“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm..”
All politicians can kiss my ass but this quote by Winston Churchill could not be anymore true if the tress, wind, and sky said it themselves.
Its funny..With these articles, I always have a certain plan in mind. I want to create content that inspires and helps people through their daily struggles by giving information and strategies that I use in my own life. Especially when it comes to independent artist and musicians. I want to help those struggling in the business gain insight into the new industry and give them a reason to keep on keeping on. I’ll have an idea of what I want to talk about and release at a specific point in time and yet I always find myself deviating from what I planned.
Why you ask? Maybe it has something to do with undiagnosed ADHD(at least thats what I’ve been hearing a lot recently from colleagues and acquaintances XD) but I think it has more to do with how I choose express myself and release certain tensions. Matter of fact, its not even really a choice, this is something I HAVE to do.
Right now you’re probably scratching your head thinking, “Adriana..whatever do you mean ma’lady??” Let me extrapolate…
I was planning on releasing an entire different article than the one you’re reading right now. It was going to be something I wrote a few days prior to today. But as per usual, I felt inspired to make a statement about something else. When something you perceive as significant affects your psyche it can distort whatever original plans you may have held. Life can be unpredictable like that. As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade..
(and maybe add some vodka to that shit afterward because you’re an adult and you fucking deserve it.)
It also doesn’t help that I use writing cathartically, which brings us back to what I said earlier that this is something I have to do. The only way for me to move forward from certain situations is to write about it. Sometimes it takes the form of a song, being the songwriter that I am, sometimes its writing in a personal log or journal, other times it takes the form of a post, much like the Declaration of a Dream article I wrote a couple of months back.
But enough of this “this is my life” bullshit. Without further a due, lets get into this…
I’ve been noticing, from people I know personally to strangers I couldn’t help but observe(is that weird??Whatever..) that one of people’s biggest fears is failure. Not only the failure itself, but the risk of looking foolish or stupid within that circumstance of failure. Everyone wants to be in control, OR, at the very least, appear to have control. And everyone wants to keep their ego intact and make sure nothing damages their pride. So they fear looking foolish or feeling awkward, or they worry too much about the opinions of others. So what happens then?
NADA. NOTHING AT ALL.
They do nothing, say nothing, and accomplish nothing. Its so obvious that the biggest roadblock to success is the fear of failure.
In fact, the fear of failure is worse than failure itself.
IN FACT, failure isn’t even something bad or something to fear in the first place. It all depends on your mentality and perspective on things. Failure is just a stepping stone to success. As long as you learn from it and better yourself afterward, failure is a beautiful thing that will teach you so so much. But a fear of failure so crippling that you hesitate and do nothing…THAT’S actually terrible. It will only condemn you to a life of unrealized potential. Because, whether you realize it or not, DOING and getting things done, is much more useful and will make you better at whatever it is you do more than fearing rejection and holding back for the “perfect” moment where you won’t feel/appear foolish. Which will never help you. And I hate to talk in absolutes because nothing in life can be generalized but this is an exception. Why? Because its fucking true. Being a perfectionist is equal to fearing failure. You’re not going to get jack shit done with these types of mentalities. You’ll push it back and push it back until eventually, its too late. Why wait for some false moment when you could be doing things RIGHT NOW to further yourself and your vision.
Success in the face of failure comes purely from focusing on results as opposed to trying not to fail. Its all in the approach and response. You can not let this sort of thing dictate your life and actions.
Now, I would like to take this discussion a step further and shine a light on some history to better accommodate my point.
The date is October 22nd, 1879. Thomas Edison just completed his first successful test on his invention of the first light bulb model. The test lasted 13.5 hours. He spent the next 12 days improving its design and by November 4th, he had filed his invention for US patent #223,898, which was then granted to him on January 27th, 1880. Edison had successfully invented the first commercially practical incandescent light.
(He’s no Tesla but hey, what are you gunna do..)
