Blog

THE SECRET TO “BEING OKAY” WITH FAILURE. (HERE IT IS!)

You know those motivational posters that peeps in the corporate world l-o-o-ve to frame + hang in their (sad, gray, boner-killing) offices?

With soaring bald eagles? Babbling brooks? Snowy mountain tops? Stuff like that?

Those posters usually say something like:

ACHIEVEMENT:

“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

Annnd those posters probably make you cringe. So cheesy, right?

I mean, the words SOUND good, but who really believes all that baloney?

Failure SUCKS. There’s no way around it. It’s costly, it’s frustrating, and it rarely feels like a joyful “post on the road to achievement.”

Or so I thought.

For a very long time.

See, my attitude towards failure has changed — dramatically.

And it all happened once I discovered the secret to “being okay” with failure:

Ready? Here it is:

The secret to “being okay” with failure is …

… having so much freaking FUN and being so TURNED ON that you don’t even notice if you’re “winning” or not.

Boom!

You might be thinking, “Melissa … c’mon. That’s just more ‘motivational poster’ BS. Nobody really feels that way about failure!”

You’re right. Most people don’t.

In fact, most people, especially business owners, are deathly afraid of failing.

Our minds are plagued with (irrational) thoughts like:

“What will people think of me, if my next blog post only gets two comments? Oh, the humanity!”

“I’ll be sooo disappointed in myself — I’ll NEVER forgive myself if this e-course isn’t an INSTANT success!”

“I spent all that money, and it didn’t translate into IMMEDIATE PROFIT — OMG, I’m going to die!”

All of those thoughts are totally depressing. They stop you from taking creative risks — risks that could eventually lead to major success! More importantly, they stop you from having FUN. Which is the ultimate antidote to failure.

And this isn’t hypothetical, peeps. I’m living proof.   

In fact, I’m headed for disastrous failure RIGHT NOW — and I’m loving every minute of it.

This year, I’m writing a TV pilot and I want to sell it to HBO. It’s erotic. And violent. And fantastical. A total guilty pleasure. Oh, and did I mention I also want to star in it?

I’ve never written a screenplay before. I’ve never starred in anything other than a teeny-tiny budget indie film, and a couple of TV commercials. I have ZERO connections with Hollywood agents, producers, networks or any movers + shakers. My dream director, Ben Affleck? He still hasn’t replied to any of my adoring tweets. (When, Ben, WHEN?!)

Simply put, I might fail. In fact, all the odds are stacked against me. I fully intend to fail.

But that’s NOT stopping me — because I’m having a freaking blast with this project. Waking up at midnight with flashes of inspiration … ducking out at 3pm to pen steamy love scenes at Starbucks … gabbing to my girlfriends about the latest character developments … it’s SO good.

This almost-certainly-destined-to-fail project is turning me ON — and the good vibes are spilling over into every area of my life + business. Why quit now?

I wrote a full draft of the pilot episode and my Show Bible. I hired a screenplay consultant with a successful roster of clients who sold to cable networks. I will work my six-degrees of separation contacts and cold pitch networks. And, if I ever make it to a meeting, I’ll show up fully and passionately pitch my project.

And, if I fail?

I’ll just re-work my pilot into a novel and self-publish it. Then I’ll give it to my 10 friends who’ve been totally supportive of the idea, from day one. And they’ll lap up every word.

I’m not married to a specific outcome. I don’t care what other people think if I fail. Money wasted? Not when I get to play full-out with a passion project. This is my LIFE. And dammit, I’m here to savor every drop.

Pumpkin spice latte with an extra shot of failure? Bring. It. On.