If you’re an adventurous sort who’s driven by evolution, expansion, creativity, growth, and awakening (which I’ll assume you are if you’re reading this blog) you’re most likely continually setting your sights on new horizons. Whether you set your sights on an expanded perspective, a new skill, or becoming a better version of yourself, you’re on the cutting edge of your life, pushing the edge of your comfort zone.
Which is also to say you’re continually putting yourself in the position of being a beginner.
For some reason (such as we’ve been brainwashed to believe masking vulnerability and appearing perfect will make us safe) most people are really impatient with themselves about being beginners. We want sooo badly to be not only good, but great, at everything we do. And not eventually, but immediately! But that’s not how it goes. There’s a road, with million little learning curves, from here to mastery that we have to be willing to diligently and patiently move through, step-by-step… with every single thing we go after. And it never stops because mastery is a continually evolving and expanding thing.
So why not start cutting yourself some slack for being where you’re at? If there’s no final destination or “there” then there’s nothing wrong with being here. Chances are the level of understanding and embodiment you have now is something you hoped, dreamed, and prayed for 5 or 10 years ago. Why not celebrate where you’re at instead telling yourself it’s (ie. you’re) not good enough and use this encouragement to enthusiastically move yourself forward?
This past week I went out to dinner with two of my close girl friends. One’s newly a midwife after many years of being a doula, the other has been a nurse for two years, and I have been a photographer for just shy of a year. The three of us were talking about how awkward and humbling it is to be beginners. To know that you’re 100% engaged and doing your best, but you just haven’t been doing your new thing for long enough to be awesomely skillful and graceful at it – yet.
But that’s how it goes. With everything. So how do you handle this beginner-ness, this vulnerable becoming, in your life? Does it motivate you to become more skilled? Or do you feel frustrated and embarrassed by it?
I’m willing to bet we all know a lot about how you could respond to experiences of being a beginner with self-judgment, avoidance, denial, comparison, lying to yourself and saying you no longer want or are into x, beating yourself up, going into victim, escapism ranging from excessive social media time to over eating and drinking, trying to be “perfect” to hide your feeling of vulnerability, attempting to fix or control others so you don’t have to be with yourself… I could go on. But I don’t need to because we all know this road. And it goes nowhere but in big, fearful circles.
Personally I think the first choice – to use the feeling of being a beginner to motivate you to become more skilled – is a wildly more interesting option because it has the effect of pouring WD-40 into the gears of your growth and accelerating your evolution. And forward motion’s what you want, right?
Of course you do. No matter what your habits or stories want to pull you towards, no matter how many distractions you’ve become involved with, YOU want to move forward. So start with getting really GOOD with where you’re at. You’ve worked hard to get here and you’ve done a great job. And sure, you have tons more to learn. But that will always be the case when you’re living adventurously. So relax, be nice to yourself, and enjoy it.