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October 26, 2021

Years ago a tennis coach gave me a tip for how to hold a tennis racket.  He said, "pretend that you are holding a baby bird in your hand.  You have to hold it firmly so the bird does not slip out, but you cannot squeeze it or you risk injuring the bird."

It has always stayed with me.  It's a perfect analogy for any endeavor, goal, or intention.  Here we can say gripping tightly is fear.  When we are afraid that we won’t achieve a certain outcome, we are living in our imagination of the future.  This fear often leads to our trying to over-control our current circumstances.  This is the perfect recipe for getting in our own way.  Perhaps we start second-guessing ourselves or our partners, or we think smaller so that we don’t risk too much, or become overly focused on every potential obstacle.  This "tight grip" can be a reminder that our fear is driving our actions rather than our heart, passion, and connection to what truly matters. 

The other side of that spectrum is becoming complacent, lazy, and unfocused (grip is too loose).  In this case, we have lost the drive and inspiration to bring our hearts into our endeavor.  Frequently, this is a reaction to having had too tight of a grip for too long (too much fear and a lack of connection to what truly matters to you).  

If we start to grapple with this see-saw, we have a better chance at holding the "racket" just right.  You can sensitize yourself to knowing when you are gripping (fearful) and when you are unfocused.  It’s a delicate balance.  We have always found this metaphor useful in catching ourselves when we are holding on too tight and when our grip is not firm enough.  We hope you do too.

To holding our baby birds!

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Since 1978 Workability has been helping individuals and organizations integrate who they are with what they do. Our greatest performances, relationships, and contributions are dependent on our authentic expression of who we are.

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