Mr. Baseball and the Fear of Failure

What could be worse than failing? That’s easy. Being forced to fail over and over again without the dignity of at least being able to walk away in shame. Now that’s the stuff of nightmares.

And that’s exactly how the 1992 film Mr. Baseball begins. I couldn’t find the original English version of this clip, but even though this one is in a different language, you can still get the gist of what’s going on. When Tom Selleck’s character steps up to the plate, the pressure’s on because he’s already got two strikes. One more and he’s out. And then this happens.

I’ve never seen the fear of failure captured in such a dramatic way as this scene manages to do. It’s equal parts hilarious and painful to watch as the batter strikes out again and again. But instead of being allowed to leave after the third strike, he has to step back up to the plate and keep adding more strikes to his total. It’s such an ingenious concept to have a batter get strike 4, strike 5, and so on because it’s the ultimate insult. He just can’t catch a break – or hit the ball.

A big theme of the film is Selleck’s fear of failure. He knows what he doesn’t want to do: strike out. He spends so much time obsessing over that thought that he forgets to focus on what he actually wants to do: hit the ball. It seems like such a small thing, but this change of perspective is what allows him to finally succeed. It’s quite a revelation when his coach helps him to see this truth about himself.

Let’s apply this to ourselves. We can either go through life trying to avoid making mistakes or we can accept that we’ll make some mistakes as we attempt to move toward our goals. I think it’s better to run toward something good than to run away from something bad. It’s the difference between hope and fear, optimism and pessimism, strength and weakness. If we expect the worst, we won’t be surprised when we end up there, but if we expect the best from ourselves, we’ll just consider failures as temporary detours on our way to success. So the next time you have an opportunity to do something great, knock it out of the park.

This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.

Both video clips are the copyright of their owner.

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About Robert Lockard, the Deja Reviewer

Robert Lockard has been a lover of writing since he was very young. He studied public relations in college, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 2006. His skills and knowledge have helped him to become a sought-after copywriter in the business world. He has written blogs, articles, and Web content on subjects such as real estate, online marketing and inventory management. His talent for making even boring topics interesting to read about has come in handy. But what he really loves to write about is movies. His favorite movies include: Fiddler on the Roof, Superman: The Movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Back to the Future, Beauty and the Beast, The Fugitive, The Incredibles, and The Dark Knight. Check out his website: Deja Reviewer. Robert lives in Utah with his wife and four children. He loves running, biking, reading, and watching movies with his family.
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1 Response to Mr. Baseball and the Fear of Failure

  1. Neel Woodall says:

    For me this is quite possibly your best post, ever. To follow the baseball theme, you got something grooved and hit it so far; it ought to have a stewardess on it.

    You are right, in baseball as in life, we look at the immediate result and ignore the quality of the effort. Its the saying no I wont quit one more time that makes the victory. Or as I had a coach once say, “Kick that little man saying I cant out of your head. Hes living there rent free taking space away from the little man who says I can!”

    Liked by 1 person

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