On a recent run by the Central Park Tennis courts in New York City, I got all excited about playing tennis again this season. I love running around the court, slamming the ball as hard as I can, and am a fairly aggressive player. That got me thinking about a nice man I met last summer with whom I played a few rounds of tennis.
I hadn’t played in a while, so was pretty rusty. What I did know is that I have a lot of power, and I could hit some real winning shots. For some reason though, I felt like I was being too aggressive a player. I felt like I needed to bring my game down to a “nice” level – hit the ball a bit more gently, just have a good volley back and forth. It was not only a game of tennis, it was a game of emotions and self-doubt as I spent the whole time feeling like I was being “too aggressive”, hitting the ball “too hard”….
I realized that I was trying to play it safe. Rather than play the game I know I can play, I instead tried to be less me in the game. I realize this is “just a game of tennis” but, in fact, it got me thinking about life in general. The emotional ping-pong in my mind was just a realization that I was playing in an arena I didn’t belong in.
Sometimes we are so powerful that we are afraid of our own power. Then we dial it back a few notches so that we feel less scared, and in an attempt to avoid intimidating someone, we actually end up making them, and ourselves, really uncomfortable, because we all know we’re playing the wrong game.
BullBusting Challenge: As you think about the opportunities ahead of you the next week, see if you can step up your game and challenge yourself to something you’ve been avoiding, or do something in a bigger way than you’ve been planning.