by Stephen Brower
Recently I had a really tough show. I was feeling a lot of pressure (self inflicted), making a lot of little mistakes, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get out of my head. I cried during intermission. And as I was wiping my eyes and changing my clothes, I caught myself in the mirror thinking up mantras... “You’re amazing, stay calm, be better than this.” And you know what stuck?
Not a fucking thing.
I’m allowed to be sad, frustrated and too hard on myself. I’m allowed to fail at brushing it off. Tricking myself with a pep talk was not going to make things better. Accepting my feelings for what they were and doing my job anyway; that’s a game changer.
We often think of success and happiness as synonymous. But you can’t always be happy. That doesn’t mean you’re failing, it means you’re growing. If you can respect your feelings *shame free* and proceed with integrity... well that’s very, very cool and I hope to be more like you.
Feelings are often inconvenient but they’re never “wrong.” They are your compass. Walk towards something more fulfilling than “perfection,” it’s unattainable and uninteresting.