Improv: The Reason Why You Fail

People are afraid of the word failure. And rightfully so, we grew up in a system that taught us that failing had dire consequences. If you went to school at any point in your life, you figured out pretty quick what that F really stood for, and you knew that people who got them would be looked at in a certain way. They’d be judged.

So we grew up fearing failure. We saw failure as the worst thing that could happen, and everyone around you reinforced that. But here’s why everyone is wrong. Failure isn’t some scary monster, waiting to attack you when you least expect it. Failure is your greatest ally.

In improv, you learn to take chances, to put yourself out there, and to be vulnerable. And if you do all those things well, then most of the time, you’re going to fail. Colin Mochrie of “Whose Line Is It Anyway” fame once told me that all improv is, is failing funny. Because when you get a bunch of people on stage, with different perspectives, taking chances, and putting themselves out there, there will often be miscommunication. There will be mistakes. There will be failure.

We improvisors learn to embrace that failure. We turn failure into our greatest strength. We understand that the only way to progress forward, is to risk failing, and we do it, night after night, show after show, and learn to love it.

You’re going to fail. We all are. No matter how hard we try to avoid it. The big problem is, if you spend your life trying to avoid failure, you deny yourself the chance at success. The two are linked. One can’t exist without the other. So if you never fail, you’ll also never succeed, and it’s the risk of failure that makes the success so sweet.

So I implore you, go out and take chances. Play hard. Fail hard. Because the reason why you fail, is so that you can ultimately succeed.

-- written by Brent Mukai

Brent is not only a spectacular failure, he is an awesome voice artist and coach. You can find out more at his website. You can find out even more about him at one of our upcoming ComedySportz matches - every Sunday at 1p.

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