Sunday, June 27, 2010

Do you concentrate on the toss that almost made it or the one that wasn’t even close?

While we were at the ball park a couple of weeks ago,  we encouraged my niece who has an above average throwing arm for an eight year old to participate in a pitching game. The object of the game was to throw a ball at a cutout of a catcher hitting his glove. Her first toss was too high, the second a little closer and the third almost made it.

What is the first thing she says when finished, “Did you see my first toss? It was terrible! I am so embarrassed it wasn’t even close.”

Of course we pointed out how good the last toss was, saying the first was just a warm up. Even the Brewers warm up. I couldn’t help but think how early in life we become self-critical and how this self-criticism tends to stay with us our whole life.

On a similar note, Molly of My Cozy Book Nook recently read Patty Digh’s book Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally.While taking notes on the book she found twelve passages that spoke to her. She was so taken by these passages she decided to meditate on one each week during her summer vacation.

Particularly fitting to this post is Life is a Verb: Week 2 which deals with perfectionism and a fear of failure. Molly repeats this passage from the book:
Something happens between the ages of five and eighteen and all of a sudden our sense of adventure and self-confidence dwindles. If we cannot do something well - I mean nearly perfect - then we tell ourselves that we can't do it at all.
So sad, but so true.

Do you concentrate on the toss that almost made it or the one that wasn’t even close?

1 comment:

  1. I really love this post. We spend so much time giving ourselves grades and not begin satisfied with anything except A's. How on earth did we get this way?

    Most of us carry all that garbage to our graves - the test we failed (not 12 years' worth of passed ones), the job we didn't get (not the better one that we did very well), the poor job review (not a career's worth of good ones). It's so destructive.

    Glad you brought it up. Think it'll be my mantra this week.