Breaking the Shield
In Clash of Clans, a popular strategy game for the iPhone and Android, there is a concept of a shield that goes up once you are defeated in an attack. This shield protects you from additional attacks, and the length of time this shield exists depends on how badly you were defeated. The shield will go down by itself, or as soon as you go on offense the shield goes back down.
One of the keys to rapidly building your village is to break the shield to go on the offense whenever you need to get resources. Sitting back just waiting for things to happen on their own while hiding behind the shield will get you nowhere fast. Advanced players will lay out their village to encourage others to attack so that they can get a shield right after attacking with minimal loss of resources. I believe this strategy is very much like life.
Successful people learn to break through the things that are holding them back and take calculated risks all the while knowing that once they have broken that shield, they will get attacked. They attack, gain strength, and then prepare to be attacked themselves by making it difficult for attackers to gain any ground and investing what they have earned.
Unsuccessful people hide behind the shield thinking that it will protect them. The key is that the shield is an illusion. Yes you can hide behind it for awhile, and even should at times when you need a break or there is no benefit to going on the offensive, but eventually you WILL be attacked. The people that have been on offense all along will be those most prepared to defend themselves as well as will have developed the best offensive skills.
Michael Jordon, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, once said “I’ve missed more than 9000 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. And that is why I succeed.”
If you are afraid to take the shot just because you know you might miss, you’ll never make any shots. Step up, break through that barrier, and take the shot. If you miss, recover as quickly as you can, and take the shot again. Hide behind the shield for a short period if you need a break, but then get back out there and make something happen!
If you want a deep dive on how being willing to push yourself to failure will allow you to win at life, I highly recommend reading The Talent Code. This book should be required reading in schools in my opinion, as it explores how people actually develop talent and the biology behind it.