Pitchers need to stride out to throw strikes. Ideally, a pitcher’s front leg lands at 100% of their height. (For example, a six-foot pitcher would stride out 72 inches.) This almost never happens except in the pro. Yet it works so much better than a taking a smaller stride. So why don’t more amateur pitchers do it? Because it’s hard to do, and so many young pitchers think they can’t–or simply don’t want to. There’s a point to all this.
Are we striding out as far as we can? I know my own answer and it is, “No!” I will take tiny steps outside of my comfort zone, but I know I should be taking b-i-g-g-e-r ones. So what’s holding me back? Fear. Fear of failing, fear of looking foolish, and fear of not believing it can be done–or fear that I can’t do it. Like many people, I often look at others who have more success and wonder what they are doing that I am not. My conclusion is they are taking bigger strides.
To continue with the baseball metaphors, Steve Jobs once said it is better to hit a home run rather than two doubles . . . I feel like I’ve been a singles hitter. A singles hitter hits for a high average by using a measured swing and hitting the ball where it’s pitched. (Basically, playing it safe.) So what can we all do to swing for the fences more, even if we fear we may strike out?
1. Find examples of others who have done what we want to do (and possibly did it with less time, talent, and total resources). Use this to prove that what we want to do is possible. Also, study how they did it and do the same thing.
2. Stop worrying what others will think. They won’t have to live with the regret we will if we don’t try. What they think of you doesn’t matter half as much as what you think of yourself.
3. Realize that the time will never be right to try something big and bold. The time is now. It’s funny how we may say, “Well, I could die tomorrow” to justify doing something that brings us immediate gratification. We rarely do that with things that don’t pay off right away. So yes, we could die tomorrow, so let’s die trying to do all we can to make our dreams come true.