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Permission to Fail

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we tend to hold ourselves to such high standards. We expect perfection, and often times, are afraid of what others will think if we make mistakes. I’ve had several instances lately where I’ve found myself caught in that trap, wondering why I have bad days when I’m running in circles doing the best I can. In this week’s blog post, I wanted to take the time to acknowledge the idea that, as human beings, we can all give ourselves the permission to fail.

In the last month, I’ve counted myself out more times than I care to count. They’ve been for different reasons, from a bad day at work, to bombing an audition, to not feeling like I have all my “ducks in a row.” However, I’ve also been trying to look at it from a different perspective after giving myself a few minutes to have that pity party. What I found myself asking myself was, “Okay, now what? How am I going to handle this?”

Perfectionism tends to be my worst enemy, and I’d like to think a lot of people feel that way as well. The problem with being a perfectionist is you really don’t allow for any margin of error; to make a mistake and then learn from it. This happens to me when I’m at work all too often. I forget that work is just work. Sure, it should be enjoyable, and you should always give it your best shot every day. But, not every day is going to be a perfect day.

Auditions are another area where I tend to be excruciatingly hard on myself. Any actor can tell you the auditions they’ve bombed so bad, they didn’t think they’d ever get cast again. However, I’ve been starting to realize that part of the magic happens when you walk into it with zero expectations. That way, whatever happens, happens. With that mindset, something wonderfully creative usually happens.

I guess the point I’m trying to make this week is that it’s okay to mess up. It’s okay to have bad days. It’s okay to fail sometimes, because that’s how we grow and learn. I’m not saying it’s easy to come to terms with this mindset. (Believe me, I’m still working on it myself!) However, I’ve found that in these moments, we have two options; we give up, or we dust ourselves off and try again tomorrow. That’s what I choose to do, and I hope you will too. I hope you will start giving yourself the permission to fail.

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