Failing...and thinking about Michael Jordan

So it's been a bit of an up and down in the studio in the past few weeks--the excitement of getting more joy in the world and the success of the show opening in Nashville and looking forward to the show coming up on Vashon Island...backed up against three show rejections. THREE! OUCH! It's gotten me thinking a lot about how to generate joy...especially when you are just. not. feeling. it.

And in between the disappointment and sadness, I found I kept thinking about NBA legend Michael Jordan--UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and one of the greatest athletes of all time--and how he framed failure:

I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have 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.

Thinking about Jordan's quote I realized I needed new language to think about this disappointment.

They're not three failures.

They're not three rejections.

They are three setbacks.

Somehow, calling them setbacks seems less catastrophic. Less dramatic. Easier to manage practically and emotionally.

But I'll be honest. All of this is still a little raw for me. It's hard to hear 'no' again and again when you've worked hard. I've asked for feedback on my work and received some notes. I've reached out to other artists for camaraderie.

And I keep reminding myself these are just setbacks. I'll be a stronger artist for it.