My first thought when I came across this quote was “Duh!” But like many profound statements, this one wouldn’t leave me alone. It reminded me of the statistics about famous baseball player Babe Ruth having a ton of home runs … and holding the record for strike-outs at the same time.
If Babe Ruth never swung the bat, he’d never hit a home run. If Wayne Gretzky never took a shot, he’d never score a goal. They didn’t let fear of failure stand in the way. They took risks.
How many times am I afraid to try because I’m afraid I’ll fail? I’m worried that I won’t win a contest, so I don’t even enter. I’m afraid an editor or agent will reject my manuscript, so I come up with excuses and keep fiddling with the words to delay sending that query. I’m dejected about my chances at losing those last baby-weight pounds (eight plus years after the fact) so I skip that post-dinner walk in favor of popcorn in front of the television.
What if I try and fail? What if I look like a fool? What if I strike-out? Would I look like an idiot? Yet, I can imagine what success would feel like and I’ve been learning and practicing so I can get better. If I tried once more, maybe this time I’d get it right.
The only guaranteed failure lies in never trying. If I want to be successful, I have to take a risk.
What about you? What are you shooting for? Are you taking risks or letting fear hold you back?