BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

An Enthusiasm For Failure

To change, you have to want to change.

And part of wanting to change is having the willingness to endure the discomfort, embarrassment and face-planting that’s inherent to transformation.

The more you can embrace failure, the more likely you’ll achieve success.

Last week at this time, I wrote about how I’d just begun my last level of improv comedy classes. The aim of this level is for each individual to improve as a performer.

We found out last night that one way our instructor is going to achieve this goal is to cast a “curse” on someone prior to each rehearsal scene.

This curse will be tied to that person’s biggest weakness.

For instance, I’m beyond horrific at playing characters with different voices. So my curse would probably be having to perform a scene using an accent.

As our teacher was telling us about this, I was mortified.

But then I looked around at my classmates, and they were anything but. They were engaged, excited at the prospect of trying something new, of taking on a challenge, of getting better. This was fun for them.

And I was jealous.

Because it’s that disparity — my fear versus their fervor — that’s holding me back. It’s what keeps me where I am and maintains my status quo.

It’s what separates me from who I am and who I could be.

And as this realization settled in, it struck me that, though I may struggle enunciating various voices, this is the true curse I bear.

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