How to get ready to fail

by Carl Natale on November 2, 2010

Emmanuel Sanders

Are you ready to fail?

Last week I was listening to Doug Hall motivate the MaineBiz Momentum Convention to innovate and strive to be meaningfully unique. There was a lot of good stuff there.

While Doug was explaining how fear of failure got in the way, I got a text from the Pittsburgh Steelers that said:

“Emmanuel Sanders is AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. In Miami, Sanders returned 4 KOs for 144 yds and had a tackle in coverage.”

Yes he did all that. And more. I know there were only 160 characters to deal with but there is a very important detail missing from that alert.

On the very first play of the game against the Miami Dolphins, they kicked off to the Steelers. Sanders caught the kick. And dropped the ball. Literally. The ball went out of his hands and the Dolphins recovered it less than 20 yards away from the goal line.


Luckily the Steelers defense held them to a field goal. So in the scheme of things, it didn’t have a lot of impact.

But here’s the important thing that you non-fans need to take away. Here is a man who did almost the worst thing possible on the first play of the game. But after that mistake – or failing – he got back in the game. He caught more kick offs. And performed an outstanding game. He was a major factor in the game. He is known for that – not failing.

It takes guts to trust yourself in that situation. If you can do that, you’re ready to fail.

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