Failure IS an Option

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Now that I have your attention, most of us as athletes have been told all of our careers that “failure is not an option.” As coaches, we have instilled in our athletes, “failure is not an option.” As parents, you may have event taught your children “failure is not an option.”

Well, I would like to present to you a new way of thinking. Actually, it’s not a new way of thinking at all. I discovered recently it’s a concept that Google has embraced along with many other successful businesses and individuals. The concept is “failure is an option.”

No one sets out to fail; however, it is through the failure where we are able other ways of being successful.

Here is a question for you to think about: What successful entrepreneur, invention, cure, or athlete came from a success? The answer? Not one.

Take the great Michael Jordan, for example. He was cut from his high school basketball team when he tried out, but we all know how his story ended. The successful Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-a, is another one. He was turned down by countless malls when he approached them about opening his store inside their buildings and even his very first Dwarf House burned to the ground. But none of these failures stopped these individuals. In fact, the failures did just the opposite.

Without failure being an option for them, they would not have been the success they were.

At Google, they actually have a department called “X” where they pay the employees to create projects that they know will fail. Without this department, we would not enjoy the technology we do today.

So why do we think failure isn’t an option?

It is fear that tells us that failure is not an option and the need of wanting to be in control of every aspect of what we do.

However, this very behavior keeps us from being successful. Allowing failure to be an option allows us all to learn and grow. It keeps the “perfection” tendencies from rooting in our behavior which causes mental blocks and freezes in an athletes performance.

There is a big difference in failure being an option and mediocrity being acceptable. No one is campaigning for the latter. All athletes and coaches should demand excellence when training and performing. Just make room for the learning and growth process through failure being an option.

Keep on being Champions In Life!


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