When I was a professional athlete, I didn’t trust people well at all. I struggled with trust. I was a very insecure person. I was scared. What do you think I was scared of? I was scared of failing. Failing! I was scared to death.
Two things drove me: fear of failure and fear of success. I battled with it all the time. I’m not going to lie to you, man, fear of failure is what drove me to success on the mound. You can see clips of me pitching in the World Series. You can look up my stats. You can see that I was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, and you can probably find video of me crying after we won. But I’m telling you right now, I didn’t make better pitches in the postseason than I made during the regular season. In fact, I made some terrible pitches in the postseason and got away with it.
So why did I put up those numbers? What drove me on that mound to have such intense focus? It was fear, man. Fear of failure. I didn’t want to be the loser of the 2014 World Series. I didn’t want to be the scapegoat. That would follow me around my whole life. “Jeremy blew it in Game 7, boo, we hate you.” I am not going to lie. I was driven to compete because I was scared to death.
Everybody’s like that. It’s not just me. Everybody’s afraid of some kind of failure. I’m tired of us not being able to talk about it. I’m tired of us not being able to say how we really feel. We’re all afraid of something, but we hide it because we don’t trust.
Instead, we make things up. Somebody asks, “How are you doing?” and you say, “I’m doing great!” Only you’re not. All someone has to do is look at your wife. I can look at anyone’s bride, and I can see if they’re doing great or not. I’ll ask somebody at church, “How are you doing, man?” And he says, “I’m doing great!” Then I look at his bride. She’s just sitting there looking at him, shaking her head. She’s like, “You’re a jerk.” Sound familiar?
We say we’re doing great even when we’re not. I did it all the time. I faked it to make it. I didn’t trust people very well. But that’s been changing. I’ve found a few people that I can trust with me.
Everybody needs a few people they can trust. It doesn’t have to be a whole lot of people. You only need a few. They just have to be the people that you can trust to love you, not judge you or shame you.
They have to be the people that you can trust with your whole self — all of you — the worst of you as well as the best of you. You have to know that no matter what, they will love you. They might hold you accountable when you mess up! In fact they should, because sometimes you need their help in order to grow. You only need to know that they do it out of love.