I watched as the young middle school softball player struggled to do what she does best; pitch! 60+ miles an hour. Fastball, off-speed, curveball; she has it all, and at such a young age. She’s on base at every bat, steals with ease, and carries the ball, in the air, over 280 feet for an easy home run.
So why the hanging of the head when she walked off the field? She was playing beneath her means. Her gift was begging her to reach even higher, while this false sense of humility and consideration for others seemed to hold her back. She was a race horse begging to be set free, but waiting for permission. In short, she was too nice.
I’ve done a lot of work in small, private, faith-based schools. I see their core values plastered all over the campus: “Honesty, Integrity, Respect,” but what’s missing, in many cases, is value of winning! Values drive behavior. If you’re only taught to love,honor and respect, and not win, you might be liked by a lot of people, but your chances of holding a gold medal are slim.
Not everyone who comes in first is a jerk! Nice is the foundation that makes winning respectable, but without the drive to be first; to be great, mostly likely you will always be holding the door for others.
The secret? Be nice & great! You don’t have to exchange one for the other.
Don’t ever apologize for being great! Use your gifts and talents to the fullest. Don’t ever apologize for “passing people up” on your way to your success. You are not “passing them up,” they are “standing still!”
All Mankind has potential. If you have discovered yours, walk in it to the fullest;unashamedly. Be a light that shines the way for others who are on the path, but don’t be a path, or a mat, for them to walk on. Be around others who appreciate you and what you have to offer your world, even if it means you have to leave others behind.
“If you can’t grow with me, you can’t go with me.
In the beginning of our lives we develop relationships out of sense of needing and belonging. But then when we mature, we realize those relationships could be holding us back rather than pushing us forward. The challenge is, we don’t know how to let go so we can grow. We become too fixated on hurting people’s feelings. As a result, we stay in places we outgrew long time ago; even at the expense of our gifts and callings.
I’ve gleaned over the years, from my work in the faith community, that people of faith often create a “less-than” self image that limits their personal success and achievement. They buy into the ideology that a person of faith is always bringing up the rear, taking a back seat, or allowing others to win the race. Your faith doesn’t make you less than anyone else. Your faith doesn’t make you more than anyone else. Your faith simply makes you, YOU!
Are you good at something? Are you the best in your field? Don’t apologize for it! Don’t apologize for being great! Be yourself! Be proud of it! You know you’re good!