I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.
– Michael Jordan
The other day, I gave a presentation at a conference and left quickly after in order to make it to my son’s elementary school basketball game. My son’s team won. I thought to myself that they have gotten better, even since the last game. I have watched both my sons play basketball and other sports and continually get better with practice, experience, and effort. When young kids are learning basketball, many struggle with learning to dribble, pass, and shoot the ball. Often, as kids are learning these skills, they lack the confidence to shoot the ball. As I have watched my sons learn these fundamentals, I am always very proud as they gain the confidence to take the shot, even if they don’t make it.
As I mentioned, before I went to my son’s basketball game, I gave a conference presentation. My presentation was well-received, and I felt like it was a success. Getting to this point in my career has been the result of taking a number of “shots.” Some successful, others not. The shots included volunteering for various projects, taking the time to learn new things, and consistently working hard. There have been plenty of shots I haven’t taken, and I’ll never know what successes those would have brought. But I can see the success gained by taking various opportunities. I see people around me afraid to take shots because they are afraid they might fail. I have learned that failure is a part of success. Failure is a step to success, a chance to learn, move on, and be better.
I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 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
Over the years, I have overcome many things and understand much more about myself, especially my strengths as an introvert and how I function best. I am well into writing a book about my journey with introversion. But the doubts and fears of failure creep in… What if no one reads it? What if it’s a flop? What if…What if? I battle these thoughts with this thought, “If I don’t write it, definitely no one will read it.” I have so many things to accomplish, both big and small, and so do you. Do them! If you don’t take the shot, you definitely will not score.