This week, I coined a new term: “Temporary Failure Environment”. This is an idea I came up with while trying to work through some creative issues. This process most likely isn’t anything new but I stumbled onto it by my own accord so I’ll act like it’s mine for the duration of this entry. I think it will prove to be quite helpful for people suffering from the same creative fright I’ve been paralyzed by.
I’ve been wanting to try my hand at some form of art lately, that’s what started this whole thing. If you have been reading this blog for at least a week, you know that I believe we all battle what I call the “Inner Judge”. This Judge is the reason we know we’ll fail before we even start, he exists to stop our creativity. When you’re facing this judge, the trick is to put the battle outside of his normal turf. How do you do that? You set up a Temporary Failure Environment. It’s amazing what mental blocks are removed when you make it clear to yourself and the Judge that everything is temporary. A page in a sketchbook is more intimidating than a loose page from the same sketchbook. Why? Because our minds see the page in the sketchbook as something permanent while the loose page is not.
Once that loose page is in front of you, it’s simply a matter of accepting that it can be trash at a moments notice. That piece of paper is at your mercy, you either keep it or you destroy it, nothing can stop you. You are free to fail in this environment and it’s completely temporary, there will be no sign of your failure unless you choose to keep it.
Failure is always talked about in the negative but as with anything, it’s not that black and white. When you’re so afraid of failure that you are unable to perform a creative task, you need to introduce failure on purpose. Once you’ve faced failure, it’s no longer such an intimidating foe. Your Inner Judge has very little he or she can say when you make it clear that failure IS an option. Naturally we don’t want to fail forever but the first step to beating the Inner Judge is embracing the failure that has kept your success at bay. Once you have done that, the hard part is past.
I feel this can be applied to writing as well as it’s quite similar to some writer’s block tricks that I’ve read. It’s a little different environment when you’re trying to work through a writers block or having problems with character development, but I still contend that there is some form of Inner Judge being applied that can be defeated if you take him to task outside of his normal environment. Put yourself in a Temporary Failure Environment and open yourself to failure. I have a feeling that if you drop your guard and embrace the impending failure, you will work your way through the blockage. The trick is always to move the fight onto turf where the Judge has no power.
Now… get out there and fail! And then start enjoying your success. 😉