I’ve been asked before why athletes cry when they win something important. The obvious answer is “they put a lot of time into it.” That’s true to a large degree, but I don’t think that’s what is entirely triggering such an emotional response. It seems younger, inexperienced athletes aren’t really the ones having the emotional outbursts.
That’s because they haven’t overcome failure. This is what it feels like to purge 13 years of failure:
Michael Jordan is widely considered the greatest basketball player of all-time. He drove himself because of perceived failures. (Not making the varsity team as a sophomore is the most famous example.) Jordan used his failures to build on successes. There is tremendous power in failing – it can embolden us to try again (hey, we’ve already lost once, what’s the worst thing that can happen?) and teaches us what not do.
Don’t wallow in failure. Embrace it for making it you stronger. Smarter. And more prepared.