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You Miss Every Shot You Don't Take

LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan - these are the all-time leading scorers in the National Basketball Association (NBA). They are also at the top of the list for shot attempts. And they all linger right around the 50% mark of shots made.

The greatest scorers of all time in the NBA - people known worldwide for their dominance in the sport - only make ½ of the shots they take. If you think about it, 50% is an F in school - so technically, these greats are failing by the metrics we’re all used to.

Yet somehow we expect ourselves - typical, standard, common, everyday humans - to make every shot we take. To never fail, falter, or slip as we travel through life. The word “failure” has become another version of the “F Word” for many of us.

I sat idle in my marriage for nearly two years feeling paralyzed by the fear of failure. I wasn’t happy or living the life I desired or deserved, yet I didn’t know what was on the other side. It was unknown. And that unknown left me feeling powerless and afraid.

I was also heartbroken and devastated at the idea of having the title of a “divorced woman.” Heartbroken of having to admit I had a failed marriage. There's that "F Word" again.

I waited for a billboard or neon sign to tell me what to do. I wanted direction or reassurance that I wouldn’t fail. But it never came. There wasn’t a sign from above or a larger-than-life indicator telling me I should get divorced. Just a gut feeling telling me I needed a change.

If I had waited for a sign or waited for 100% confidence that I would succeed, I might never have left. And I wouldn’t be living the joyful and abundant life I have today. So often we wait until things are perfectly aligned before taking a leap of faith - Taking our shot in life. Because for many of us, the fear of failure can be paralyzing. Imagine if LeBron James played the same way.

Why aren’t you taking that shot like LeBron? If you’re like many of my clients, it’s fear of failure. They are scared to fail. Scared of how a failure may reflect on them, their value, and their worthiness. If they fail at something, anything, does that mean they are no longer worthy of love, acceptance, or good things in our lives? No! Of course not. And they know that. But it’s still so hard to take the shot.

Shifting their mindset around failing and failure brings them closer to taking more of their shots.

This is why I ask my clients:

  • How can you reframe failure to help loosen the grip it has on your life?

  • What if you changed the word “failure” to “opportunity” instead?

  • How can you focus on the value you gain from what you may learn and experience in the risk you are taking?

  • What if you stopped looking at the end goal as the only outcome and focused on the journey, too?

This blog isn’t a neon sign of your assured success, but it is your sign to take the shot. Get in the game and make a play. You miss every shot you don’t take - don’t let it be the winning one.

Journey well, my friends.


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