Thursday, November 18, 2010

How do you respond to failure?

How do you respond to failure? That is the subject of Seth's excellent blog entry today.
He asks the question "When you fail, what happens?"
This is so translatable to artists. So many writers and artists produce prolifically and try to get their work in front of someone. That someone (who the artists gives a huge measure of power by valuing their input, which may not even be the right thing to do, may be the wrong person, etc - subject for another day) then gives some honest feedback. it might be positive, it might be neutral, but let's be honest, it's usually negative, especially for young artists.
What happens next? Artist gets mad, sad, depressed and either ignores the input they so desperately craved or they just give up all together.
What is a better way to deal with failure? Use it to get better! If a student gets a bad grade and uses that to become demotivated, then they've missed the point. It should lead to harder work, more studying, etc.
Use failure as an excuse to work harder and to get better. Not an excuse to give up or be marginalized.

Of course the only person who can tell you what "failure" is, is you anyway, so choose what your "failure" looks like very carefully.

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