Two clients approached me with very different problems. One was a single man in search of a girlfriend, and the other was a struggling writer in search of a book deal.
In other words, they wanted what we all want — a satisfying relationship and a rewarding career.
But my clients were making the same critical mistake: they were resistant to taking the necessary first steps toward their goals. It boiled down to a fear of rejection — either a woman would reject my client based on his looks and personality (Ouch!), or a literary agent or publisher would reject my client based on his writing skills (Aw, crap!). Paralyzed by this fear, the single guy couldn’t even get himself to casually make small talk with a female, while the writer couldn’t get himself to pitch his book to anyone.
My advice? As usual, it involved balls. But this time, I meant baseballs.
First, let’s take a look at baseball players. (Must…grab…firm butts in tight pants…mmm…)
Ooh, did I just write that out loud? Sorry!
Anyway, if a baseball player’s batting average is above .300, he’s considered an excellent hitter. But do you know how that .300 is calculated? Do you know what .300 actually means?
(Non-sports fans: Stick with me here. This analogy is a good one, I promise.)
Your batting average is calculated by using this formula:
Hits ÷ Number of time you went up to bat = Your batting average
In other words, if you went up to bat 600 times, and hit the ball so that you made it to first base 180 times out of the 600 attempts, you’d have a .300 batting average and would be considered a great player. You’d be a crowd favorite — kids would have your poster up above their beds, and women would wish you’d crawl into theirs.
Let’s stop for a moment and allow this to sink in: If you make 600 attempts to reach your goals, and only 30% of those attempts were successful, congratulations my friend — you’re doing great!
What matters is that you were brave enough to step up to the plate again and again despite some failures along the way. It’s called perseverance, and you can’t win without it.
My two clients were too afraid to even step up to the plate. Their goals were so precious to them that they feared taking a swing and missing — it would be too devastating.
So I gave them the following advice: “Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to win the first time out. Your job is to walk up to the plate and fail 70% of the time, just like professional baseball players do. That’s right– make small talk with women and have it to go nowhere on most days. Send your book to literary agents and get rejected over and over. That’s how you know you’re a good player. That’s how you’ll build courage and confidence over time. That’s how you’ll know you’re winning.”
So, honorary members of the Cojones Crusade, whether you’re trying to improve your career, health, or relationships, just remember: you can’t win unless you lose 420 times out of 600 attempts. (Ain’t that a relief?) Just never stop walking up to the plate.
Now go get ‘em!
Your Turn: What did you have to keep failing at in order to eventually win?