Batting a .300 and thoughts on being Perfect
by Kim Hammans, PLPC
Fall means a lot of things: temperature changes, beautiful colors on the trees, apple and pumpkin picking, and my personal favorite: baseball playoffs!
As I have been watching the games this playoff season, I have been struck time and time again at how the professional baseball players, the best of the best players in the country, have batting averages of around .300. That means that 30% of the time they are successful at making contact with the ball and making it to at least first base. Batting .300 is no small victory, and the crowds cheer for this amount of success!
Thirty percent success rate. That means the other 70% of the time, the player does not make it to base, and instead makes his way back to the dugout. That is a huge margin of error!
We all know people who we would label “perfectionist,” and in fact most people have the tendency toward it. Our culture feeds our desire and deep inside we tend to believe perfection is possible. Perfect appearance, perfect thoughts, perfect achievements and a perfect household elude us in this life, yet the pressure remains to seek them anyway. The pressure literally comes at us from everywhere.
Yet in America’s favorite pastime, the goal is to have success 30% of the time. No player is expected a 100% batting average, because they are up against a professional pitcher! The reality is that the expectation of 30% is good enough batting.
Dr. Richard Winter wrote a book called Perfecting Ourselves To Death. Winter describes the importance of knowing yourself in order to grow. “When someone begins loosening the grip of unhealthy perfectionism they must have a strong and reliable sense of identity and purpose, built on a foundation of reality and truth, that will allow them to grow toward a healthy pursuit of excellence” (p. 147).
As we consider a healthy pursuit of excellence, we should take a lesson from the baseball greats. We are not going to be perfect. We are going to mess up. What if we aim for batting a .300 in our lives?