Home > IRL, Job, People, Work > I Resolve To Screw Up

I Resolve To Screw Up

By Liza Sperling

I recently enjoyed an evening at Cirque du Soleil‘s, Ovo, the best work holiday treat I can imagine and my first Cirque du Soleil show.  I was blown away by what seemed to be less of a performance than a celebration of reality.  Seeing the dancers’ muscles shake with fatigue was an odd comfort, as if they, too, were humans, in spite of their ability to move like insects and contort their bodies in ways that make yoga look like child’s play.

Those whose stumbled or dropped props, remained confident and moved on without losing their focus.  The audience was unable to discern the intentional from the unintentional.  Only when we consider mistakes something to hide or worthy of shame and embarrassment do they become glaringly obvious.  Ovo resolved a paradox:  achieving mastery requires embracing imperfection – you cannot have one without the other.

Outside of the circus tent,  if you attempt to master anything, be prepared to embrace screwing up, consider it confirmation that you are pushing beyond what is safe and familiar.  When you stumble,  and we all do, it is only proof that you are challenging yourself, you are growing.  Growth is impossible without growing pains.

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2009 was a year of highs and lows.  Instead of stumbling gracefully, I tripped and fell flat, doubting that my goals were possible.  A good friend asked me why I had given up hope, and it was only then that I realized I had in fact given up hope. That night I sat down with a sheet of paper and wrote the word “hope” over and over until I filled the page. I got back on track, but I won’t forget that painful evening.

Ovo served as a timely reminder to start the New Year resolving to accept screwing up.  When I  screw up, I will remind myself that it is simply a part of the process.  If that does not work, I will head to Vegas to see another Cirque du Soleil show.

I wish all all of you a happy and healthy New Year.  Thank you for reading, responding, and sharing your wisdom with me both online and offline.

Go forth, conquer your resolutions and be prepared to screw up along the way!

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  1. Dolca
    January 2, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    “…if you attempt to master anything, be prepared to embrace screwing up, consider it confirmation that you are pushing beyond what is safe and familiar. When you stumble, and we all do, it is only proof that you are challenging yourself, you are growing. Growth is impossible without growing pains.”

    very comforting words, as i find myself having difficulty in my work right now accompanied by not so good predictions to my stars this year. it is not that i take it seriously, i mean my stars and all but i’m just a human who sometimes blame it to the universe why am i screwing up in anything i do… but then again… as you have posted… i’ll try my best to stumble, fall, get wounded, and i’ll make sure to stand up and move on and move forward. thanks

    • January 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

      I am flattered that you found my words comforting. I could not write them if I had not been through difficult experiences as well. It does not get easier, but perhaps a different perspective will help make sense of it all. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      LS

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