February 29, 2008

It's okay to be a beginner

People forget that there's a first time for everything. People forget that we're not born knowing what to do in all situations.

Kim & Jason talk about being childlike and looking at the world with fresh eyes, but so many of us look at the world through a filter of fear, insecurity and past disappointments.

Someone determines that she can't do something as well as someone else, and then she doesn't bother trying. If she's not going to be a superstar, why even make the effort? Why risk embarrassment or humiliation?

Is this combination of fear and ego holding you back?

People say to me, "I could never get up there and speak like you."

Well, I didn't come out of the womb performing (although my mother might disagree). I had to learn the skills and become comfortable onstage just like everyone else. Now I've been doing it for many years, so you can't compare me to someone who's just starting out.

Each of us has skills and talents that we've been working on for years or decades. Each of us has had defining moments that moved us from beginner to expert. Each of us is also experiencing new challenges every day that make us uncomfortable.

It's okay not to be great at something! It's okay to be a beginner. It's okay to take a risk. Everyone has to start somewhere.

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9 comments. Please add yours! :

Bill Reichart said...

I am always reminded that those who excel have to go through tons of failure in order to get to a place of success.

For example I am always reminded of the strings of defeat and failure that Lincoln endured before he became president.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

So true, Bill! Thomas Edison has similar stories, and pretty much everyone we consider a genius, innovator, expert or superstar has worked extremely hard and dealt with disappointment along the way.

Jeff Bailey said...

Being a beginner is lots of fun. The pace at which you can learn is incredible. Plus, around every turn there is a new nugget of wisdom.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

That's a great perspective, Jeff! I can tell you love learning. :-)

Anonymous said...

You're so right, Lisa! It's intimidating to look at someone so far ahead and forget all of the work and time it took for them to get there. Especially because the soundbyte driven media often paints the picture of "overnight success." It's all about baby steps. That's usually the only way to get from one place to another.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

"Overnight success" is a nice fantasy. I wonder what percentage of success stories happen that quickly?

Unknown said...

Great encouraging post! Thank you! I also saw this post from mindhack.com which could be of interest to us all. Thought I would share.

Are you experienced? Does it matter?


Lisa Braithwaite said...

Thanks for stopping by and for the link, Genevieve. Interesting article.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, this is such a good reminder for us all. We often look at people who have "arrived" and think how lucky they are. We don't get to hear about the disappointments, the rejections, the hours of practice, the set-backs, etc. etc. We all have to start at the beginning and just keep going.

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