Failure is an Option, but Fear is not

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.

“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.

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 to 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.