If you can think back to the most humiliating challenge that you can remember and then imagine it magnified and then exposed to millions of people across the world, then you may have begun to understand what Oprah Winfrey means when she says that 2012 kicked her tail.
Watching Oprah Winfrey’s struggle as she fought to keep her OWN network afloat and eventually moving if from humiliatingly low ratings to what is now a progressively growing network, I could not help but smile. I smiled because I truly admire this woman, Oprah Winfrey. Failing is hard enough but when you have to endure it in the public eye, I can only imagine that it can only be much, much harder.
Often when anyone says that they admire Oprah, they are accused of somehow worshiping her, and while I don’t worship her, I can certainly say that she deserved a lot of respect for her perseverance, faith and commitment to realizing a bigger dream than anyone of us has even even dreamed.
Below, Oprah talks about how she overcame one of the most challenging years of her life:
People, I gotta tell you: 2012 kicked my butt, yes it did. I thought I knew myself pretty well, but 2012 added a new dimension of discovery: Who are you, really?
Without the mantle of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which over the years had become an extension of me, I was forced to address that question in all the ways that mattered.
Who are you when the chips are down and you’re running out of chips? Over and over after I ended the show and began the next phase of my life, the media tried to put me in a box labeled “struggling TV network.” Even though I read only a few articles, one in particular cut me to the quick: OPRAH WINFREY ISN’T QUITE HOLDING HER OWN. I had always prided myself on just the opposite—my independence, my integrity, my support of others.
But there’s a thin line between pride and ego, so back in the spring and summer, when the talk about my troubles was loudest, I did the thing I’ve always spoken of most on this page. I got still and listened for the answer to What is this here to teach me?
The answer, first and foremost? Lay your ego down. Step out of your ego so you can recognize the truth. As soon as I did that, I was able to see the role I had played in creating “my circumstances,” without blaming other people. And—bingo!—I realized that all the noise about my struggle was a reflection of my personal angst and fear.
I’d spent way too much time in the early months of OWN trying to explain why things had gone so wrong: I wasn’t involved enough, I was too busy wrapping up my show, I left too much heavy lifting to other people, blah, blah, blah. The moment I stepped out of ego, though, I recognized that every choice I’d made had put me in the position I was in. The only way forward was to make better choices.