Tim Tebow has long been a controversial figure in the world of sports, from his practice of kneeling in prayer on the field during his time in the NFL (a.k.a. “Tebowing”) to his recent decision to switch sports from football to baseball.
During a press conference on Sunday, Tebow responded to critics of his move, with the one-time quarterback for the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos now hoping to play Triple-A baseball for the Mets in hopes of ultimately getting called up to the majors.
Asked about how he responds to the naysayers, Tebow offered an inspirational message.
“It’s really about trying to keep perspective and not letting other people define you. Shoot, I try to encourage young people all the time to not let the world or outside sources define you because you are always going to have critics and naysayers and people that are going to tell you that you won’t, that you can’t, that you shouldn’t. Most of those people are the people that didn’t, that wouldn’t, that couldn’t,” he said.
“Don’t be defined by the outside sources. You go after your dreams. Succeeding or failing is not making it to the bigs… it’s not having to live with regret because I didn’t try,” Tebow added. “I just feel for all the young people out there that don’t go after something because their so afraid of failing that you’re going to live with a lot more regret than you would if you would’ve tried and you failed. And I’m very passionate about that.”
He continued: “I think the reason people don’t go after things is because how much you will be criticized. What if I fall flat on my face? Fear and doubt and all these things creep in. I just don’t believe that is the healthiest way to live. I don’t want to have to live with fear or doubt every day, regardless of what everybody here says about me. It doesn’t define me.”
The 31-year-old athlete concluded: “I’m grateful that doesn’t define me. There is one thing that defines me and that’s what God says about me. Besides that, I get to go live out my dreams and help as many people along the way as possible.”
Tebow’s remarks struck a nerve and the video quickly went viral, with numerous Twitter users applauding his grit and determination in the face of adversity.