Getting Back in the Batter's Box

 
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The courage to try ~ even when we feel afraid ✨

Last Wednesday, Bigs {who plays baseball} got hit in the thigh by a pitch. And it hurt. A lot. 

So, I wasn’t surprised when she started talking about how the pitchers in the next game might throw fast. 

Our brains are hardwired to protect us from feeling pain.

Especially when we’ve been hurt before.

Yesterday, just before her second at-bat she had a moment. Fear got in the driver’s seat. Her primate brain took over.

She wanted OUT.

And inside, underneath all that fear, she wanted so badly to go and DO the thing she loves so much. 

Unprompted by us, she’s outside every day practicing. Welcoming in feedback. She loves this game. 

I can see in her this deep desire to grow. To get better. And it comes from a place of pure love.

And there she stood - on deck - tears streaming down her face. Clinging to the fence. 

Fear is a beast. The feeling is REAL.

The mind senses danger. Fear kicks in. Our ability to think logically goes out the window. We go into full blown SURVIVAL mode.

An amazing human adaptation. 

Except when it’s not. Except when it's the thing standing in the way of our dreams. 

Our brains cannot distinguish between a saber tooth tiger - and a baseball.

Or the pain of rejection.
Or embarrassment.
Or judgement.
Or shame.

So, when we - modern humans - feel fear, we RUN. Numb. Fight. Deflect. Freeze.

Because it's HARD to feel these feelings. 

It takes COURAGE.

And an expanded skill set.

To feel fear AND walk into the darkness anyway.

As her mother, I wanted to pick her up and run away with her. I wanted to protect her from feeling so overwhelmed. I wanted to make it go away.

And I know. That’s not my job.

So I told her - I’ve got you, baby girl. This is hard. And you can do hard. This is Fear trying to drive. It’s OK to feel scared AND go stand in that batter’s box. It makes sense. 

And. You've got this.

Plant those feet. Control the controllables. 

You are BRAVE. 

As I stepped back, I counted backwards 5-4-3-2-1 GO. You’ve got this.

She stood in the box. Feet firmly planted. Supported - and seen - by her coaches and teammates. And, of course - us. 

It doesn’t matter how the at-bat went.

The true victory was her decision to choose LOVE over fear.

To choose COURAGE.

We’re faced with these choices every.single.day. 

Though the stage we’re standing on may differ, we are ALL capable of navigating the darkness. ✨

If we want to fully step into our light - and into our greatness - we must be willing to explore the dark.

And ~ this isn’t work we do alone.

Sometimes we need someone in our corner. Someone who truly sees us. Someone who can reflect back the magic within. 

Sometimes we just need a reminder that we’re going to be OK. And, yes - we can do hard things. 

Because we can. ✨

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Samantha Arsenault Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, transformational speaker, high performance coach and mother of four girls. She is also the founder of Livingstone High Performance, LLC. and the online coaching course Rise Free Academy. 

Samantha empowers women to cultivate the courage and resilience needed to unapologetically step into their light. She inspires, empowers and equips her clients with the skills needed to let go of beliefs that are keeping them stuck - so they can achieve their own gold medal moments - AND - open the door for freedom, balance and joy that transcends.

Samantha candidly shares her battles with her inner critic, depression, perfection, PTSD and parenting as a working mother because she believes in the transformative power of story – and the strength that comes from knowing we are not alone. She is on a mission to pay forward all that she’s learned to help others find joy and live free.
  
A mama of heart warrior and mama of twins, Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls. You can learn more about Samantha at www.samanthalivingstone.com.