Those were the words I said to my basketball coach years ago. I loved basketball, being part of a team and playing competitively. I got pretty good and felt confident but I wanted to get better, so I started playing ball with the boys. I certainly wasn’t a tom boy, far from it, in fact I’ve always been a girly girl. Playing with the boys was hard, they were quicker and stronger than me and more aggressive and skilled than me. I never did get as good as the boys, but I became a better player because of that experience. Their skills were so much better than me that I had to raise up my game just to be able to stay on the court and play. Everyone once in a while I surprised them with a three point shot or a quick steal and drive to the basket, those were good times!
I learned a lot of lessons from that experience:
- When you play with someone that is better than you, your skills improve.
- If you are in an environment that challenges you, you become stronger.
- When someone is quicker than you, your focus improves.
- Playing with someone smarter than you causes you to get mentally tough.
- When you are challenged you work harder than you do in a complacent environment.
As they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”
So the next time you are in a challenging environment or are working for a boss with high expectations, just remember how much you are growing and how strong your skills are becoming. You’ll likely look back and thank that boss for all that he or she did to help you move your career forward!