Last week, I wrote about becoming World Class at what you do.  I promptly went on to win absolutely nothing in daily play that weekend.  Zilch.  A complete bust.  There is nothing like failure to ground you in reality.  In fact, sometimes we go to extremes with it, either becoming so fearful of experiencing failure again that we give up on what we were attempting to achieve, or dismissing the abysmal performance as if it were no big deal.  While both extremes may be understandable, neither is acceptable.  Instead, in the spirit of becoming World Class at what you do, I would suggest adhering to the following mantra: Never fear failure, but failure is not okay.

There is always risk involved in putting together a fantasy lineup.  A player might get sidelined with an injury early in their game; a matchup on the field might go 180 degrees opposite of what was expected on just a crazy bounce or two of the ball; or an unforeseen game flow might prohibit a breakout performance that had been fully anticipated from one of your players.  Anything can happen.  And if you were to really consider all the possible permutations involved in setting a fantasy lineup, you can see how it could easily lead to decision-making paralysis.  You can’t account for everything.  So if you’re going to win at fantasy, you need to assume a certain amount of risk and accept the fact that you might fail.  And the more you can get your arms around that notion, the more likely you are to fully consider the possibilities at your disposal week-in and week-out and make some great decisions that will lead to victory.

On the other hand, just because you have a handle on risk and the possibility of failure doesn’t mean you should just accept failures with a shrug of the shoulders.  Failure means something went wrong.  Was it a piece of data you failed to consider or misinterpreted?  Did a player’s status change and you missed the update?  Or was the situation completely out of your control?  You won’t know for sure unless you dig into it and find out.  Which means if all you do is dismiss your failures when they come, you won’t learn some of the lessons you need to learn, and you are likely to repeat those mistakes and fail again at some point.  That’s not the way I like to play fantasy, or live life for that matter.

Now fantasy football may not be something you really care to excel at or become world class at in your life.  But the principles here apply to whatever it is we are truly passionate about achieving.  There is some element of risk involved in every choice we make, even as we decide whether or not to turn on the light as we head to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  But if you truly want to succeed at something important in your life, you must accept and press past the notion that you might fail along the way.  And when you encounter failure in that pursuit (and you most assuredly will), always take the time to figure out what went wrong and learn from your mistakes.  If you do that, you will soon find yourself succeeding much more often than failing, and winning much more often than losing.

Never fear failure, but failure is not okay.

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