Michael Jordan wasn’t born a basketball prodigy.

The former NBA star, widely regarded as the greatest basketball player who ever lived, is known now for his unparalleled competitiveness on the court, but also for his later success in the business world. Believe it or not, Jordan has a failure story of his own.

When he was a freshman in high school, he was cut from the team for another freshman. Back then, he wasn’t yet the talented player he would eventually become. He took the disappointment of being cut and kept pushing. He made the varsity team the following year, became a national champion in college, and was the unquestioned leader of six NBA championships.

When you try something for the first time, there’s a good chance you’re going to fail horribly. But if Jordan had never tried, the basketball world would never know his name.

Is it worse to fail at something or never attempt it in the first place? People encounter this dilemma at many different intervals throughout their lives, and they often find themselves not knowing how to answer it.

Actually, there’s a simple answer: give it a shot.

Failure can do one of two things: it’ll either give you an incomparable amount of motivation that’ll eventually lead to greater things, or you’ll be satisfied with the simple act of trying. Although it may not be your forte, attempting it shows more courage than making an excuse or cowering away.

So why are so many people simply too afraid to put themselves on the line? Because it may not be worth the effort? No, I think it’s because they don’t want to see their hard work crash and burn, something that might break their self-confidence into a million pieces. What people don’t always consider is that while you might get hurt in the end, getting hurt and learning something about yourself is much more valuable than simply living in fear.

Whenever you fail at anything, whether it be in sports, love, or even school, you learn from your mistakes. This experience gives you the ability to grow, and with a determined mindset, you will not only improve, but eventually succeed.

It would be unfair to hold people to the same standard as Michael Jordan. But anyone can learn a lesson from his experience and even relate it to their own lives. This man’s story began with a failure, and yours too can end with success.