Sounds lovely doesn’t it. However, I’m leaving out a giant chunk of the story. The human tendancy is to engage in the study of effects, while giving very little attention to the cause.
It took Thomas Edison about 1,000 tries to develop a light bulb that actually worked. All the while, every mistake was under the scrutiny of many leading financiers who gave him an advance of $30,000 for research and development. He was well known as a successful inventor, so not only was he under scrutiny because of the financial advancement he recieved but because of his own reputation as a innovative inventor. Imagine all that pressure and all that judgement hitting you with every passing mistake…Tough shit, no?
Regardless, he was successful in his creation. And when someone asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times he responded, rightfully so, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
See what I’m getting at? I’m sure you do. You’re a smart young lad. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But just for good measure, here’s another example of what I mean: In 1993, J.K Rowling was a struggling author living in London. She was a single mother trying to survive on welfare. So not only was she responsible for another human life and her artistic integrity, she was fighting poverty and battling depression. (I mean, obviously right. Who the fuck would be happy under those circumstances…)
Regardless, she was dedicated to her vision. She would ride the bus to cafe’s where she would tend to her daughter and diligently write the manuscript to her story that she conceived 7 years prior entitled, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone . When finally finished, her manuscript received so many consecutive rejections. And not only did she get rejected a lot but she was told she wasn’t a very good writer (Go figure).
I know, I know…shocking…
Fast forward to today, Rowling is the most successful and best selling author in the entire UK.
Now I know life is really only lived day by day, not in a quick recollection of a couple of stories. The hard truth is, there is no success without failure. Its the quality of your hunger that gets you from point A to point B and all the way to Z. NOT someone’s opinion of you. Hunger, commitment, execution, action, these things are much more important than intelligence or natural talent. There is nothing that will stop a person that has the strong will to succeed. Someone that is hungry. Whether they have a natural knack for something or know everything in the world about something else. These things are irrelevant. Hunger, dedication and massive action is what moves mountains. Failure doesn’t stop someone with the right mentality such as this.
And I feel its important to address this because I see so many people feeding into their insecurities and give power to the opinion of others. When in reality these things are purely a game of the mind. No one and nothing can make you feel inadequate and have power over you without your permission.
Isn’t that ironic? We humans are so interestingly self destructive and self deprecating. People fear looking foolish so much and fear not having control when in reality looking foolish is part of the process and having control is merely a mind set. We all have complete control of how we decide to view and approach things. Yet no one exercises it. You are not a creature of circumstance, but a creator. So if someone criticizes what you’re doing, don’t fall into that learned helplessness, where you take it to heart and lose momentum for your vision. Learn to take things like that in stride. This is life, after all, and everyone is going to have an opinion. But the thing about opinions is, they’re like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink. Just about, at least.
Don’t be afraid to fail or look foolish. Its all apart of the process. And you need to have nothing but love and respect for the process(you’re going to hear me say this A LOT), not apprehensiveness and discontent. That’s a sure fire route to depression and paranoia my friend. You need to expect these things and embrace them completely, otherwise you’re not going anywhere.
I’m not saying ignore constructive criticism. Especially if its coming from someone you respect. What I am saying is, do what you do with unbridled passion, heart, and commitment. Always strive to grow and get better. Don’t give even an inch to the demons in your head. AND don’t give power to the opinions of others. Failure and looking foolish is totally normal and a part of life. At least, its a part of the life of a person who is constantly bettering themselves and improving. In fact, if you experience these things and STILL continue to chug along your merry way knowing it is what it is, that you’ll only get better as long as you keep doing it, and that theres no reason to stop or slow down, than you’re a fucking LEADER who should be RESPECTED and APPLAUDED. So to all of those who are constantly told “no” or “you can’t” or “do this” or “you suck” and are still doing their thing….
I salute you.
You’re the fucking real MVP of life.
I got nothing but love for you. Do your thing playa.