Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Failure Is Your Friend

There's nothing more demoralizing for an improv ensemble when one it's members has performance anxiety or is afraid of looking stupid in front of people. I've heard over the years things like: "I don't want to go out there and look stupid" or "I'm so nervous I could throw up" or "Let's only do things we've practiced in rehearsal." Supportive ensembles will try to play therapist for that anxious person right before a show, but they really shouldn't have to. In the long run, the anxious alienate themselves from the rest of the troupe. It's better that the anxious learn to drop their anxiety in rehearsal. But how you ask?

And article in REAL SIMPLE had a list of "10 things that will make you instantly happy", but #4 really stood out as note-worthy:

4. Realize that anything worth doing is worth doing badly. Challenge and novelty are key elements of happiness.

The brain is stimulated by surprise, and successfully dealing with an unexpected situation gives a powerful sense of satisfaction.

People who do new things -- learn a game, travel to unfamiliar places -- are happier than people who stick to familiar activities that they already do well.

I often remind myself to "Enjoy the fun of failure" and tackle some daunting goal.

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