Epic Failure

Your Creative Super Powers

I believe everybody has their own creative super powers. And, before you disagree, consider for a moment the definition of creativity: The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/creativity?s=t)

Creativity is the ability to move past traditional ways of thinking and doing, so you can think and do in new and different ways.

 

Creativity isn’t just the purview of painters and poets. That’s just one of many misconceptions people have when it comes to creativity.

For example, it’s widely believed that creativity comes naturally to some, while not at all to others. This might be true in very rare instances, but for the most part creativity is like any other skill. You have to work at it, study it, and practice, practice, practice.

You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. You can be creative ordering pizza. Everyone has the potential to be creative. Likewise, everyone has potential creative super powers. Including you. And, you don’t have to be bitten by a radioactive spider in order to find your creative super powers either.

Yoda Never Said Do It Perfectly Or Don’t Bother

Creativity has nothing to do with perfection and everything to do with failure. That’s right – failure. The epic flop. The ginormous snafu. The dreaded mistake. Failure can feel devastating, demoralizing, and embarrassing. Here’s the thing, though. All the greatest creatives – all of them – had to fail in order to succeed. In fact, they had to fail over and over and over again.

Take J.K. Rowling, for example. TWELVE different publishers turned her down before Bloomsbury picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which has gone on to sell 400 million copies world wide.  In a graduation speech, Rowling said, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” (You can watch the speech here!). Nobody should fail by default.

At an audition early in his career, Fred Astaire was told he couldn’t sing, couldn’t act, was going bald, wasn’t handsome, and could only dance “a little”.  He went on to make 29 movies as a singing and dancing Hollywood heart throb. He once said, “The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it’s considered to be your style. (Find out more about Fred Astaire here!)  Mistakes are an intrinsic and normal part of any one’s creative process.

In fact, history is rife with examples of failure after failure. We wouldn’t have cars, electricity, or iPhones if Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, or Steve Jobs had been afraid of failure.

Embrace Failure

The truth is, failure is a huge part of the creative process. If you want to find your creative super powers, you’ve got to embrace failure. Accept the fact that you’re going to screw up. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to make something ugly or awful or laughably bad. Everyone does. Failure isn’t unique. In fact, the one thing you have to realize about failure is this: nobody cares when you fail. What people really care about is what you do when you fail. How do you react? What did you learn? And how will you move forward?

That’s how you find your creative super powers. You create. You explore. You screw up.  You fail. You learn. You move forward. And then you start all over again.

Just remember, failure isn’t an obstacle. Failure is an opportunity. This new year, I dare you to embrace failure and go out and be creative.  Find your creative super powers! It may be hard work, but it’s so worth it. Just ask J.K. Rowling.

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