Surrender to Your Fears

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At times I’ve been frozen in fear by what others might say or feel about me, my family, my friends, my business. I’ve been vulnerable to any form of perceived attack.  Scared of my own insecure thoughts spoken from the lips of actual real people.  I’ve often put more value in someone else’s opinion of me, rather than my trusted friends or even my own. 

One of the most valuable lessons I’m learning though is the ability to “not care.” That sounds harsh, but it’s empowering and a necessary survival skill in life & pool.

Of late, Tony and I have worked together to disassociate ourselves with what we feel are negative forces. 

Being in pool though, this goal is quite difficult at times.  While I love the game, the world-wide view of scumbag’ism in pool isn’t completely off base.  And I do believe the majority really are great people, the shady ones just talk louder and more often and this can skew public opinion.  I wish the loud mouths would leave their ‘daddy didn’t pay enough attention to me’ crap at the entrance of the pool hall.

Jennifer

Jen Barretta once told me, “Having Max (her son) put so much into perspective and a lot of the petty parts of my life just began to fade away.  Max and what I can do for Max is all that matters.”  (I paraphrased)

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

So, how is this pool related.  Well, outside of the obvious encounters most pool players have with the random D-bag that plays pool too, I felt the need to address why some pool players NEVER get better….

Fear.  They don’t stand up to their fears.  Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of success, fear of their opponent, or fear of public scrutiny, fear holds us all back at some point. 

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.  ~Brian Tracy

Someone came up to me and mentioned a tournament that we are running and said they would not compete in it because they felt they were the underdog.  As someone who has a good deal of experience both playing and running tournaments, I can confidently say this isn’t logic talking, it’s fear.  Fear of failing.   

I’ve been there.  I’ve felt that and you know what I’m learning?

 The only times you’re really alive are the times you’re the underdog clawing your way to victory. 

My greatest memories are those times it seemed there was no hope.  I was defeated.  I had my back against the wall and instead of crumbling, I fought.  Fought with energy I didn’t know I had.  Energy fueled by adrenaline and blood-thirsty determination.  The feelings were raw, savage, gritty.

You may not always be crowned the champion, but you’ll be that much closer. 

In tournaments I see three kinds of players. 


  1. Those that show up and say, I’m here for the experience and to have a good time. 

  2. Those that wanna steal the tournament & if it can’t come easy, they don’t wanna play so they sit on the sidelines bitching. 


  3. And then there are those that don’t give a shit who is there or what their rank is … they are there to play hard and do what they can to win.  There are no obstacles, just a finish line, and they plan on crossing it.

Be the latter.  It’s respectful.  It’s honorable.  It’s beastly.

Frank at the Predator Tourney

You MUST throw yourself in the deep end and learn to swim amongst the sharks if you’re gonna be anyone.  No excuses.   I see some people in pool that haven’t improved in five years!   Now some of them don’t care about pool and that’s totally cool. They aren’t looking to get anything out of the game but fun and competition.  These social players are in it for kicks, not accolades.  I get it. 

But those that vocalize a desire to improve & compete in tournaments and NEVER think to challenge themselves beyond their comfort zone?  Ugh.  You’ll NEVER get better and you don’t deserve to either!  Anything worth a damn ain’t coming for free kid. 

I’ve been afraid, I’ll be afraid again, no doubt.  But I simply got tired of backing down to people, pool, challenges, life.  You can be a doormat in pool, or hold up the trophy.

Williamfuentes.comThere will ALWAYS be someone bigger, stronger, but you decide who wants it more.  You gotta be in it to win it and you know what?  You might be surprised how strong you are when you test yourself. 

The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments. ~Gustave Flaubert

So to those that back down from the challenges that pool can offer, I say the sooner you face them, the sooner you’ll laugh at fears that once were.  Don’t be afraid.  If you lose, so what?  Everyone has lost.  Everyone has missed the winning shot.  Everyone has missed ball in hand. Everyone has failed.  Everyone has been hurt by failure.  Everyone has been embarrassed.

But not everyone succeeds.  The ones that succeed are the people that never give up.

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s OK to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growin ~ H. Stanley Judd

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~ by g2 on October 17, 2012.

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