Reflecting on my childhood, basketball played a major role in most of it. I loved playing basketball and honestly I was pretty good. I didn’t make the school basketball teams and as I write this post, I hope to analyze some of the reasons why and how that has affected my life for good or ill.
I was a church basketball star. In some areas of the world we might call church ball street ball because church ball is a bit rough and often less monitored than regular ball. We had games with refs, rules and time clocks but the passion of church ball far exceeded that of the more traditional school games.
In Junior High, I was confident that I had the skill to make the team and truthfully I did! In little league, I was a starter and contributed to the championship teams and even made all stars once or twice. Junior High was where my limiting beliefs began to manifest. I felt intimidated by the coach! He was a nice guy but for some reason I felt that he was critical of my athletic ability. I am sure that belief was perceived more than it was reality but it affected my ability to perform under the pressure of basketball try-outs.
Later in life, I recognized this phenomenon when I went back to play church ball as an adult. One team mate who was invited to play on our team by someone else was a very intimidating man. He was big and his ego was even bigger. He didn’t attend church so I had never gotten to know him personally. He was the self made captain/coach of the team and his tact was completely absent. When he was there, I played horribly. When he wasn’t there, I was once again a strong contributor of the team.
I have noticed this in my professional career and other areas of life. When I work with someone who is overbearing and critical, historically I have figuratively taken lousy, poorly timed shots. I couldn’t dribble or drive to the basket because I lost concentration on the ball and caused poorly timed turnovers. I have come to believe that when I am faced with a coach, a boss, a colleague, teammate, sibling or even my spouse, who are critical, overbearing or have a strong forceful personality, even when they have my best interest in mind, I fold! I fail and I fumble. This is my limiting belief. “I can not perform under pressure when working with a strong personality, ego, or vocal leader because my every move is criticized.”
My talents only increase! Things I do well in a low pressure system, I do better with stress! Stress and criticism are catalysts to elevate my game to prove to myself that I am capable! What people think of me is none of my business and I will take that shot when I am open! I won’t just take it, I will make it! Nothing but net! I will not aim to gain respect of the egotist but my aim is to achieve a personal best! Beat my best time, elevate my highest score, clear my highest jump or block the shot of a giant opponent. I thrive on pressure and live true to my nature and the talents God has given me and which I have developed. No person will ever define when or how I should shoot especially if they are the ones who want the ball or the glory! If I am open I will take the shot and make it! SWISH!!!!