This I Believe

Athanasios - Issaquah, Washington
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I Believe

When was the last time you made a mistake? Did it ruin the rest of your day? Did it affect the rest of your life? I believe that the biggest mistake in life is to fear that you will make one. Before every basketball game I fear that I will miss a shot. Every game I fear that I will pass the ball right to the other team. Every game I fear that a tall guy will walk up and block my shot while the crowd shouts out, “ohhhhh!” During the basketball games, I find my self doing exactly what I feared. After every basketball game I am upset with myself on how poorly I played that game. I then came across a quote that blew me away, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is precisely why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan.

This got me thinking that everyone makes mistakes; even the best basketball player ever to live makes mistakes, missing shots, creating turnovers, and getting blocked. I also realized that the process of making mistakes helps you grow and develop. Making a mistake is not the end of the world and you should try that much harder to do better. When you fear making a mistake you are distracted from what you set out to do.

The next basketball game was against our rival high school. Throughout the whole first half I did not make a single shot. I was busy making turnovers, passing the ball when I should have shot and so on. It was half time, and we all went into the locker room. I then thought to myself that I have made so many mistakes already, it will not hurt to just play basketball. Right at the beginning of the second half I came away with a steal for an easy lay-up. I was ready. When I had the shot, I took it. When there was an opportunity, I took it. Like almost every basketball game, it came down to the wire. With 8 seconds left in the game we were all tied up and ready to go into overtime. I then thought that “There is nothing to fear but fear itself. – FDR” so I took a deep breath and ran down the court. I got the pass, let the ball fly and scored. This time the crowd roared! The fear of failure is far worse than the failure itself.