easily the ball could have bounced away if not for Kearse’s incredible hand-eye coordination, poise and focus.

    Like the New York Post said, “When the lights come on, Kearse shows up.” Don’t we all want to achieve under pressure like that?

    The Ringer: Chris Matthews, Seattle Seahawks
    Matthews joined the team with zero pedigree. He played for a junior college well out of the national limelight. His first NFL team cut him after training camp. He went north to play for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in Canada and worked multiple side jobs, including at a sports shoe store and as a security guard.

    Somehow the Seahawks plucked him from obscurity, and he was magic. He recovered an onside kick that helped his team beat the Green Bay Packers to advance to the Super Bowl. He had never caught a pass in the NFL until the Super Bowl, and one was for an early touchdown.
    Success was possible because he never doubted his abilities.

    “We’ve got guys with those types of stories that just put in the work to get on to the team,” Kearse said of his teammate Matthews. “And when they get the opportunities, they maximize it.”
    Your Game Changer TakeawayWhen opponents underestimate us, and when we are just plain underdogs, Cinderella stories remind us of the unlimited possibilities if we prepare well and continue believing.

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