John Killinger, a congressman in the mid 1800s, tells about the manager of a minor league baseball team who was so disgusted with his center fielder’s performance that he ordered him to the dugout and assumed the position himself. The first ball that came into center field took a bad hop and hit the manager in the mouth. The next one was a high fly ball, which he lost in the glare of the sun — until it bounced off his forehead. The third was a hard line drive that he charged with outstretched arms. Unfortunately, it flew between his hands and smacked his eye. Furious, he ran back to the dugout, grabbed the center fielder by the uniform, and shouted. “You idiot! You’ve got center field so messed up even I can’t do a thing with it!”
We often protect ourselves from our own inadequacies with excuses or blame. It is someone else’s fault. “I couldn’t do it because …,” “If only…, I would have been able to….” One of the toughest and most humbling lessons in life is to learn to own our inadequacies. We need to learn to compensate for them or perhaps turn them into strengths.
We are all uniquely created and gifted. My strength is not your strength. Once we understand this, we can begin the process of personal growth. It all begins by recognizing that we are responsible for who we are. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others.
Finally, control expectations. We set ourselves up for failure when we set our expectations too high. Let’s leave ourselves room to be human.