Stop everything and read Amy Poehler's advice on failing up
Amy Poehler recently did a feature with Fast Company in which, basically every time she opened her mouth, something brilliant came out. Of course it did. This is AMY POEHLER we’re talking about. Have you read her memoir “Yes Please”? This lady cannot go two sentences without saying something that’s either hilarious or profound, or, a lot of times, both.
We so appreciated Amy Our Queen gracing us with her wisdom once more. She’s basically the smartest, funniest, kindest fairy godmother there ever was. Check out her amaze advice below and prepare to have your life changed for the better.
On failing on your own terms
“I’ve failed a million times on stage, just not getting laughs,” says Poehler. Over the course of her career, she adds, “I’ve listened to notes that I knew weren’t right. I’ve pitched ideas and let other people change them, knowing that it was the wrong choice. The question you have to ask yourself is: How do you want to fail? Do you want to fail in a way that feels like it respects your tastes and value system?”
On why it’s OK to just be uncomfortable
“It all goes back to improv. It’s all about flexibility, about not knowing what’s going to happen next. You have to listen and stay in the moment. You have to play with people who will support you. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
On not knowing everything, but still respecting yourself
“It’s a struggle for me to remain open. To not shut down because I’m defensive or scared or maybe my ego is getting in the way. And the other side of that is just believing that I belong where I am and deserve to take up space. I fight constantly between those two things, between not apologizing for what I want and staying vulnerable and creatively supple and not thinking I know better than everyone else.”
And finally, on her current social experiment . . .
“I often look to men to model behavior. Not because I want to squelch what’s feminine about me, but because sometimes I want a little more action, a little less feeling in my interactions. I’ve been doing this thing lately where I try to talk slower at meetings. I take a lot of meetings with women and we all talk really fast. But every guy talks so much slower. Maybe there’s a scientist who could tell me why, but I think men are just a little bit more comfortable taking up conversational real estate. So I’ve been seeing how slow I can tolerate talking. I’m doing it now. Let me tell you, it’s really hard for me.”
Thank you for your intelligence, your honesty, and your generosity, Amy. We count our lucky stars every day that we get to share this world with you.