It is the second year I am coaching basketball at a private school in Houston. We just finished our final game before winter break with a victory. Interestingly, I noticed a pattern my players have demonstrated in the past few games. They will wait to really start playing with zeal and performing their best until the final quarter of the games. Three games ago they were down near eighteen points and climbed back to lose by less than ten. Two games ago they were down 29-16 and then made a run giving us a final possession at the buzzer to win, but we couldn’t close. Finally, in this last game my team was down 14 points but made it back victorious! It is amazing how they are able to tap into their inner fire and make a comeback and yet I have been contemplating how I can inspire them to give that effort from the start.
I considered what I had learned with coaching and from a mentor about empathizing with someone that when I am working on helping others I must be able to relate with the challenge they’re facing. I think where similar is happening in my own life. Since the world is a mirror to what’s going on internally, a reflection to how I am thinking, feeling, and acting, I asked myself the following in a meditation:
Where in my life was I waiting till the end, when my back was against the wall, to give my all and connect to my inner fire?
Aha! That was exactly it. I was doing my best to encourage the boys to start early and yet I was not doing it myself. Where was I waiting to perform? In my creative and career pursuits, the game I have been playing in! There was a build up of energy in me waiting to be expressed, yet I unconsciously was holding back. I had allowed the environment I was in to influence me to behave nervously and fearfully. I came up with many excuses as to why I wasn’t creating for my business, writing content for the books I am working on, and even why I wasn’t practicing the piano. Although the environment is very strong and can influence our behavior - as epigenetics shows how the environment can causes changes to gene expression - we are not victim to it. We are creators. Furthermore, it is not the environment itself that causes the changes, but the perception of the environment, the internal environment. For example, a person can be in a objectively safe environment and feel threatened in it. This is how I had been behaving. In other environments, I would almost naturally play the piano or write for my book, but I knew I couldn’t keep leaving my home to create. I am a creator, not one who creates solely in an environment supportive of creation.
Thankfully, this lesson came through wanting to support the players I coach. It has inspired me to start the game strong and change my environment to work for me. I know that when we return for our next game, we will be ready to give our best from the start!
Where in your life might you be waiting for something better to occur?