Michael Jordan said you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. He’s also quoted as saying that he’s missed game-winning shots on multiple occasions, much to the dismay of his team mates.
I thought of these things today while I was stewing over an article I attempted to write yesterday. Once I’d completed the first draft, I re-read it multiple times. In my head, my evaluation started off well enough: ‘This is good, it makes sense,’. Then slowly it turned in to ‘maybe if I just tweak this paragraph here, then it’ll flow a little better’, and not long after that ‘I have to re-arrange the entire thing. It’s crap,’ before it collapsed in to ‘It’s useless. I’m useless. What’s the freaking point?’
The negative feedback loop escalated pretty quickly in my head. Interestingly, I completely forgot (or neglected) to do all the little self-regulatory things that keep me balanced throughout the day.
Things like doing a random body scan to check in with my body, drinking plenty of water, going to the bathroom, and eating lunch. If I’d done these things, I’d probably have noticed in the moment that I was feeling quite anxious about the outcome of the article.
Not that it mattered; there was no deadline and it was for my own practice. But the feeling of it not being good enough – relative to all the other writers out there – crept in as a whisper at first, then as though it were being broadcasted over a megaphone, causing me to backtrack and re-write, and ultimately to doubt myself and the choice I’ve made to pursue writing.
Clearly, this self-hate shtick has to change. And it will. But only through self-compassion and mini-steps. True, I’m new to the whole “writing an article” thing, so my method isn’t perfect yet. But I reckon I’ll learn all that stuff in time if I stick at it. That’s the key, right?
Everybody knows that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team because he sucked ass. What clearly makes his story so impressive is that he didn’t give up. He kept practising despite the odds, despite his own failures. He kept looking for ways to get better, and he kept saying ‘no thanks’ when the word ‘no’ was repeatedly thrown in his face.
So with regular self-care, self-confidence built form the ground up, bit by bit, I will find my success. Day at a time and all that, you know? Anyway, I think I’ll buy myself some Air Jordans today.