Amy Crow
Designer / Illustrator / Maker

Blog

Failure Should be an Option

Is it just me or are most people afraid? Bed wettingly- scared to make a decision, to take a chance, take any sort of calculated risk?

I think we live in a harsh and brutal time in society. We’ve grown up thinking “we must not fail, only success is rewarded”. I get it, we all want to do well and feel like we’ve achieved something. Our education system is set up like this: pass / fail. Or in university we are awarded in numbers and classes of Honors. It’s hard to work against something that is subconsciously indoctrinated into us.

Whether it’s a piece of work you’re making, an event you want to hold, a piece you’re writing, a business start up, it’s hard to say how it’s going to go until you do it. I’ve actually done all of those things. Multiple times. The first business I set up, total bomb. I was 19 though and just had not one clue. But the second business I started did really well. I’ve held events before. The first one dive bombed. The second and third one went much better and I sold pieces of my own artwork, for money! Shock horror. I’ve written pieces of work that got rejected quite forcefully. It’s ok though because I know it’s not a direct reflection of me as a person, the piece simply didn’t fit the bill. I have however written pieces that did alright!

The fact of the matter is, having all that anxiety behind every little thing cripples people.

I think it’s a damn shame.

Think of all the things you’ve wanted to do but then thought of the ten things running directly against that. I’ll tell you where those ideas and thoughts went, to a dark horrible place down a grungy hole in your mind tank never to be retrieved. It died there, cold, alone and probably hungry. I don’t think it’s entirely your fault though but there are things you could have done to make it easier on yourself, buddy.

Ideas, not one in a million.
Let’s start with this. So you’ve got an idea. Whoo hoo! Let’s not get too crazy here because the brilliant thing about ideas, popular to contrary belief, is they actually aren’t that rare. It’s surprising as well that once you’ve managed to birth a few half baked ideas, it makes it easier to come up with new ones.
The best practice here is to have more than one idea surrounding the same subject. That way you have more options! Options are key.

Contingency plans are amazing.
So you’ve taken this hatchling of an idea and you’ve started to flesh that fucker out. Great job. I’m never one to be a killjoy or a nay-sayer but just think for two seconds about the potential fact that if this idea doesn’t work, can you deal with going back to making coffee at 5am / shovelling concrete and breaking your spine / mopping up vomit at the local pub? Or if it fails can you bear to tear it down and rebuild it again? I’m just looking out for you, don’t give me that reproachful look. Covering your ass is important. *

*Covering your ass also means you’ve probably saved some cash dollars, thought about a budget, made a pretty water tight plan of how it’s going to go, what you’re going to do if it needs help / money / love and the journey over probably a year.

Failure is a part of the process and you should learn to love it.
Crazy I know. But think about it! You’re probably going to learn more from a pitfall than a pat on the back. Get more out of getting screwed over than slapped on the butt with praise. I’m not ill-wishing you here and saying GO OUT AND FAIL TREMENDOUSLY I’m really just saying here that failure is part of the learning phase. Once you get over that mole hill, you realise it’s just another cog in the machine and you can get going with what you came here to do.

amy crow