Achieving success through failure

“Our willingness to fail gives us the ability and opportunity to succeed where others may fear to tread.”

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.

And that is why I succeed.”

  • Michael Jordan

(Note: This post was originally posted on my previous, now closed blog)

Michael Jordan was one of heros as a child.  I watched him take the Chicago Bulls to the NBA championship and win, time after time, and held him in an almost mythical status.  The man was unbeatable.

Over time my opinion of him has changed from the demi-god of my youth to a more nuanced, realistic view: an incredibly talented, yet flawed man.

Still, his legendary competitiveness, dedication to his craft and drive to succeed remain qualities I admire.

It’s interesting to glimpse into his mind and find someone who is known for such success reflecting openly on the failures he encountered along the way. And how it was only by putting himself in a position where failure was a possibility that he gave himself the chance for such success.

Many of us have such a great fear of failure that we avoid situations that would allow us to even potentially fail. So in essence, we fail before we even begin.

I certainly include myself in this group. There have been many times in my life where it seemed easier to simply make an excuse and stop with something difficult than to try hard and actually fail.

Jordan understands that by accepting failure as a possibility and still having the self-confidence to try, you are moving yourself one step ahead and into a position where you’re more likely to succeed.

And if you do fail, with this confident mindset you’ll have positive experiences to take away. Lessons you can learn.

And with your new knowledge, you can make adjustments, re-start, and try again.

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