Resilience – tried and tested – By @RobynHFrost
By Robyn Frost
Resilience – tried and tested
I started writing this post five days ago on the train home from a night out in Peckham. It was going to be very different to what you’re reading now. It would have been a write up of La La Land (now at a cinema near you, so get yourself there pronto), and how similar I think we all are to Emma Stone’s character, Mia. Beneath the seductively sparkly, neon-happy exterior, it’s a film about the rush of pain and excitement that comes with chasing a dream. And we all know that feeling. How bad failure feels – when you keep trying and not succeeding. Trying to crack the line, trying to keep your head above the water, trying your very best. Mia’s crippled with self-doubt and inner turmoil over whether she’ll ever succeed at what she really feels, in her gut, she’s supposed to be doing. We also all know what success feels like, and the amazing rush that comes with that, too. It can all get a bit overwhelming though.
So, let’s think about resilience. What does it mean to you?
Brushing it off, shaking it off (Tay-Tay style), or perhaps it’s more down the avenue of mindfulness.
It could also manifest in looking after yourself a bit better.
Let’s dive in.
Going to SCA is the best thing I’ve ever done in my 23 years on this planet. Every day we’re surrounded by a wealth of talent, whether it be the regular mentors, visiting mentors, students, staff – everyone’s incredible. We’re given opportunities all the time (opportunityisnowhere), work on brilliant briefs, are pushed and pulled and it’s completely amazing. I love it. I feel so lucky and grateful every single day. There are hundreds of things I could write here.
Of course it’s only natural that not everything is peachy 100% of the time. It could be an idea that’s shot down, an imbalance between work and home life that throws things off kilter, or an unexpected change or challenge. It’s easy to forget about yourself when you’re pulled in so many directions, but if we can cultivate resilience in ourselves as individuals then it will spread to those around us.
I’ve compiled a list of things that I find really helpful in managing myself at SCA. I say ‘myself’ because when we look after ourselves, we bring our best selves to other people – essential when you’re at SCA or in an agency (or just trying to nail life in general). Hopefully it will also be helpful to other people in the intake, prospective students, or anyone who stumbles upon this page.
- Perfection isn’t a thing so Tippex it out of your mental dictionary (and your real one, if you like), and replace it with another word. You can’t look for it if it’s not there.
- I say this to all my friends, because it really truly works. Keep a bank of great things that happen or are said to you, whether it’s a like on social media for something you’ve written, or some great mentor feedback on a project. It could even be your confirmation email from Marc offering you a place at the school. Make a folder on your desktop and name it ‘WINS’. Chuck it all in.
- Recognise that failure is good because it’s an opportunity to learn, try again, and get it right some other time. It doesn’t matter if you have to try a few times before you get it right – nobody’s keeping count. Unlike higher education courses, SCA encourages you to embrace failure for these very reasons.
- Remind yourself that there’s no one way to get something done, and use all the brilliant creative techniques the school’s shared. They’re foolproof, and amazing for someone like me who is super indecisive – ‘if you had to choose just one’ is the sentence from hell. If one way doesn’t work, move on to the next.
- Don’t covet other people’s ideas – use your own brain, ‘cos it’s a good one. There’s no option of returning it to the shop in exchange for a gift receipt so roll with it and make the most of it. Marc always says it’s a muscle that needs working out. Just do it.
- Believe in yourself and other people will believe in you. It’s a lovely circle of reciprocity. If someone says your work sucks, don’t see it as a personal attack of your character. Learn from them and work your butt off.
- Treat yourself as you’d treat your friends. If one of them was down, you’d scoop them up and tell them why they’re super great and winning at life.
- Challenge yourself but also challenge other people. Standing up for what you believe in makes you stronger. If you always take things at face value then a) life will be really boring, and b) you won’t form your own opinions.
- Everyone at SCA is fab so this one’s pretty easy – I’m a big believer that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So have a look, maybe hang out with some new people, and see what happens.
- Always look for the good. If you can’t find it, be it.