By Sunny Simon
My husband and I share a passion for baseball. Recently we attended an afternoon game in Anaheim to cheer on the Angels. Due to the blazing hot sun, we relinquished our seats near the field in the fourth inning and went off in search of shade. This worked well to improve our body temps, but did little to boost our morale as our Angels were scoreless.
Reflecting on my dismal outlook, I decided there was only one thing under my control: my thought process. Teams come from behind all the time and I knew a win was possible. As the bottom of the ninth inning commenced, I shot my husband an “oh ye of little faith look,” then doubled down and reminded him there is no crying in baseball. I coached him into some positive thinking and set my sights on a walk-off win.
Closing my eyes I visualized a victory achieved by the trailing Angels resulting in a game over, end of story. Excitement mounted as the team started to rally. What happened next was rather unusual. We accomplished the win and scored at the plate due to a wild pitch.
Yes, I know my positive thinking did not cause the pitcher to fire in a wild one, but it did improve my outlook and made the game more enjoyable. Baseball, like life, is sometimes error laden. At times you’re batting 1,000 and covering all the bases. Then dark clouds appear, someone throws out a curve ball and we succumb to striking out.
Scoring a walk-off win brings with it, not only glory, but an important life lesson. Games either on the field, or on life’s arena, are never won by giving up too soon. Going the distance takes fortitude, perseverance and the guts to play it out to the last pitch. As so aptly put by Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
At some point, most of us are guilty of giving up on something too soon. Often this is caused by a lack of focus or diminished self-confidence brought on by, you guessed it: negative thinking. Bombarded by those inner gremlins chattering away in our heads proclaiming it’s too hard, we buy into the premise that it’s never going to happen. Before long we’ve mentally checked out before the final inning.
This week remind yourself that giving up too soon is for losers. Recommit to your most important goal and chase away those nagging negative thoughts. Winners have staying power and sometimes even get a lucky break like an unexpected windfall, or a wild pitch.
Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com