Two former boxing champions stand on the beach just after sunrise. One is sweating and panting slightly. He just sprinted 100 yards in a foot race and won. He’s also flabbergasted. His partner, the other boxer is several yards behind, not sprinting. He’s not even running. He gave up and is walking up the beach towards a group of trainers.
“Why is he even here? Why did he come all this way down here if he’s just going to quit? Every day we’ve been here it’s the same thing. He acts like he’s trying but he’s not. If he’s going to quit, so am I!” Apollo Creed thinks to himself.
[If you haven’t watched any of the Rocky film series, just go do it. Either way, there’s a key theme you’ll get from this just by seeing the clips]
Creed has been patient with Balboa but his patience has expired. He looks at his friend and sees a man who isn’t there. He’s not the same guy who went 15 rounds against him and refused to stay down after getting beaten half to death by one of the greatest boxers of the era. Now he’s just a ghost in a shell.
“There is no tomorrow, Rock! What’s the matter with you?” Creed shouts to Balboa in frustration before telling Duke and Paulie that it’s over and walking away.
This is the most pivotal scene in the whole film. The reason this scene makes Rocky 3 such a powerful movie about overcoming your worst fears is that we see in clear yet dramatic fashion why your talent and skills don’t matter if you don’t believe in yourself.
Because experience means nothing if you don’t believe in yourself.
My good friend and entrepreneurial Superman, Steve Palfreyman, has some pivotal wisdom about this. He says,
“The more you back yourself, the faster you’ll get there.”
This is true in every area of life. It was true for Rocky on the beach that summer morning. He’d run out of the inner strength to keep trying.
Yet it wasn’t a former boxing champion that made the difference in Rocky’s story. It was his wife, Adrian, who turned the tide on that beach that day…