How many of you find yourselves “believing your doubts and doubting your beliefs”?!? As you look at the last few months of civil unrest following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Akai Gurley in New York City, or your own personal challenges, it’s easy to understand how doubt and fear could pre-occupy your thoughts.
Rather than making predictions about 2015, at SliceWorks we like to choose one word to focus on going into the New Year. Rather than believing our doubts, we’re choosing to “doubt our doubts and believe our beliefs.” Our focus word for 2015 is BELIEVE.
That choice is rooted in a lesson that I first learned back in 2004. The truth I discovered 10 years ago has been played out over and over again in life: every challenge carries seeds of opportunity.
I can re-create the entire scene in my mind when that truth was revealed to me.
My three boys, Will, aged 8, Rich, aged 10 & Stephen, aged 12, were gone for the weekend with their dad on a Boy Scout camping trip. The girls, Meredith (6) and Madeleine (4), were tucked safely in bed. But as the mother of 5, I carried a tremendous burden of fear and insecurity in raising our children. I lacked confidence in how I was meeting their needs and had more questions than answers. So I found myself awake in the early morning hours, sitting in the boys room on one of their beds, staring at the walls and crying, overwhelmed.
Suddenly I noticed the poster of Michael Jordan (pictured above) that one of the boys had taped to the wall. The words “I’VE FAILED” jumped out at me. The entire quote reads as follows:
“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. That is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
Those words pierced my heart. And from a basketball player, no less! I grew up singing in choruses and choirs, not playing sports.
The truth that I recognized in those words was pivotal and changed my perspective on life, marriage, family, and even business. Failure was not something to be avoided. I realized that the things I was calling problems were really opportunities.
Embracing failure and exploring the lessons to be learned through failure were hidden opportunities for growth and true success. I didn’t need to fear the future, I could boldly walk towards it. My uncertainty and helplessness were replaced with excitement and confidence!
Through the years, I’ve come to understand that the most humbling gift is the opportunity to teach and model this important life lesson. The word “problem” is no longer a part of my vocabulary!
So as you look ahead to 2015, what are the challenges and opportunities ahead of you? Belief is a choice. Turn those doubts into discoveries and problems into possibilities.
Choose to BELIEVE!!