Michael Jordan writes, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

In 1978, 15-year-old Micheal Jordan was devastated. Jordan tried out for the basketball team at Laney High School. When the list was posted, an excited Jordan searched for his name, but as his finger reached the last name on the list, he was devastated. He remembers, “I went to my room, and I closed the door, and I cried. For a while, I couldn’t stop. Even though there was no one else home at the time, I kept the door shut. It was important to me that no one hear me or see me.”

Jordan felt like a failure and wanted nothing to do with basketball. Understanding that failure is a pathway to success, Jordan’s mother explained to him that failure is normal, but giving up is unacceptable. That talk switched his mindset — from that point forward, failure and disappointment fueled him to learn how to become better. Today, Jordan is considered one of the greatest athletes in history — with career stats including 6,672 rebounds, 5,633 assists, and 32,292 total points.

Failure Will Corrupt How You Define Yourself

If you want to accomplish the things you value, then failure should not be avoided — it should be embraced as your muse. Regrettably, you witness failure as a personal flaw. You allow failure to define you:

  • Will you succeed or fail?
  • Will you look smart or dumb?
  • Will you be accepted or rejected?
  • Will you feel like a winner or a loser?

You must view your failure not as an obstacle but as a challenge that leads to improving your raw talents.

Jaw-Dropping Insider Rules That Will Change Your Life

The author Carol Dweck writes, “We often see books with titles like The Ten Secrets of the World’s Most Successful People crowding the shelves of bookstores, and these books may give many useful tips. But they’re usually a list of unconnected pointers, like “Take more risks !” or “Believe in yourself!” While you’re left admiring people who can do that, it’s never clear how these things fit together or how you could ever become that way. So you’re inspired for a few days, but basically, the world’s most successful people still have their secrets.”

Jordan is one of those people that you admire. You always thought his performance was god-like, but now you know Michael is not divine. He just did not surrender to failure. Instead, he embraced growth:

  1. Do not hide from your weaknesses. Embrace your imperfections.
  2. View challenges as opportunities to improve yourself.
  3. Find the learning strategies that work for you.
  4. When you fail, ask yourself, “What have I learned?”
  5. Do not look for approval, prioritize for growth.
  6. The process is more important than the goal.
  7. Cultivate a sense of purpose by nurturing your curiosity.
  8. Practice patience, learning fast is not the point you must allow for mistakes.
  9. Reward the effort you put into learning something new, not talent.
  10. Do not take criticism personally, ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?”
  11. Schedule time to think, reflect on what you learned and what you still have to learn.
  12. The effort is more important than talent.
  13. Learn from other people’s mistakes.
  14. You will never be done learning, so always raise your standards.
  15. Taking risks will get you comfortable with feeling uncomfortable.
  16. Respect your time, it is the only thing you can not make more of.
  17. Take responsibility for your attitude.

Use What You Value To Inspire You

What things of value do you want to accomplish, understanding that failure will not define you? Your time is limited, so do not take your time in planning on where you will apply your effort.

As you embrace your weaknesses and see the challenges as opportunities, you will grow into the person who accomplishes things you value.

Originally published here.