The Scoop: Stuart Smalley Was Right

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and, doggone it, people like me.” – Stuart Smalley

Okay, look…I know. You start treading into this territory and it can come off as hokey, insincere or arrogant. That’s been a concern of mine since the beginning of this project. Using a quote from Stuart Smalley probably doesn’t help in this regard, right? But that’s the point! What we are trying to do is deliver some words of encouragement and hope that you see them and use them as you see fit.

If you’re anything like me, you could use a little Daily Affirmation. So often we irrationally sell ourselves short, and for what? We envision imaginary roadblocks and invent excuses because we’re afraid or insecure. It’s an absolutely counterproductive practice.

I coached a kid a few years ago that had very little experience playing baseball when he came out for the team. He struggled fielding, throwing and hitting. He was smaller and often overmatched. But, he had something that most of the other guys didn’t; absolutely no fear of failure. He would often ask me to hit him extra grounders after practice so he could get better. I remember being initially afraid to do this because of how seldom he actually fielded the ball cleanly. I’d hit them half-speed, and they’d end up bouncing off his shin, chest…or worse. But he just kept coming back. And he’d ask me to hit them harder. By the time this kid was a senior, I no longer held back. It didn’t matter if he fielded it cleanly or not, he would never get out of the way of it. You’d see some of the better-fielding guys “olé” one from time to time, but not this guy. He would have rather died than let one eat him up without a fight. I know I learned some lessons just watching this young man go about his business, and I hope his teammates did, too. I would love for the prologue to this story to be that he ended up hitting .400 and making the All Region team, but that wasn’t the case. He never got much playing time, and that only makes his story so much more beautiful. He did it for himself and his team. The prologue actually is that over time he developed confidence. He gained the respect of his peers. He joined the football team. He went on to college. That, in and of itself, is good enough.

Have an awesome Thursday,


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