Embracing Failure

Updated: Apr 16

If you follow me on instagram you know this is often one of the reoccurring topics I touch upon.


Failure is a large part of any creative industry, and if you consistently take it to heart your motivation will dwindle, and dwindle, and dwindle until you are no longer making any progress toward your goals. I cannot reiterate enough: a prerequisite to being successful in the voice over industry is the ability to embrace your failure!


This is easier said then done, people often think that failure is not a waste if there is an opportunity to learn from it, but know this: 9 times out of 10 in VO you will not be able to learn anything from your lack of success. Working in the voice over industry requires the understanding that you will always be working with uncertainty and even though you can do everything perfect from both a performance and technical perspective, you can still not see immediate returns. I for example, literally, in all of my auditions and client outreaches that have not come to fruition, have only a maximum of 5 times received feedback regarding why I didn't meet requirements. This is an infinitesimally small percentage of the dead ends I have encountered. Why so little feedback? No bad reason, people are simply busy and it is not their responsibility (on this note remember, if you ever receive feedback from someone, even negative, take it as a kindness).


Failure is a predetermined outcome not only due to the influence of the personal vision of clients, but also a result of the very nature of the busyness of the industry.


Of course there are more ways to self-evaluate than feedback on auditions (environmental scans, peer feedback, personal goal setting, etc...) but none of this can completely remove the uncertainty you will experience. And it is that uncertainty, unpredictableness, and unknowns that will exasperate your failure despite all your earnest efforts and capabilities to overcome it. And that is OKAY! This is what you must accept.


Repeat the following: If I don't get this job, it doesn't mean I don't do a good job!


I have categorized this post as 'Natural Aptitude' as I believe this mentality is key to enshrine as a core character trait of anyone in this industry. Failure is a natural part of the voice over package, and it is openness to this concept that will allow you to take more risks, be more exciting and interesting, and push your own envelope! Embrace failure, don't take it to heart, and understand it is part of the process. Still actively seek feedback, evaluation, and look at your work critically of course, but know that despite all your evaluative efforts you will never find comfort if you cannot embrace failure.


This is our industry's reality, you will fail, and you will not know why you fail.


Below is a podcast I recently listened to on the topic of motivation, I personally found it reinforced my own beliefs regarding motivation, and is definitely relevant for one attempting to do so when challenged by failure. Plus the concept of 'SHINE!' is a neat idea I like and may start applying in my own thinking. Check it out, and do let me know what you think in the comments!




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