What Footballers Can Teach us about Overcoming the Fear of Shame & Failure.
Why are we so afraid to fail?
A chief reason may be because failure means the possibility of shame. And who wants shame?
Imagine a footballer who’s the best at taking penalty kicks on his team, but who missed the last one he took. Imagine his team is in a critical match and it’s a draw, then they get a penalty kick and the coach wants him to play it. But he turns it down, because he’s afraid he’ll lose the kick again. He’s afraid he’ll fail again. He’s afraid he’ll look stupid.
He would rather sacrifice victory for his team than risk shame to himself.
This is a struggle behind all success: will you step out of the stands? Will you make the shift from being a spectator to becoming the spectacle? Will you risk the ridicule that might follow missing the target?
It depends on how you see success.
The truth is, it’s not a performance, or about the spectators. It’s about the goalpost and victory for your team. Focus on the ball and forget the spectators.
The risk of ridicule is part of the sacrifice that success demands: that your desire to achieve your goals surpasses your desire for applause and recognition. That your desire for victory surpasses your fear of failure and shame.
So what would it be for you? Would you decline taking as many shots as it takes achieve your dreams because you can’t afford to bear the shame if you fail?
Or will you courageously reach for your dreams even if you may be mocked if you fail?
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Originally published in 2016 in my Facebook notes.