Four Essential Actions To Achieving What You Didn't Believe Was Possible
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” ~Babe Ruth
I actually played softball most of my elementary school life. I even (sometimes) made the all-star team depending on which neighborhood kids were able to join the league that year. I was the 5th batter, and if you know, you know. But my coach was my best friend’s dad, and he loved me. He thought I could do it, and therefore I did.
At ten years old I wasn’t aware of how powerful my coach’s belief in me was. As an adult I see what he did, how it impacted how I played and what I actually believed of myself. At forty-seven years old, I get it. I’m aware to the point I even understand my own Enneagram type. I mean the pinnacle of personal realization (haha!). I’m a type 3 – “the Achiever,” or “the Performer,” which essentially means my basic desire is to be valuable and my basic fear is being worthless. (Ironically, I created an entire Conference around the word SIGNIFICANT.) This means I try to earn value through my achievements. In a healthy state, I love to help and support others through my actions. Under stress, I can find myself attempting to live up to others expectations for fear they may not love or admire me for not being the best.
This is me and just a taste of who I am. As an achiever, it’s easy to allow my identity to get tied up with work, relationships, and even ministry. When I excel, life is great. And when I mess up, it’s really not great. I’ve been accused of being shallow and chasing success. That’s truly not at the core of me. In weaker moments, it’s driven me, but the reality is everyone wants to be valuable – success and failure just happen to strike at the very core of my personal identity.
People don’t often achieve their goals or live their dreams because they don’t think it’s possible. They are afraid to strike out and most often don’t have a best friend’s dad as their coach in the corner believing they are an all-star, even when they may be batter number five. That belief is not the only key to my success, but it has been essential. It has been a factor that kept me walking to the plate to take another swing. Success isn’t just the days you hit a home run. It’s the journey of personal growth. You can fight for your excuses of why you aren’t good enough or how you are batter number five. Or you can fight for your dreams and pursue your goals, even if it means striking out.
After a decade of softball I hung up my cleats my sophomore year of High-school. I traded them in for pom poms. All that encouragement from my best friend’s dad rubbed off, and I decided to pay it forward and use my voice to cheer on others.
So, what do you want? I know that’s a big broad question. But the only thing that holds you back from boldly answering is a fear that you might swing and miss. So here’s my encouragement to you today. It’s also a bit of a challenge. Since High-school, I moved from cheerleader to coach. So here it is:
1. Make a decision.
2. Be okay with failing.
3. Surround yourself with some believers.
4. Stay the course.