“I’ve missed more than 9,000 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 again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Basketball legend, Michael Jordan
When we think about our growth as people—whether in the sphere of athletics, career, parenting, or as spiritual beings—we tend to think in terms of successes. We often imagine a steady ascent, climbing a ladder two rungs at a time rather than slipping down to the rung below. We know intellectually that failures are a part of life, yet we try to avoid them like the plague.
Many people are afraid to fail. They put themselves down for coming up short and believe everyone else does as well. Some of us decide that the best way to not fail is to not try in the first place. Other people, including some professional athletes and politicians, are so attached to not failing that they cheat or lie in order to best their opponent. They may “win” the contest, but lose at the game of life.
To truly live and grow as a person, you’ve got to put yourself out there, take the risk of failure, and be proud of yourself for trying. Fear of failure leads to a fear of life. This leads to staleness, boredom, and mediocrity. Living life fully means pushing boundaries and going over your edges. You never really succeed, nor do you ever really discover all that God created you to be, if you don’t take the risk of failing. Not just once, but, like Michael Jordan, over and over again.