Eyes Wide Open

Throwback Thursdays was one of the most fun trends that happened on Facebook a few years back. To participate, you had to spend a few minutes looking back over old photos. I loved that it created a moment in our busy week to reflect on our past: big hair, skinny legs, silly antics, old friends, childhood memories, growing children, and precious moments in time.

On one such search, I came across this photo of my youngest son, Austin Wade, when he was about six years old. It was printed on the front page of our local newspaper on the opening day of the little league baseball season. On his very first game, the photographer had captured this moment of a near perfect catch with one fatal flaw… fueled by fear of being hit, Austin had closed his eyes at the last minute and taken his eye off the ball.

There’s a lot I love about this photo: The sweaty blonde hair, grass-stained knees and skinned elbows, little pigeon-toed feet, baseball cap dramatically thrown off to make the catch, and the pained look on his sweet young face that makes this mother’s heart melt. I’m also reminded every single time I look at this picture of how fear can make us momentarily flinch, back away, and take our eyes off the ball.

It happened just this week to me. As a solo-entrepreneur, I enjoy the ability to set my own schedule and make my own choices. Included in this however is also the reality that no one will be giving me a paycheck simply because I came to work that day. I must give myself my own paycheck every month… or not. Sometimes the fear of not having enough at the end of the month causes me to override my commitments of life/work balance and my overarching life vision of health, peace, balance, fun, and love.

Case in point: The week before Tom and I left with his grandson on a two-week, work-related holiday to the UK, I received a couple of requests for coaching. One was for a team retreat facilitation in Tennessee and the other was a day of private speaker’s coaching at the Ranch. Both were full-fee gigs and magnificent work, 100% in alignment with my business goals.

Because I’ve traveled abroad before and dealt with the 8-hour time difference and jet lag from the 10-hour flight, I knew full well that having a couple of days to recuperate and recalibrate my internal clocks would serve me well. But, here were two clients, checkbook in hand, requesting dates which were immediately on the heels of our return to the States. Out of fear that there might not be “enough”, I reluctantly said yes. The result was utter exhaustion and an eventual breakdown of my schedule, which ultimately resulted in me not being able to see my coaching client who had flown in from Northern California, due to delayed and cancelled flights on my way home from the retreat in Tennessee.

I made the same fatal mistake as Austin. I let fear and doubt cause me to flinch, back away, and take my eyes off my priorities, commitments, and true goals… and the result was to be further in the hole instead of ahead of or fully in the game. Lesson relearned.

This week, as you make your decisions, both professionally and personally, make sure that you are not allowing fear or any other negative emotion to make you flinch from your commitments or back away from your priorities. Don’t take your eyes off your true goals for one minute or you’ll miss the catch, if not be completely out of the game.

Keep your eye on the ball, stay focused on what matters, and make the catch.

“The hardest thing to find in life is balance – especially the more success you have, the more you look to the other side
of the gate. 
What do I need to stay grounded, in touch, in love, healthy, connected, emotionally balanced?
Looking within yourself will provide the answer.”

~~Celine Dion

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