Failure Is Good

Failure Is Good

by China Brooks


Failure Is Good

NASA once said, "Failure is not an option," to which James Cameron responded in a TED talk, "Failure has to be an option in art and exploration because it's a leap of faith.  No important endeavor that required innovation is done without risk.  You have to be willing to take those risks."

For some, it's hard to begin a project.  For others, finishing the work is difficult.  Then there are those who, due to perfectionism and fear of criticism, find publicly releasing a project to be the most excruciating part of the process.  Once your work goes live, you are open and vulnerable to the scrutiny of your peers.  

I know first hand about this when I created a website that took much longer than I had anticipated.  Some people criticized me for the site taking so long.  Some said it was never going to happen.  I became afraid that I would go live with my project and it would not be good enough.  That fear alone set me back additional months.

Push Past Fear

Then I ceased caring what other people thought.  I saw the value of my own opinion.  I began to realize that I am good enough just the way I am.  That was not the first website design I had ever had, and it certainly won't be the last.  I knew I could do a million edits and that none of them would ever be good enough if I was stuck in perfectionism due to fear of criticism.  I decided to let it all go and be happy with everything just as it was.

Tackling that fear helped me to dissolve fear in other areas of my life as well.  How many times have you allowed fear to get the better of you and you ended up procrastinating?  How many times have you not put out any work at all due to fear?  When will you allow yourself to know you are enough and that what you have to offer right now is enough? 

You Are Enough

Release - and talk about - your projects now whether or not you think they are the best of the best.  Even if they are not, they will get better with time and practice.  The only way you will improve is to keep doing it.  Part of that process is to keep putting it out there.  Sometimes constructive criticism is useful so you know what you need to work on and what you can do better.

You are enough.  Your work as it stands is enough.  The most important opinion in the world is your own.  Do things because they bring you joy, not because you think it would please your peers.  Don't worry about the herd.


Take Criticism With A Grain of Salt

"Don't put limitations on yourself.  Other people will do that for you.  Don't do it to yourself.  Don't bet against yourself."  -James Cameron (TED talk)

"I trust myself enough to let the voice within me to be stronger than any voice outside."  -The Daily Love

In the 1980's Cabbage Patch Dolls came out.  Before they became a huge hit, my Mother and I went to check them out.  We thought they were the ugliest dolls we had ever seen.  And then they turned into a huge craze.  Before I knew it, if a person didn't have a Cabbage Patch Doll, they were not considered hip and with it.  Eventually, my Mom and I both gave into the fad.  But we never forgot our first reaction.  This is how the hive mind is, and it can take over individual thought.  Refrain from looking for praise or evidence of your self worth from outside of you.  Your self-esteem and self-love must be generated from within.

When Bob Dylan switched to the electric guitar, fans went crazy, booing and calling him the devil.  Later, of course, they all came around.  But you see my point.  How do you feel about you?

Criticism Quotes

"Don't pay attention to the critics - don't even ignore them."  - Samuel Goldwyn 

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway.  You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."  -Eleanor Roosevelt 

"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her."  -David Brinkley 

"Part of not taking things personally is being able to filter other people's opinions.  It's true that it's easier to criticize something than to create it.  So don't worry too much about what other people say about you, it has nothing to do with what you're capable of doing. But your critics can be your best friends if you see their point of view as helpful advice rather than attack or blame.  Choose to hear what helps you and discount the rest as noise!"  -Mastin Kipp