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Apr 27, 2019
You Miss 100% of the Shots You Don't Take
By Thomas Matthew Pierson
A common theme of mine is fear. Fear of action, fear of trying, fear of failing. The reason I write about these topics is because deep down I am tackling my fears. All the while trying to strengthen myself mentally. I don’t fancy my writing to be particularly exceptional and nor do I try to hide it. The reason why I write is because I want to become a better writer. How does one improve their writing? You improve by writing. I write because it makes me uncomfortable, but I do not fear it. Every act of writing is a shot, a chance to improve.
As a side note for context, I came up with the title for this short article months back as a supplement to what was happening to me during that time. I was applying for an art grant and exhibition that I knew I had about zero chance of getting. I will save the details for another blog post, but my exhibition proposal was rejected. I knew at the time I had very little chance of my application being accepted, but I applied and submitted anyway. Even had a grant writer help me in the endeavor. Why did I try if I knew I had a slim chance? Because there was a “chance”, that is why.
We let our fears dictate our actions too much in the world. Every opportunity lost and squandered because of fear and doubt. I am going to let you in on a little secret, want to know what is worse than fear and doubt? Regret. Regret is far worse. I have nostalgically remembered times in my life where I have had regret. Times when I had wished I worked harder, said yes, or never quit, and I will have to live with these decisions. Regret is far worse than fear of failure, because you are left with emptiness, a pit, a void of feeling what could have been.
That is by far a more damaging feeling than failure, with failure you gave an effort, there was a shot at success. When you do not even try, there was no possibility, a zero chance of achievement. Failing means you can try again and keep trying until you succeed. Perhaps you may never succeed, but the feeling of regret is way more frightening.
For you to have even a kernel of success you must have no fear. Shed yourself of the shackles of dread and judgement. There is no room for idleness, you must act and do it often. You may stumble and you may fail. But every failure is a step towards success. It is a step towards your goal. Every shot you take, is a chance you might hit the target. Remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
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