We all have something we desire — a chance to go on a date with someone, a place we’ve been dreaming of visiting, careers we love, etc. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get what we want, regardless of how attainable they may be, simply because we sabotage our own visions before we even take the first step. I argue that this is pointless and not only should we take every shot we can, but we should embrace the inevitable failures that come with them.

Taking a risk is daunting to everyone. The only people who find their way around that paralyzing fear don’t actually find their way around it at all. Instead, they find their way through it.

Think about a recent situation you were in — one in which you had an idea and a goal, finally mustered up some internal talk to help push yourself through the action required to get to it, and instead of actually committing to the act, you froze. You choked.

For most of us, this happens often. We make the mistake of accepting this. We tell ourselves that if we had more of some thing like money, talent, or time, that we would not have frozen. Stop doing that.

That’s an excuse and excuses only sound good to the person dispensing them. Keeping this habit is like telling yourself that you should only act when everything is perfect; when there is little to no chance that you will fail. There is no perfect time and, sorry to tell you but, you will fail again, and again, and (you guessed it) again.

fail more often

If you failed at something and you feel sad about it, cut it out. No one fails at something they’re used to. No one fails at something they’ve done so many times that they could probably do it half asleep and blindfolded. To fail, you need to first take the important step of getting out of your comfort zone. It means acknowledging that you do not know what you’re doing, aren’t confident in your abilities, and you still did it anyway. That takes guts. So why are you sad about having the audacity to challenge yourself?

If you haven’t failed at something today, that probably means you haven’t challenged yourself or tried anything new.

Failure is an inevitable teacher, which is something most people don’t acknowledge or accept. You don’t think Michael Jordan became the greatest basketball player by waiting for the perfect moment, angle, probability of success, release, or opponent to shoot the ball, do you? You don’t think that your favorite musician only became great because they waited for the perfect instruments, or to have the perfect understanding of music, do you?

If someone made that argument to you you would instantly pick up your drink and move to another part of the bar because that person is out of touch with reality and might mistake you for a vampire and stab you with the wooden stake they’ve been holding onto for a few days just in case they ran into a vampire at a bar who didn’t believe in the perfect moment to do things.

Shooting your shot and taking that risk is to embrace not knowing what the future may hold and being okay with that. The lack of predictability should be exciting, not daunting. This isn’t to say that you should risk everything, but in making calculated risks, don’t calculate to the point of multiplying doubt and eliminating yourself from the equation of possibility.

take a shot

Image by Joshua Earle

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Andrew Rowley

Andrew Rowley

I'm a New York based writer who respects the one urinal buffer-zone in public restrooms. I enjoy Dipset music, talking my way out of speeding tickets, and being nice to rude people to piss them off. Feel free to reach out and say hello. I only bite under the explicit, written consent of the bitten. Bring a pen.