5 Critical Life Lessons I Learned from Performing Stand-Up Comedy

My first time doing stand-up was an emotional roller coaster that taught me critical life lessons that I will never forget.


Although only performing a handful of times, these events enabled me to look at my problems from a different lens in a humorous way. Whether it was completely bombing on a joke, working the crowd, or developing jokes on the fly – the stage acted as a pressure cooker for dealing with issues that I come across in everyday life.


Below are a five of them that can be used in your personal and professional life.




One of the most valued skills one can have in life is the ability to adapt to any situation that is thrown at them.

Being adaptable allows you to not only ditch your plans and switch gears, but you begin to learn you can endure anything.

Life is full of surprising moments and unlike how most people who deal with them (through fear, frustration or anger) – its best to have the tools to solve them.

Why is it that the very nature of life is the unknown, yet when plans go sideways – most people can’t handle it? Building the skill set to deal with the unexpected should be plainly obvious but it isn’t.

That’s what makes this skill so great – it’s easy to wrap your head around, and it’s easy to develop. Everyone deals with a shift in plans almost on a daily basis, so going forward embrace the chaos and deal with it head on.

As Bruce Lee said himself “Be water, my friend”.




Quick Thinking


A spin off of being adaptable, quick thinking is the follow up. Learning to think on your feet and having a response is important in what life serves you – both expected and not.

This can be a difficult skill to build as you will only find yourself using these muscles when the situation arises.

When it does, don’t falter at the sight of the unknown – own the moment.

Although quick thinking can really only be developed when something is sprung on you, reading material based on strategy is extremely beneficial.

I highly suggest The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of War, or any of these three books on Stoicism to learn how to position yourself in the most advantageous way when dealing with the unexpected.




As you begin to welcome challenge into your life or career, the need to rely on yourself becomes important.

By welcoming challenge and opposition, you will become more comfortable accomplishing tasks and solving issues without the need of help from others.

On stage you are all alone and no one is going to help you do better. In fact, they probably want you to do worse if you find yourself not having a good night.

It’s a scary thought to consider, but there are many times in life where that rings true – especially in your social and work life.

That’s why it’s important to be fully capable of tackling problems by yourself, because relying on others can lead to the possibility of being disappointed – at best.

Getting into the groove of doing things independently allows more time to work on your skills, such the ones covered in this post.

Staying Cool


Most things you prepare for won’t go according to plan, which is why keeping your cool is vital.

Touching upon some modern stoicism, if it’s in the nature of life for things to go wrong – why bother getting heated about it?

The great thing about working on keeping your cool and staying calm is that it’s a skill that can be grown and nurtured.

Actively taking the high road and working against your fears, anger, or anxiety; you will soon realize that you have built up a tolerance.




It takes a certain level understanding that you’re probably not as funny as you think, and that you’re going to suck on stage.

It takes a higher level of understanding to accept that.

Out of all the above lessons, I feel this is the most important. All the other lessons you can develop over time through hard work and dedication, but humility is a tough pill to swallow.

Humility is hard to grow as it is often neglected. The personal and emotional attachment to this life skill creates hurdles that may be hard for some to overcome due to their personality, or even worse, their own ignorance.

Think of someone you know who is extremely cocky – now think of you suggesting to them that they should be more humble about themselves. What do you think the result would be?

If you thought of them getting either offended or confused, then you can see my point.

This is not to say that those people are forever damned, it too can be developed and fleshed out over time. It just takes the initial cold hard truth of being honest with oneself and accepting the flaws that you do have.

Being able to spot your flaws allows you to work on them, further refining the areas in your life that you need to work on.

Think I forgot some important lessons? Feel free to let me know what I missed out on by commenting on this post!

My last post I talked about how people put themselves through hell pretending to be something they’re not on social media. Check it out here.

Liked the mesh of comedy and life? Here’s another other cool article to read:

Stand-Up Comedy Life Lessons

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4 thoughts on “5 Critical Life Lessons I Learned from Performing Stand-Up Comedy

  1. My husband tried stand-up for a while and I thought I was going to vomit every time he went on stage. He’s told me thought that he learned very similar things to what you have here, and he uses theses things still in his work today. Huge props to you guys, I think stand-up might be the hardest gig out there. Nice post, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the feedback! That’s really cool of him! It certainly takes a certain someone to be foolishly brave enough to go up on stage. I can only speak for myself, but I feel he’d think the same thing when I say that it was probably in his heart that he HAD to do it. I think that may be the biggest lessons of all – going after what the heart wants no matter the consequence!

      Liked by 1 person

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