Loosening the grip of the fear of the failure

Picture credit and link -

Picture credit and link -

My fear of failure many times grips me deep in the quiet of the night. It seems that as the day’s defence wears out my critical voice clutches me tight and questions the choices I have made or how I responded in a moment publicly-  not good enough, too much this, too less that and so on. Each time I am amazed at how easily I slip into its grasp. Even with a logical explanation in my head about this being a momentary perception of myself, I can’t seem to step out of the feeling for a while and believing it to be true.

It is in these times improv attitude comes to my rescue. Similar feelings show up for me when I am improvising on stage - am I doing the scene right, is it interesting, why I said that, oh my god what do I do next.  We manage these feelings by reinforcing again and again mind-sets to free us up to be present in the moment. I find these sit well with my larger fears as well -

·         Accept the moment- Say yes to what I am feeling and stay with it instead of distracting or ignoring it.

·         Trust self- That I have the resources and wisdom to make creative choices that serve me and the others around me.

·         Embrace the uncertainty- Because I can never know what is to come and imagining it with anxiety is wasted energy. More of saying yes to the unsettling feeling.

·         Be Bold- Even though I am scared I still move into action. Confront the fear.

·         Truth over perfection- Focus on showing up fully and authentically each day, and less fuss about perfection.

·         Yes and- Add one more thing to what I am already working on daily. One more step to grow the idea just a little bit. No need to leap miles in a single step.

I have found that over a period of time I am able to witness the fearful side of  my inner landscape and not be enmeshed in it instead. The demands I place on myself of ‘musts’ and ‘shoulds’ are not as prominent anymore and that I desire discovery each day. And in overcoming each cycle of fear or disappointment I find myself more resilient, grounded and courageous. Will I still fail? Hell yes I will, but I feel more ready to slip, fall, ache and bounce back into a new moment. As Patricia Ryan  Madson says in her book Improv Wisdom- “Jump into the world of oops on your two feet and say Tadaaaaaa!”

Lets Play, February 11th 2017

Thrilled to be back again with the next workshop of Let's Play after a very meaningful run of this program in December 2016.

An open program for anyone who wants to connect and reignite one's spontaneity though exercises from improvisational theatre. The day promises to engage your body, voice and imagination to unlock inhibitions, to open you up to possibilities and bold experimentation.

Let's Play on 17 December 2016

We are very excited to present Let's Play, an open workshop for anyone wanting to spend the day challenging themselves playfully and creatively and discovering gifts that spontaneity has to offer. It's gonna be riot and be prepared to delight yourself immensely as people from very diverse backgrounds get together to spend a Saturday together.

 Write to us to confirm a spot for yourself in the workshop.

What can Businesses learn from the art?


Super excited to see this. An interview on how theatre and improv have much to get organisations inspired.

Concurrence September 2016 is out! Focusing more on "What can Businesses learn from the Arts", this issue focuses on how #theatre can be used to transform people engagement and development in organisations. We also have a new column on #designthinking, and a lot of other exciting reads...

Read on:


Image Theatre- Body work as language in group work

“Theatre has nothing to do with buildings or other physical constructions. Theatre - or theatricality - is the capacity, this human property which allows man to observe himself in action, in activity. Man can see himself in the act of seeing, in the act of acting, in the act of feeling, the act of thinking. Feel himself feeling, think himself thinking."

 -Augusto Boal

Image theatre is a participative style of theatre (actors and audience interchange roles to co create an act) developed by Augusto Boal, the father of Theatre of the Oppressed.  Based on the idea that a picture speaks a thousand words, image theatre enables the participants to express their stories in static images formed with body collectively (think the game of London Statue). Once images are formed, the facilitator creates discussions around how they view the images, what are the power dynamics they see emerging for example and what can be alternative ways of reframing the images in an empowering way, thus harnessing the collective wisdom of the group. By recreating new images based on possible actions suggested, the participants are able to experience new action. This is the “rehearsal for reality” that Boal has talked about extensively.

Such a processcreates a space for participants to enter their challenges physically, mentally and emotionally, in a safe setting,  view it from a distance as well as through the eyes of the group, brainstorm on reframing the perspective and allow oneself to discover a plethora of options in a seemingly choice less situation. As a facilitator, for me this process is very provocative, impactful and enjoyable in some of the ways I mention below-

  1. Embodiment- Image is a form of embodied language that emerges from our interaction within the world. Here words are suspended to let a new language emerge. Everyday experiences by the perception of the body, become an act of performance. This act (a moment of a story from someone’s life) can be witnessed, or be played with like a remote controlled video - moved backward or forward to the events in the past or future. This playing around with the images can offer several creative possibilities and perspectives for each person involved. Moments of insight become tangible and aesthetic, as the body pulsates with the memory of the emerging images.
  2. Story- Image is narrative. Since there are no words, participants share their interpretation of how they are seeing the story unfold. This often can reveal one’s patterned thinking in a non-threatening way. Often the images are not linear in its unfolding. This can make the analytical part of us feel stretched to make meaning of the constantly evolving story and thus step out of our comfort-zone thinking. When one relaxes into creating shapes in the air using one’s body, limbs in relationships to be named, without preconception, expectation - one can explore and uncover new possibilities that the thinking mind may not be able to fathom.
  3. Collective problem-posing process- it involves genuine participation of all those concerned in the learning and removes the teacher-learner hierarchy. The facilitator is not deemed to be the dominating voice of authority. The process is rather a collaborative venture between all present in the process. Due to its collaborative nature, this process becomes a powerful tool for learning and empowerment through dialogue.

Thus self-discovery through image theatre can be a very unique experience- as the body finds and leads expression in very fulfilling ways, towards deep insights beyond the realms of the thinking mind.