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“I’ve missed more than 9,000 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

Michael Jordan was every child’s hero growing up, including mine. Looking back on his career, I only remember his successes. His wins. His championships.

But our culture doesn’t necessarily like to talk about the idea of failing. In fact, failure is something we’re told we should try to avoid. Because we like to win. We hear that winning is everything. Sometimes it’s tough to see the success in failure.

Keep on failing

Jordan’s quote calls out that failure wasn’t something to avoid. Rather, failure was every part of his success. While you may not shoot free throws for a living, here are some failures you should be making every day.

  1. Admit you don’t know it all. Fear and failure are intrinsically tied together. The fear of trying something new can hold you back from learning new skills or taking on a new experience. Putting an emphasis on learning can help you confront this fear head on.
  2. Get rejected. Similarly, fear can get in the way of your relationships. Sometimes it can be the fear of being vulnerable with others. By opening yourself up to others, you may feel susceptible to being attacked or hurt; however, hiding your true self can diminish your sense of belonging and even lower your self-esteem.
  3. Fall short sometimes. Many of us may say we have goals, but how many days go by without making any progress toward them? Creating a plan to achieve your goal, even if that plan changes, can help ensure you’re following your priorities.
  4. Move slowly. Committing to a goal is one thing. But you also have to have a process to get you there. If you try to tackle the entire goal at once, you’ll get defeated quickly. Taking small steps every day toward your goal allows you to practice what you need to persevere for the long haul.
  5. Let someone else do the talking. It’s easy to look at a situation and point out how someone else is at fault. Or that it was their job and not your own. Taking a more compassionate approach can help you understand where someone is coming from.
  6. Admit you were wrong. You may want to blame someone else or make excuses when something breaks. Taking ownership doesn’t mean you take the blame; it means you take ownership to finding a solution to the problem.

Failure is part of every journey and part of every day. If you’re not failing, you won’t be successful.

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