In Europe, the fear of making a mistake can be very painful, even paralyzing. Unlike our American friends, who know how to recognize the virtues of failure, we all tend to put in place various strategies to avoid mistakes at all costs, even if it means holding ourselves back and limiting ourselves. That’s why today I’d like you to reread Michael Jordan’s quote about his own failures. Because while you’re probably already familiar with it, it can take you forward in leaps and bounds…
Considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan’s record is so impressive that some even consider him to be the greatest champion of all time, across all sports. But while his style of play has astounded all those who have seen him on the pitch, the Dream Team hero has given plenty of advice on failure, which he believes is the key to his success:
“I’ve missed over 9,000 shots in my career and lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I was responsible for the shot that could give or take away the victory for my team, and I failed. I missed, missed and missed again in my life. And that’s why I succeeded.”
Why should we post this quote, read it over and over again until we know it by heart? Because it speaks to us of the need to overcome our fear of failure in order to move towards the realization of our dreams. Whether we’re perfectionists or procrastinators, whether we tend to reread a file three times before handing it in or anticipate every detail before making a decision, almost all of us are held back by the fear of making a mistake. This attitude, generally acquired at school and attributed to professionalism, can however become problematic when it slows down our decision-making or plunges us into a state of anxiety and unease when a mistake occurs despite everything.
So what does Michael Jordan have to say?
Let’s start by saying that mistakes don’t define us:
his team lost 26 times because of him, and no one ever held it against him or put his title back on the line. You can be gifted, well-trained and over-motivated and still lose your team, it happens and doesn’t call everything into question.
That you have to try hundreds of times before you get it right.
It’s by missing, missing again and again that we train and eventually reach our goal. Every missed shot brings us closer to victory.
Not to be afraid of losing, but to accept the possibility of making a mistake from the outset.
As my grandmother used to say, it’s only those who do nothing who miss nothing. When you start a match, you can’t be sure of winning it. It’s the same for a presentation or an important negotiation: there’s always a risk of failing, but if you mess up this time, you might do better next time, and that doesn’t call your skills into question.
Once you’re free of the fear of making mistakes, you can move forward much faster and more serenely along the path you’ve chosen. We free ourselves from our perfectionist attitudes, stop putting off important decisions until tomorrow and regain our self-confidence. All that’s left is to stay focused and do everything we can to win the match, putting the stakes back where they belong. And as Michael would say, “I’ve always believed that if you put in the effort to succeed, the results will come. ”
It’s up to you!