What we wish we'd known five years ago

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It is ok to not be good at something right away
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saoili wrote in modernwisdom
It's ok to not be good at something right away. It's ok to keep doing things you're not good at at all, even if someone else is. Not being good at something right away just makes it better when you do get good at it.


My mother was recently surprised to discover I've gotten into running. She said something about having tried me with sprinting, when clearly what I needed to do to enjoy it was long distance. Not so, I actually enjoying sprinting a lot, it's just that the only races I've found are longer distance. I don't remember my parents trying me on running at all. But I remember enough of my childhood to have a strong suspicion why it didn't work. I probably wasn't good at it right away. Up until some time in the past ten years, that was enough to put me off something.

I meet a lot of people who are at their first or second swing dance class who apologise for not being as good as me, or as the last person I danced with, who has been dancing for years. Of course they're not! You can't expect to waltz (pun intended) in off the street and be an expert. Actually, if you think of it from the right angle, those apologies are a little insulting to those of us that have put time and work into getting good.

I don't know that I'm any good at running, even for someone who's only been running a year. I don't know that I'm good at swing dancing for someone who's put as much time and effort into it as I have. But I'm a heck of a lot better at both than someone who tried it once and stopped because they weren't any good.

Try new things. Expect to suck at them. Be delighted when you're better at them than you were.

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