I have always hated playing softball. Or, so I thought.
When I was a kid I would beg the gym teacher to let me go to the library and write a report or something instead of playing softball. I knew I was terrible. I was afraid of the ball and would close my eyes while trying to catch it or hit it. I had never been taught how to play. When everyone went out during gym class or recess It was assumed that everyone knew how to play.
As I think back on the reason that I hated playing, I realize that it was not playing the game that I hated so much. What I hated was going through the team choosing process. I hated being one of the last two people chosen and waiting for someone to choose that other person before me. As the last one chosen I would have to listen to the team captains complain because they had to take me.
I didn’t hate the game.
I hated the feeling of not being good enough; of not fitting in; of not being chosen. I didn’t want to go through that every gym class. And so I begged to be allowed to do something academic rather than suffer the humiliation again.
It never worked. He always made me play.
And so I stood way out three outfielders deep in order to minimize the damage I could do. Since everyone had to play every inning we usually had way too many people. So I got to stand way out there and just wait for the class to be over. I always prayed that the class would end before it was my turn to bat.
I always thought that I hated playing the game. In truth, I just hated the rejection and embarrassment.
I still hate rejection and embarrassment. I have to remember that the two don’t have to come together. I can’t keep people from rejecting me, my ideas, my presence, or the things I offer. But I can control how it makes me feel and my reaction to it. I have to fight hard to keep the fear of rejection from stopping me in the pursuit of my goals and dreams. I have to fight hard to control my feelings and reactions when it comes. But I know that fighting hard and fighting often is the only way to go forward.
So, fight I will.
What fears keep you from pursuing your goals and dreams? Are you willing to fight through them? It will be worth it!