Bagger Vance And The Grade School Softball Game

I had a session with my coach, Lynn, today. She has been helping me with a problem area in my life. There was something related to my business that I should have done but did not do. So, she asked me what I was thinking and feeling when I came up with ways to avoid doing it.

I answered that it was fear. “So, where does the fear come from?” As soon as she said that, a memory flashed across my mind. It was something I had not thought of in years, maybe decades. I was back in the fourth grade. It was lunch time, and we had a softball game going. The school was 1 – 8, so I was probably one of the younger kids playing ball.

I was at third base. The ball came to me, and I knew I needed to throw it to the catcher. So, I made a perfect throw to first base! A teacher was pitching or supervising or something. He started to ridicule me. I was totally humiliated. Right then and there, that 10-year-old kid decided that it was not safe to try new things. The only safety was in avoiding doing anything where I might screw up.

As I sat there running that memory through my mind, the emotion attached to it was overwhelming. Then, I began to flash forward to other times when that little bit of neurology had been activated for one reason or another. Avoid pain, avoid acting–it said. For fifty years that little memory fragment had dictated behavior. It had limited me. It had held me back.

Was it right? Was it true? Was it valid. HELL, no. But that part of me was functioning at the level of a 10-year-old. At that level, it was true. As long as it stayed in my subconscious, as long as it stayed in the dark, it operated automatically. But I could feel it dissolving in the light of day.

And there was another part of me, an older part, that was infuriated with this behavior. That older part raged against this childish belief. And I could see instantly that the rage of that older part of me forced the 10-year-old to rigidly hold onto his belief.  What a perfect system to insure that I would set severe limits for myself!

As I sat there struggling to keep my composure, Lynn and I both knew that something wonderful had just happened. Something shifted. I know my life will never be the same.

Tonight, I went and got that 10-year-old. We spent about 15 minutes cleaning up the trail he had left in my life. The clean up is easy with NLP techniques. Fast, quick, powerful! <;

No wonder I have such a deep identification with The Legend of Bagger Vance. “Your heart is kind, Junah. You have seen the agony of war and you wish never again to harm anything or anyone. So, you choose not to act. As if by that choice, you will cause no harm. This intention is admirable as far as it goes, but it fails to  apprehend the deeper imperative of life. Life is action, Junah. Even choosing not to act, we act. We cannot do otherwise. Therefore, act with vigor!” (From: The Legend of Bagger Vance)