Like the rest of the country/world, I've been watching the Winter Olympics like a fanatic for the past couple weeks. It's amazing to watch the best of the best in the whole WORLD compete against each other - even being in last place is a huge deal! Watching has been an inspiration to me that hard work and perseverance WILL pay off in a huge way - in my business or my life in general.
One thing that blew me away was a story I heard in the first few days of watching. One of the competitors in the slopestyle event began skiing when he was extremely young. According to the announcer, the first time he tried to make a jump, he broke his leg. Let that sink in for a minute. He didn't just have a little fall or not quite make it to the other side, he BROKE a major bone in his body. I can't even imagine how painful and discouraging that was.
But then I remembered where that story was being told. The only reason you and I have heard that story is because he got back up. It's because, after all the healing that took place, he tried again. And again. And again. Until here he is, years and years later, the very best of the best in his sport, competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Perspective. It's what we all need sometimes. We are all so afraid of failure that we stand at the top of a hill, afraid to go down, afraid to try and jump, afraid that we may fall on our face. It's so scary to put ourselves out there. But what's the worst that can happen? And when/if it does, what will you do?
You're never going to make it to the Olympics without failure. Not a single athlete has won every event leading up to this date. Every figure skater has fallen. Every skier has missed a jump. We have watched countless athletes get injured during the games this year. What makes them great - and what can make us great - is the 'in spite of.' In spite of an injury. In spite of the pressure. In spite of friends/family not understanding the dream. In spite of failure. They persevere.
We don't have to let the fear of failure hold us back from success. We don't have to let failure hold us back from trying harder the next time, from training more hours, from putting more of ourselves into the thing we love. Whatever it is you're waiting for to start, stop waiting. Go down that hill, take that jump, apply for that job...whatever!
You could succeed. You could fail. Regardless of what happens, don't let the outcome DEFINE who you are, let it SHOW who you have become. Take a leap of faith. If you break your leg, let your temporary failure propel you on to something far great. And maybe, just maybe, next time you launch off your hill, you'll realize that you've finally mastered the jump.