Failure is an option, but Fear is not

“Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t bet against yourself. And take risk. NASA has this phrase that they like, ‘Failure is not an option.’ But failure has to be an option. In art and exploration, failure has to be an option. Because it is a leap of faith. And no important endeavor that required innovation was done without risk. You have to be willing to take those risks … In whatever you are doing, failure is an option. But fear is not.” – James Cameron said this at the end of his TED Talk in 2010. 

This has stuck with me since hearing it recently. What this means to me: You shouldn’t take risks thinking that failure isn’t an option or that there is no room for failure. Quite simply, you are going to fail at some point. You’re going to lose a big game, you’re going to get injured, and you’re going to get cut from a squad or not make the starting team. That’s okay! What isn’t okay, is not taking the risk to go after your dreams. 

Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success.
Fear is a feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone.

Understand that at times you’re going to fail. Learn from it. Get back up quickly!

Without failure we don’t improve and we don’t have opportunities to learn and grow.

Failures are a normal part of life. They are not disasters.
— Unknown

There are many stories of athletes failing before they succeeded. Michael Jordan famously didn’t make the varsity team in high school. When Babe Ruth retired, he not only had the home run record but also the strikeout record. 

Forget mistakes. Organize victory out of mistakes.
— Unknown

Take risks! Go for it!

It takes courage to dream big and then allow nothing to prevent you from realizing that dream.
— Tony DiCicco
Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.
— Mia Hamm

If you allow fear to stop you then you will never know how far you can go.

I know it isn’t easy. I’ve been there. The important thing is to know that failure is a possibility and to be prepared for it; better yet, embrace it.  Fail, and see just what you can make of yourself when you are fearless.

In our recently released July 2015 issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete, we have put together feature interviews, drills and more to help you on your journey to be fearless and chase your dreams!

Crystal Dunn has already had an amazing career that includes success with the US Soccer Youth National Teams, a national championship at UNC, the MAC Hermann Trophy,  the honor of being the inaugural No. 1 draft pick of the NWSL and more. However, right now she is best known for being left off the roster while the rest of the USWNT went north to the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. It’s not about getting knocked down, it’s about how you stand back up! Currently, Dunn is leading the NWSL in goals and is the only player to be named the ‘NWSL Player of the Week’ three times this season. If anything, the unfortunate news may have lit a fire. Hear from her in our July issue on how she is responding and the training that will take her to the next level.

Champions in any sport never ease up. They are never satisfied. They are hungry for more, in fact they are ravenous. Their appetite isn’t just for success – that plays a part, that’s the end goal in mind. Actually, champions are fully focused on constantly improving their skills. They are always trying to learn and become better. Dan Abrahams is a global sports psychologist who provides insights into the minds of champion athletes in the July issue.

Some days you’re starting in a FIFA U20 World Cup knockout round match. Some days you’re on a training field as the youngest member of your professional team. This is the yo-yo 19-year-old Tommy Thompson rides as a youth international player who has also signed a Major League Soccer Homegrown Player contract. Scoring goals are part of what have helped him reach the professional level. Setting them has likely been equally as important. Find out about Tommy Thompson and his focus on international and professional success in our July issue.

Get all of this plus speed training, recruiting, nutrition and more in the July issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete.