Baseball, pennant fever, catch it! If you live in Los Angeles and support the local teams, though, things may not be looking too good for October baseball, but nevertheless it can be a fun time. It can also be a stressful time. Consider the players themselves. So much rides on one play, one at-bat, one pitch. How do they do it? How do they fail one day and come right back the next day and succeed?
Short-term memory loss. Baseball players need to have it. All athletes need to have it. All professionals need to have it. And that short-term memory loss doesn’t only mean you have to forget the failures. Unfortunately, we have to forget the successes as well.
Do you see the dichotomy in this? It is our experience that gains us our clients, that gets us the next contract, that keeps us in business. Without the experience, we are in an uphill battle to find methods to market ourselves. We have to utilize our long-term memory in order to draw from our experiences so that we can perform at a higher level. But we cannot look back for too long; the clients may hire us because of our experience, but they have perhaps the shortest memory of anyone. What is the client’s favorite response? “What have you done for me lately?”
Why is short-term memory loss so important? Because if you dwell on the failures (or the successes) you will lose sight of the present. If you continue to focus on the time when things went bad, you will doubt yourself, you will doubt your abilities, and you will lose the confidence of your client. I defy anyone to tell me that they never suffered a failure. We all have. Hopefully the failures are far outnumbered by the successes, but they have been there. We learn from them and we move on. It is that simple. What do we learn? We analyze why things went wrong and how we can do better. AND THEN WE FILE IT AWAY! We have to.
The same goes, though, with our successes. The harm by dwelling on the successes is cockiness. You might think that cockiness is a good thing, that it can be a strong marketing method. I don’t agree. There is a fine line between cockiness and confidence, but I will chose confidence every day of the week.
What is the difference? When you are cocky, you forego preparation, you just think that you are unstoppable. When you are confident, you trust your abilities and you rely on your experience, your past successes and you duplicate the steps you followed previously.
Like I said, a fine line, but one that clients are so adept at identifying. They can see it, they can smell it. Cockiness is simply a mask. Judges are not fooled by it, consumers are not fooled by it, no one is fooled by it. Take the good with the bad, pinpoint what went wrong and what went right, then file it away and don’t dwell on it.
Short-term memory loss. We have to possess it otherwise our past will debilitate us for our future.
Have a great week and I hope you forget this post. I already have.