The very best baseball players in history get a hit 3 out of 10 times they step up to the plate. They whiff 7 out of every 10 attempts. The very best hitter in the history of baseball hit a home run less than 10% of the time. The top 100 players in the history of baseball managed that about 5% of the time.
The top professionals in the poker world finish in the money less than 20% of the tournaments they enter, and win less than 1%. That means 8 out of 10 times, they enter a tournament and win absolutely nothing.
There are probably lots of other examples from other industries. But it’s a hugely important lesson to keep in mind. It’s okay to swing and miss sometimes. In fact, that’s probably going to happen more often than not.
It’s very easy, especially in creative fields, to start feeling like a failure. We put these pieces of ourselves into the world. And a lot of times, the work doesn’t succeed. We don’t get the plaudits we want, or it doesn’t turn out as good as we want it to be. When that happens, it’s very easy to get down on ourselves, and want to give up.
The way to succeed, though, is the same way baseball players and poker players succeed. You keep working at your craft, and keep putting yourself out there. You keep stepping up to the plate. You keep pushing yourself, keep creating.
Because if you put yourself out there often enough, you’ll eventually find something that clicks. If you keep working on your craft, and keep stepping up to the plate often enough, you’ll hit your home run.
And that one home run will make all the misses worthwhile.
What can you do to step up to the plate today?
Photo: Crawford swings and misses, by Dinur