Patricia Ryan Madson, author of Improv Wisdom, says principle #5 of Improv is “Be average.” She says it’s important to be prepared to be average because you might never get around to doing anything if you’re waiting for the day you’ll roll out a perfect performance.
Improv requires you to be prepared to fail simply because we don’t perform our best when we put ourselves under tremendous pressure.
So, if you’re walking into an interview/client meeting/presentation today telling yourself “this is my only shot and better work,” stop. You’re putting the sort of pressure on yourself that will cripple your performance. Calm down. We get many shots at the things we really need and if this doesn’t work, it’ll work out just fine.
Be prepared to be average at first. That’s how we get better. For all his emphasis on perfection, even Steve Jobs oversaw many products at Apple that were, at best, average. That’s just life. We just need to learn to be our best and enjoy the dance.. no matter the result.