Do you know how many shots Michael Jordan missed during his career? More than 9000. Take baseball: a legendary hitter, bats a .300 average, which means he succeeds only one in three times at that. Take any famous entrepreneur and her true biography will serve mostly as an index of failures, with a few big wins mixed in. We think otherwise only because of our tendency to minimize failure and dwell on success when telling the story afterward.
You can do everything right, in both making the work and sharing it, and there’s still no guarantee of success. But the good news? We learn from every failure. Each time we show up for our work, we make it easier for ourselves the next time. We begin to trust that every failure contains a lesson or an opportunity. It’s the universe’s way of telling us something we haven’t figured out yet.
As you consistently put your creativity to work, share that work, and grapple with results, you’ll see how important these lessons are. For example, think back to an old failure, five years or more in the past: losing a job, ending a relationship, suffering through a financial catastrophe. Chances are you’re at the point where you can see that the failure as what it truly was: a stepping stone to where you are today.If you can’t see the lesson in whatever you are facing yet, you haven’t zoomed out far enough. Click To Tweet
If whatever you’re facing isn’t making sense yet, if you can’t see the lesson in it, you haven’t zoomed out far enough. When you’re in the middle of a mess, it can be chaotic and frightening, but if you can adopt a wider view, even laugh in the face of struggle, that sense of perspective will save you and keep you going through anything.
When you create, you’re not just creating art or product or a business, you’re creating possibilities. You won’t be aware of all of them, but they are there. Only by embracing your innate creativity will you begin to see the life you are truly capable of creating for yourself.
If failure is blocking you from trying, remember – success is not necessary. Failure is the stepping stone. Start small, but be consistent. Give yourself more at bats.