Celebrating Failures!

Last week I wrote about getting over my fear of failure so that I could live life to the fullest! One of the steps in doing that is celebrating both my successes AND my failures.

A couple months ago, a friend of mine and I went to an audition together. As we were leaving, she admitted to me that she had forgotten to read the last page of the script and just walked out of the room. She was so embarrassed. As she was beating herself up over it and I was trying to tell her it wasn’t as bad as she thought, her best friend sent her this text, “I applaud your failure!” I was surprised and simultaneously impressed. While I had been trying to diminish what happened, her friend called it what it was AND made it something positive! The shame she felt was lifted and replaced with a sigh of relief. She could now hold her head high when she walked back into that room the next time. How powerful is that?! A simple change in perspective and posture towards an event can change everything. It is the same idea that this speaker talks about in a TED Talk I watched last December: The Failure Bow.

What if we could change our failures into something to be celebrated? After all, it means we risked something; we are human; and maybe we learned something. We are capable of so much…. if we let go of our fear of failure. I decided that as a part of celebrating my failures I want to share some of them with you, somewhat akin to a confession. My hope is that by sharing them 1) they’ll lose the power they hold over me and 2) this exercise will inspire you to celebrate your failures too. So, here we go!

  • I printed 150 ($100) unusable headshots!
  • I mis-named one of my directors on my resume and sent it to him! Ooops.
  • I paid for a Google Voice number with an LA area code for acting purposes, only to later find out I had chosen one from Compton!
  • I bought a $300 plane ticket and flew to an audition which was canceled while I was on the plane!
  • I paid for an acting class that wasn’t right for me!
  • I failed to save this blog and half-way through writing it, it got erased! (Ha!)

Some of these may not be that big of a deal. However, each one of them has carried a little bit of shame or regret and, if left to their own devices, could easily keep me from trying the same thing again.

WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That felt good. Now I can move on. Thanks, everybody!

Now it’s your turn. You don’t have to tell me or share it publicly, but how are you going to celebrate your failures so that you can live life to the fullest?