It’s World Cup time, so I thought a soccer story would be timely. This is one I’ve just come across on the Anecdote blog and have been thinking about often as I work on pushing past the fear of failure to put myself out there and establish Sticky Note Consulting.
It’s the story of the dramatic end to the 1993-94 season of La Liga (the premier division in the Spanish football league)….
It was the final day of the season, and both Barcelona and Deportivo de La Coruña were in the running to win La Liga. Deportivo had to win their game against Valencia to clinch the championship.
In the last minutes of the match, Deportivo got a penalty. But it seemed that there was no-one in the team who dared to take that kick. The side’s habitual penalty taker, Donato, had already been substituted, and their second-best option, Bebeto, refused the responsibility. The other players were apparently all trying to walk away from it too.
But then a sweeper, Miroslav Djukic, took the ball and placed it on the spot. He took nine steps backward, then walked up to the ball and kicked it. And he missed… The match remained a 0–0 draw. As a result, FC Barcelona were crowned La Liga champions.
When you try something new and put yourself out there, you risk failure. Doing nothing guarantees that you won’t fail, but it also guarantees that you won’t succeed. In order to have a chance of making the shot, you first need to step up and be prepared to take it.