8 Ways to Fail Effectively and Never Feel Like a Loser Again
Are you feeling a sense of failure because your book isn’t finished, or your art work is still just sitting in your studio?
Failure is a Creative’s worst nightmare.
We live with an abundance of ideas, visions and the urge to try new things. It is what allows us to create new worlds in our stories, new images in our art and new ways of expressing what is in our souls.
But what if our idea, or new vision flops big time?
What if we can’t seem to get anywhere with what we originally thought was a great novel idea?
Should we just call it a failure and quit?
Failure is actually our best friend. It is an important part of any endeavor.
If you’re not failing, you’re not trying.
Failure can affect your state of mind or you can chose to take advantage of it.
The most successful people take advantage of it. That is why they are successful!
Use failure to your benefit.
You don’t need to avoid failure. It is a wonderful way to learn and stretch yourself.
All creative acts require failure in the development process. Failing regularly gives you the best chance of long-term success.
Here are 8 Ways to Fail Effectively and Never Feel Like a Loser Again:
- Fail quickly. If an idea isn’t going to work out, realize it sooner rather than later. Avoid spending too much time on a faulty premise. It doesn’t make sense to invest your mental thought and energy for months only to realize that an idea won’t work.
- At the same time, don’t give up too quickly. Give an idea a fair chance to be successful. Some things take more time than others do.
- A story idea might not be going well, but it might not be the idea. The structure, perspective or angle might be the problem. Switch it up instead of feeling like it’s a failed idea.
- Switch medias for a bit to free your mind and allow your creativity to resolve whatever mistake you made.
- Make sure you’re failing for the right reason. Did you put in the necessary time and resources? If something has gone wrong, determine carefully if it was the idea or the execution.
- Have you considered every possible need of your project?
- Is there something you need to learn how to do for a particular project?
- Can your idea work if you change your approach?
When I was in art class in high school, several of my best pieces were created because I corrected something that wasn’t going as I wanted. What I saw in my mind’s eye wasn’t how it was turning out, but I let what was being created continue.
- Fail differently each time. Many people keep making the same mistakes over…and over. Failing loses all of its value if you fail to learn from it. Each time you fail in a new way, you have the opportunity to improve your work.
- Keep a Failure Journal. While I don’t believe in keeping my attention on what went wrong or feeling bad after a failure, when we keep notes on what came out of what we tired, we can learn from it. How can you apply that information in the future? Sometimes a failure shows us something new about ourselves that we had not noticed before. Was the failure about technique? Or your lack of confidence? Sometimes a failure can be the best fodder for our art! Did the new medium or method go awry? Did something else come out of it?
Can you use the new information for a future piece of work? Did the mistake give you a new idea for a different style to try out?
- Keep an accurate perspective. What is failure? It is simply an undesired result. That is all. It’s not about your intelligence, worth, or future. There is absolutely NO reason to take it personally. It was an idea that didn’t work out as you thought it would. Stay detached from your results and keep moving forward.
- The great coach, John Wooden, stated that he hoped no one would be able to tell if his team had won or lost based on the team’s demeanor after a game. That’s detachment.
- Be resilient. Your feelings of self-worth aren’t dependent on your results. You can feel good about yourself even when you don’t achieve your desired outcome. Be proud that you were brave enough to fail and continue.
- If you find yourself constantly beating yourself up over mistakes, then work on “acting successful.” As you work, imagine friends and fans telling you how much it moves them. Imagine the people who will want to buy it. Pretend and the feelings will follow. Those feelings will then help you successfully accomplish your goals.
- Keep failure and fault separate. We learned in childhood that admitting to mistakes resulted in taking the blame. Whether you’re working on your own project or one with others, keep blame out of it. A group mistake can be a gold mine opportunity for a brainstorming session that leads to something even better than the original idea!
- Failure should bring you closer to an optimal solution. The more challenging the goal, the more times you can expect to fail before achieving success. Write that down. Post it where you work. Make yourself feel PROUD for taking on a big project! Know up front that the bigger the project, the more possible failures!
- Effective failing creates new opportunities. Many of the most important inventions resulted from mistakes. For example, the glue used in post-it notes resulted from an attempt to create a super-strong adhesive.
Avoid feeling down about failing. View each failure as a step in the right direction. There is much to take advantage of through failure. Embrace failure. Just be certain to fail effectively. You will never lose if you fail effectively!
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