The Power of Failure
I heard this idea mentioned today while listening to a podcast, and it’s something I’ve tried to remind myself of over and over again.
This may seem like a strange concept at first. No one likes failing, certainly not me. But it is important to understand that failure is the inevitable path to growth.
Think back to your time in school. You spend all day learning new techniques and ideas in all sorts of subjects – some of which you are better at than others. Now think about how you put those new ideas into practice the very first time.
My guess is if you spend enough time thinking about these moments, you’ll find yourself recalling a decent amount of failure.
And that’s great! It illustrates the point that no one is absolutely amazing at anything straight out of the gate. We all make mistakes at first. Once we work our way through all of the mistakes, we learn and improve. And, after a while we can even become great.
Applying It to Film
There’s a somewhat unspoken notion amongst filmmakers that sends people down a rabbit hole of paralysis. That notion is that your first project defines you.
We always hear about these filmmaking mavens who knock it out of the park on their first try and become film superstars. So there is an internal expectation to apply that to ourselves.
The fact of the matter is, these “golden child” filmmakers are the exception, not the rule. And one could make a case that they came up in a time where it was easier to bury their failures and thus, they were able to paint their own narrative of savant-like film skills.
I am here, now, to give you permission to fail.
Many people sit in limbo waiting for their name to be called, not realizing that once it is, they are not actually ready to perform the task to the level that they are asked to.
With this in mind, you can see how it’s important to get your failures out fast and early.
The faster you fail, the quicker you’ll find success. Some people say it’s a numbers game. That you have to put in your 10,000 hours. Well how can you do that if you are too afraid to put in your first 10 hours because you might “tarnish your career forever” by not having a mind blowing debut piece?
It seems silly once you actually think through it, but it can be hard to detach yourself from this self-inflicted expectation.
So allow me to detach it for you…
Go. Do. Fail. So that you can succeed.