Growing up, the main difference in how people saw me versus adulthood is the presumption of potential. People who spent a lot of time around me — teachers, coaches — seemed to see things in me I didn’t always see in myself. In adulthood, this certainly has happened. But the other side of it has been a number of scenarios where people blinded by their own presumptions of potential, have simply overlooked what was staring in their face for something resembling a more comfortable form of what they knew to be talent.
Experiences matter because they shape how we interact with people different than us. It also means you have to cultivate your own circle of trust and find people who accentuate the positive things you have to offer; seek out and listen to folks who seem to understand the attributes you have to bring to the fore.