Let’s just get this out of the way right now.
- I bleed Cardinal red.
- My earliest memory in life is listening to Jack Buck call a St. Louis Cardinal’s game.
- I make value judgments about people based on their favorite baseball team.
Ok, I’m not really proud of the third one, but the truth will set you free…
speaking of which, Mark McGwire finally broke his silence about steroid usage earlier today. Much to the disappointment, but not surprise, of this fan he admitted to using steroids during his career. Most pointedly, during the 1998 season in which he broke Roger Maris’ single season, home run record.
The debate over McGwire’s Hall of Fame worthiness has raged for years and is likely to heat back up now. There are plenty of other people with more expertise on that issue than me, so I’ll let it alone.
What I want to discuss is, why this admission is so important and what all of us can learn.
I followed McGwire through his entire career and truthfully had little doubt that he used performance enhancing drugs at some point. His statement today doesn’t hide behind the fact that they weren’t illegal in baseball when he used them. Nor does it claim that he didn’t know they were wrong.
He simply lays out that he made bad decisions and is sorry for them. So were does that leave him?
With the baseball writers and fans… who knows. His admission might get him enough votes for the Hall of Fame or it might be the final nail in his coffin. With fans, he’ll get cheered like a hero in Busch and he’ll heckled in Wrigley.
The big question is, where does it leave him with himself? My hope is that it leaves him forgiven.
One of the biggest things that anchors us to our past and keeps us from moving on to what we are capable of, is our unwillingness to forgive ourselves.
It is almost like we hold a grudge against someone that doesn’t exist anymore.
Often, we knock ourselves back worse than any other person could. Why? Because we know things about us that no one else does.
- We convince ourselves that past sins equal future results.
- Our belief that former failings make us unworthy to have abundance now.
- A lie takes root in our heart that we have less to offer because we’ve messed up.
All of these things, and a whole lot more, are the result of harboring a resentment toward ourselves. It may not be immediately apparent until you start to identify your dominant emotions toward a subject. Feelings of guilt, a lack of self-worth, and disengagement show up in places they don’t belong.
Maybe your particular wrong was against or involved someone else. Do you need to ask for their forgiveness? Have you already apologized and think that they are still holding a grudge? Is that why you feel unforgiven?
From personal experience, and that of people I’ve coached, we can only focus on what we control.
Whether the offense is against yourself or someone else, the only two things you can do are to apologize and forgive yourself. You cannot control whether or not someone forgives you. Once you are sincerely sorry and offer up remorse for your actions, the rest is on them.
This is a world of second chances. Give yourself one.
If you find that a past wrong is holding you back and causing inaction, forgive it. Until you do you’ll never be able to build lasting success. Anything that keeps us stuck in the past, prevents us from being brilliant in the present.
In getting the air cleared, I hope that McGwire is able to forgive himself for what has happened and live fully in the present. That’s my hope for Big Mac and for all of us.
Be your best,