Building Immunity Through Resilience: The Creative's Guide for Managing Failure.
The career path of a creative is a marathon of self-discipline and self-accountability that extends far beyond the euphoria of momentary goal-point wins—in essence, it is a marriage of talent and craft requiring a high level of resilience and consistency towards a successful outcome. Conversely, it is ironic that although this same level of resilience is lauded and celebrated within culture, it is mostly acquired through failure and adversity—which are culturally deemed as taboo experiences to be avoided at all costs. In a culture that embraces the wins, yet ostracizes in the face of loss, how can artists and creatives retain their focus and a healthy perspective towards embracing the failures that are necessary for their personal and professional growth?
There is a popular proverb within the church that speaks to the power and components of resilience: “A righteous man falls seven times but always rises.” The ability to reframe failure and losses as informational can prove beneficial towards acquiring the necessary resilience required for creative careers. Over time, the core immunity developed through the experiential insight and humility gained through loss allows artists and creatives to recover more quickly through each subsequent failure. The experiential insight gained through every fall helps to shape and contour and artist’s path towards future success—while the humility gained eliminates false reliance on superficial tactics of offense and defense based on reputation, social merit, and professional mobility, as illustrated in the following psalm:
“Some trust in their war chariots
And others in their horses,
But we trust in the power of the Lord, our God.
Such people will stumble and fall,
But we will rise and stand firm.”
The immunity at the core of an artist’s resilience can be further cultivated through alignment of relationship with the Creator as the source and author of an artist’s creativity--exercised through the attributes of faith, hope, and love principally in spirit, with the mind and the body in partnership. When all three are synched in trinity through spirit, thought and action, the resulting agreement produces an adaptive immunity which increases in power and strength, permeating perspective and resetting creative capacity with the onset of every failure.
In parallel, Academy award winning actor, artist and producer, Halle Berry recently shared the results of her physical training in preparation for her upcoming movie, Bruised—for which she was able to achieve the widely coveted goal of ‘the six-pack’. From a one-dimensional perspective, the results can be chalked up to simple genealogy and the results of her current regimen, however, what is quickly forgotten is the life of discipline and conditioning that she has undertaken over the years to develop her immunity against the onset of Type 2 Diabetes at the beginning of her career, in order to build a lifestyle in support of her career aspirations. What appears to be age-defying today is only a result of the resilience and immunity that has been engineered through the synching of all areas of her life in agreement towards her creative goals. Her recent success is merely a contouring of the groundwork of resilience previously cemented early on in her career.
Artists and creatives producing and creating in synchronicity with the mind, body and spirit can build the immunity and resilience needed to successfully navigate the valleys and challenges of the creative career.