Forfeiting the Game

Those who know me, know I’m not a sports fan.  I’ll spare you all the details, but this stems from the days of being picked last when my fourth grade gym teacher regularly armed two ultra-athletes (at the mighty age of nine) with the power to divide the class into two: “athlete” and “loser”.  With that said, I may not know a ref from an ump, but I know that forfeiting a game is the outré faux pas of the wonderful world of sports. Even more so in the game of life.

There are plenty of ways to lose a game…dropping the ball, getting stuck in your head, not following the playbook…you name it; it’s been done. But forfeiting is probably the most moronic way to miss out on a win. 
It means losing ahead of time without even playing the game.  Sometimes a team has to forfeit because too many members broke a rule, making them ineligible to play. Even worse is when players deem themselves ineligible because they don’t believe they can win. They’d rather take the loss up front than risk the chance of a shutout. Performance anxiety can keep us playing small or avoiding the game all together.    For years, I did the same thing.  I listened to my inner voice saying “You could never get your Master’s degree.” and  “You’re too old to go back to school.”  So I didn’t show up at all, thus forfeiting all the things God was calling me to do. It’s easy to believe the lies we tell ourselves. After all, some of those lies are ones we’ve been listening to on repeat for years.  But when was the last time you threw a flag and challenged that call? Could it be that you just haven’t done this yet?   There’s a first for everything.  Babies don’t stop learning to walk after their first 20 falls and teens don’t quit driving when they fail their driver’s test. Often times “failing” is part of the process.  But as adults, we might not go after a promotion because we’re not sure we’d get it, or put off a weight loss plan because we don’t believe we’ll be able to keep it off.     What’s the worst that can happen if you try and “fail”?  My guess: exactly what you have now. Let’s say I want to start a business but I’m afraid that it won’t be successful.  Isn’t it true that I already don’t have a successful business? But I also don’t have the rewards that come from the challenge and learning about myself & business in the process.  Or let’s say your marriage feels hopeless; you want to forgive and work to rebuild it, but you’re afraid of being hurt & disappointed?  Isn’t hurt & disappointment exactly what you’ve got now? You’ll never know what is possible until you get into the game. Often times, what God’s got envisioned for us is so much bigger than what we can see.

The truth is, playing & failing is always better than sitting on the sidelines, wondering whether a win was possible.

In business, we say there’s no such thing as losing; there’s just winning and learning.  Every error & fumble is data about what worked and what didn’t.  Imagine how successful a team would be without a coach to show them where we lacked knowledge, practice or effort.  Coaches help us change it up and hit the field again.  Review the plays of the World Series winning team and you’ll find plenty of errors and room for improvement.  They won the World Series, yet their game was still far from perfect. The coach didn’t play with the team, but helped them get up again & again, and find the determination that made the win.

Often times a coach sees from the sidelines what players can’t see on the field because of their blind-spots. I help clients see their thoughts and how those thoughts are causing their results. When we roll up our sleeves and dig into what’s holding client’s back, they’re often surprised by what we find.  If you’ve never experienced coaching, I invite you to click below to schedule just 45-minute consult with me to see your before & after.
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