I’m not ashamed that I learn a great deal about how to live from little kids—I love their boldness and blind faith.
And now I’m even taking life lessons from their toys.
My friend Amanda and I were playing the pitch-n-catch velcro game the other day, which allows you to catch even some of the worst throws (not that we were throwing any of those, though). You can get pretty confident with your showmanship in that game, and she brought up the analogy of how differently we might live our lives if we went into everything knowing we wouldn’t fail.
Daaaaaaang. Cue deep convo during a game of catch.
I consider myself a confident person, but I can’t say that I go into every situation with complete belief that I’m going to be successful. But why? Sure, it isn’t going to happen all of the time, but why is it so difficult to believe that it will?
When you play a normal game of catch with a baseball and glove, you might drop it, or you might throw one way off target. It’s bound to happen at some point. But is it so wrong to believe that you are going to catch it or throw a perfect ball each time right before the ball goes through the air? When you’re playing the pitch-n-catch game, you don’t even have to worry about any of that. Even when Amanda’s velcro “glove” broke (I clearly don’t know my own strength), the ball still stuck to it.
It makes me think about the scene in The Sandlot when Smalls first plays with the gang, and Benny tells him to stick his glove up in the air, and Benny would hit the ball into it. Smalls stands out in the outfield with his glove held nervously in the air and quietly says to himself “please catch it.” Would he have been as worried if it were part of the velcro game and if he knew that he wouldn’t fail?
Let’s talk about my lack of dating life now.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I spent far too many years of my life not taking chances because I always assumed that rejection was going to be the only thing I received from the guys I thought were right for me. But what would have been so bad about being brave in those moments? What would have happened if I had believed that the tennis ball would stick to the velcro in those situations? I guess I’ll never know, but I can certainly change the way I let myself think now.
What if, from now on, I believe that I actually have chances with the fellas who catch my eye? I don’t mean this in a conceited way but more in a velcro-game-of-catch way. It doesn’t mean that it will always work out, but it does mean that I will be more comfortable being genuine and vulnerable because I’ll have that no-fail attitude. I think it sounds like a pretty solid plan.
And this is something that we can practice in other areas of our lives, as well. No, we won’t always be successful in every single thing we attempt, but we can change our mindsets going into each one. Besides, striking out doesn’t make you a complete failure—it simply means that you have some adjustments to make the next time you go up to bat. Failures allow us to learn and grow.
When playing the velcro game, every once in a while, a person can launch a horrible throw that is completely out of reach of the person with the other velcro glove, and the perfect toss-catch streak ends. But that doesn’t mean that the person throwing it the next time will think the failure rate is now going to increase. Instead, that comfort of not failing is still there—there’s confidence and belief that the ball will land exactly where it’s supposed to on that velcro.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live more like I’m playing the pitch-n-catch velcro game. I want to go into situations without hesitation or fear of failure.
When I finally step on the starting line again to race, I don’t want to fear failure.
When I go into work at my new job each day, I don’t want to fear failure.
When I send a text or talk in person to a fella I fancy, I don’t want to fear failure.
When I finish writing my book and work to get it published, I don’t want to fear failure.
I want to be as brave as I was throwing that tennis ball at a velcro target in each and every moment of my life. What would my life look like if I were? What would your life look like if you were?
Living like you won’t fail doesn’t make you egotistical; it makes you brave and confidently hopeful.
What’s an area of your life in which you wish you wouldn’t worry about failing?