”I don’t wanna do it unless it’s done right.”, said Guru in the first song on his genius Jazzmatazz Volume 1 album.
I totally get that, I had had this in the back of my head for the last decade or so. Isn’t that how it needs to be done – right? I’ll spare you my whole misleading train of thought.
The short and final answer is:
For many of us, lacking a secure environment in which you are allowed to fail is something we miss out on all our lives, without even realizing. We believe we have the truth figured out when in reality we simply lack the courage to fail. Failing is something you learn, just as you would learn how to deal with success. I have heard stories from people who were too afraid to go ahead with things they knew they would succeed at, because of all of what was implied. Butterflies in the stomach, coming under the spotlight, having to deal with criticism or being publicly exposed are just some of the reasons people might keep away from even trying sometimes.
Have you ever experienced the thrill of seeing someone do something, then imagining yourself doing it, equipping* yourself with everything needed, and then when you finally reached that bittersweet point of starting…you suck at it. It’s nothing like you had imagined it. There’s no flow to it, there’s no satisfaction, no validation, no excitement.
”I guess this just isn’t for me. Ah well, I tried.”
*”Did they really mean it when they said 30-day money-back guarantee?”
It doesn’t help that you see people in ads crocheting themselves to death with this sweet new learning app. It looks so incredibly fun and relaxing. Seems to be pretty simple, I mean, come on – I’ve got a Bachelor’s degree. How hard can it be? It’s just $9,90. What do I have to lose?
Well for starters, your self-esteem might suffer quite a bit if you repeatedly expose it to failed and interrupted attempts at learning new things. You might just start believing that you can’t do anything right and have no real talent or skills. Which I don’t believe to be true of anyone out there.
Simply think about our parents – they went to school, and 30 years or so later, many of them are either still in the same place or have retired from there. Starting off with the one set of skills they were given, or have cultivated themselves, they just stuck to it. I’m not saying their generation was right and ours is wrong. I just want to state that the rules of the game have changed, and it’s very easy to get confused.
The fact of the matter is, you can only get better at something if you consistently invest your resources into it. Time, money, perseverance, and most importantly – the courage to fail. You might not end up being the world’s leading marketing guru, but that doesn’t mean people don’t need your services. The world benefits from your input, and you might very well end up changing someone’s life in ways you can’t even imagine.
We all revolve in small universes made out of a circle of family, friends, work colleagues, and acquaintances that are all brought together into our physical and digital spaces. Take an active part in making this small universe a better place. Not all of us will end up being as huge as Tony Robbins or Bill Gates – and what a strange world that would be… But you will find an identity, a purpose and meaningfulness in your community by being involved.
In conclusion, in the words of the Austrian-American therapist and writer Sophie Lazarsfeld, we must all:
”Cultivate the courage to be imperfect.”