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The Art of Making Mistakes

Failure. A word that is accompanied by a deep sense of anxiety and frustration. 

The hallmark sign that there was an error or an anomaly, or simply, we didn’t quite pull it off. 

We must be reminded of our first drafts: not of great pioneers, who are often depicted in the light of their greatest works, but of the humble beginnings that will set us down the path of greater successes. 

We must edit vigorously and deliberately these drafts to become what we find to be the most enchanting versions of ourselves - a wise and generous person, who is foremost that to themselves. We should change the pervasive dialogue in our thoughts to find enjoyment in discovering the failures that later become the stepping stones to our future successes. But it takes practice, ‘fun’ and patience to see it through, to stick it out, to put up our hands and say, “I gave it a go”. A wonderful expression that lends itself to the idea that we can try something without putting all our eggs in one basket. We’ll bounce back from “this one”, and perhaps we’ll even get another go at it. This way, we immunize ourselves from the pressure that mounts from society, colleagues, bosses, parents, peers and most often ourselves.

Luckily, there is a medium for practicing failure in a safe and inclusive environment. We get the chance to experience micro-failures through the art of improvisation, which provides us with a way that hardens our resolve to what life throws at us, while keeping it loose.

~ Raif Douthwaite, Dr Eloise Ashworth


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