Already mad at me for the title? Keep reading, friend… I’m just getting started.
Last night, my daughter’s softball team wrapped up their season in the first round of the state playoffs. It was a tough loss.
There’re few things I enjoy more in life than watching any of the three of my kids play sports… competing to win…. staring down the competition… digging deep…. and refusing to lose, even when the chips are stacked against them.
I love the psychology of winning and watch it in nearly every game, match or meet.
You can always tell a team that is well-versed in the art of intimidation. They come out to music. They are well disciplined in their “practice” before the start of the game, making this “practice” more of a performance. Their hope? to instill a preliminary sense of “impending defeat” in their opponents, to make them feel like they’ve probably already lost.
It’s a show. And great coaches harness its power and choreograph it brilliantly.
To my utter dismay and frustration, I have seen it work against my kids’ teams far more often than for us. This wasn’t the case last night, but nothing boils my blood like watching the girls I’ve loved and coached (from the sidelines) since they were 8 or 9 years old walk out onto the field and play not to lose.
Watching these girls be defeated thru blatant and pre-choreographed intimidation tactics by a team of equal or LESS talent is infuriating.
Maybe because it reminds me of a time when I was beaten before the competition started. I was in a national pageant and watched all of these “pageant girls” walk into the hotel. Perfectly polished and poised. I was IN pageants, but never a pageant girl. I’d won my state JUST LIKE THEM. Yet, I lost…. before the pageant started. Right then and there, I lost sitting in that hotel lobby as a group of about 20 of them paraded through.
If only I had known how REFRESHING it would have been for the judges for me to show up AS ME… If only I had known the competitive value of being ruthlessly authentic.
Nope… I showed up a smaller version of myself… defeated from the beginning… intimidated.
So, here’s where this lands for me.
I determined on the flight home from that pageant to NEVER be intimidated again…. not by circumstances… and DEFINITELY not by a person. I can honestly say that from that day (at 15 years old) to this one, I have kept this promise to myself.
I REFUSE TO BE INTIMIDATED.
I also — outside of the sports arena — don’t believe in deliberately intimidating others. This isn’t what I teach… the posturing, the posing, the intimidation. It’s B.S. and not necessary. I don’t WANT to lead a tribe of bullies.
I just want our hearts to be SURE.
I just want our spirit to be CONFIDENT.
I just want us to be UNABLE TO BE INTIMIDATED.
We SHOULD be un-intimidatable. =)
We know who we are.
We know what we’re called to do, who we were created to BE.
And when we show up as RUTHLESSLY, FULLY AUTHENTIC, we have no one else to intimidate. Because when we’re fully ourselves, we operate in a competition-free zone.
Here’s to US… Winning — in business, in love and in life — because we’re sure, confident and unable to be intimidated.