Hey hey! Welcome back to The Bullpen Sessions! In today’s post, I am going to get vulnerable and share a really big problem with you. This problem has plagued my business career for far too long — up until recently when I made a big change and everything shifted for me.
What was that problem, you ask? Well, I desired to control the outcome. I desired to have all these big expectations, which if not met, made me feel like a failure. As a result, I continued leading a life of unfulfillment because I was not meeting my own expectations, and I was just trying to control every single outcome in my life.
Today, I am going to explain why we can’t have expectations anymore. If 2020 has taught us something, it’s this, right? Every outcome that we wanted to achieve last year probably got altered in a way, didn’t it? It probably got twisted, turned, or even eliminated altogether. At first, that can feel really defeating, but if we change our mindset, we can learn to embrace the unknown and grow as a result. So, sit tight while I help you all in striking out the limiting beliefs in your life.
Why Focusing on Habits Helped Me Succeed in Baseball
I look back at the 20 years that I have been in the business world, and I realize now that for so many of those years, I have been troubled by the desire to control the outcome. I have been plagued by having all these expectations, and if they were not met, I was instantly a failure. This mindset led me to a business career of unhappiness, stress, and undue pressure.
Now, here’s something interesting — back when I was playing professional baseball, I never used to focus on the outcome or on anyone’s expectations. And do you know what the main reason for my success was? I just really got good at mastering my daily habits, and that is what ultimately led to my success. I was able to play professional baseball with the Milwaukee Brewers because I mastered those daily habits.
Let me share what I mean — when I was playing college ball at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, we had to crank up our winter practices after coming back from the winter break. We practiced from 10:00 PM to midnight every evening until the season started, and we showed up at practice when most people were going to bed. We were laser-focussed. We’d stretch out, get warm, play a little long toss, and then it was two hours of boredom — doing the same thing day after day to get really good on the field. That was all I focussed on and cared about. I wanted to get really good at mastering my mechanics and locating my pitches.
Before we played Oklahoma State or any other team, I never thought to myself, “We better win that game.” Never did I expect that all this work and practice would lead to a victory on the mound. I just went to practice and put in the daily grind night after night, concentrating on my mechanics and my pitches, getting into the bullpen sessions, and getting one-on-one time with my pitching coach.
In addition to perfecting those daily skills, I would hit the weight room 24/7. And I still do this at age 43! It’s just what I do now, and it is a part of me —it was the same way at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
By mastering those mechanics and habits, exercising, taking care of my body, I did everything that I needed to do to be the best pitcher I could be.
Again, not once during that process did I think that I must sign that free-agent contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, or else my whole baseball career would be a failure. It just happened naturally because I had become damn good at pitching and I mastered daily habits.
Master Your Habits and Enjoy the Process
Unfortunately, that mindset changed when I moved to the business world. I wanted to control the outcome — I had to win each sale, otherwise, I would be a failure. And when I look back at my early sales career, it just blows me away by how much pressure I put on myself. If I didn’t win a sale, I would be just devastated for days. And this mindset made me completely drift away from the entire process — the process of practicing my proposals and my pitch and picking up the phone and calling prospects. I just didn’t like that stuff, and so I started avoiding it. I just wanted to win. I had the expectation that I have to sell $200,000 worth of insurance a year, otherwise, I flat-out failed.
Are you struggling because you too have that expectation to win every sales opportunity that you have? Are you forgetting that it requires a hell of lot of boring practice off-the-field for you to perfect that proposal? Even if you’re not in sales, this same question applies to you. In whatever your line of work is, are you putting pressure on yourself to be perfect without practicing?
Many athletes are so successful in the business world, especially in sales because they are able to apply their on-field skills into their sales career. And that is what elevates them above everyone else! Unfortunately, I did not do this at the start.
I completely forgot to apply my baseball mindset to the business world. I put pressure on every outcome, on every expectation, and it just did not work. It led to a lot of frustration, a lot of anxiety and losses, and then a lot of devastation after those losses.
So I want to ask you again, “Are you putting too much pressure on getting the outcome that you are trying to achieve?” I am here to tell you to just let go of that expectation. Just focus more on the daily habits that you need to refine. And if you end up mastering those habits, then the outcome is just a by-product. You don’t need to have that expectation — it is just going to happen for you!
And as you sit down to start planning out your goals for 2021, I want you to create lofty goals — big ones that stretch things and make you uncomfortable. And when you have those goals written on a piece of paper, I want you to toss it into the garbage bin and forget about the goal. Just focus your energy on what you need to do every day which will lead to that goal becoming a by-product. You don’t need to have that expectation that if you do not achieve that goal then you are a failure. Nope! Just get good at mastering habits, and everything else will fall in place.
When you focus on mastering your habits in the new year, you will be blown away by where you are in the next year, or in the next two years, or in the next five years! The reason my coaching business has succeeded in the first 18 months of its life is because I don’t care about hitting a certain revenue goal or about hitting a certain number of clients. I just wake up every day, make sure I do the right things, work on the right priorities, master the right habits, and bring as much value as I can. Because I know if I do that, the outcome or the result will take care of itself.
Why You Should Listen to This Episode Right Now…
As 2021 begins, make this new year about letting go of expectations and stop focusing on the outcome. Make it the year of mastering your daily habits. Because if you do that and create that clarity and that confidence, you know what happens? Massive action happens. So go make it happen today.
Thank you for taking out the time to read this Bullpen Sessions post, and do listen to the podcast episode as well! If you are enjoying these episodes, then please do me a favor and go over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe, and leave me a 5-star rating. And if you feel that any of your friends, family, colleagues, or business associates would benefit from listening to these episodes, then please share The Bullpen Sessions with them! I would be so grateful! And don’t forget to tag me, @andy_neary, on Instagram with your screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaway.
Before I go, I want to give you two special offers: First, I want to invite you to join my Complete Game Mastermind. This is my coaching program, and it starts in just a few days! Masterminds are a great way to get coaching and put yourself in rooms with other entrepreneurs just like you. You can start building your community and gathering people around you who will support you and your growth.
You can also join my FREE text community! Just text the word “Mindset” to 414-622-1462, and I’ll give you access to a TON of free weekly coaching. If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge and join the Complete Game Mastermind, this text community is a great way to see if my coaching might be right for you.
Friends, I wish you nothing but the best for a safe and healthy new year, and I hope that you get to spend time with your friends and family! And remember, 2020 has taught us one important thing — we must let go of our desire to control the outcome. We have to let go of those expectations right now! But don’t let go of the habits that create the outcome that you want.